We all know that a diet rich in whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables is one of the best things we can do to ensure better overall health.
After all, you are what you eat, right? But, a well-balanced diet may actually do more than just keep you healthy.
By making a few changes to your daily diet, you can actually have an impact on your ‘water footprint.’ Believe it or not, some foods take a lot more water to produce and prepare. When you reduce your consumption of these foods, you’re doing your part to reduce water waste.
Changing your diet to save water isn’t difficult if you’re already following a healthy, nutritious diet plan for your daily life. It’s just a matter of knowing which food items take more water to prepare.
So, let’s dive into a few of the changes you can make for better health, and water conservation.
Limiting Meat and Eating Healthier
Are you a meat eater? Unfortunately, meat uses more water than just about any other food item. Think about what goes into raising a cow from birth to slaughter. Factory farms use thousands of gallons of water each day when it comes to taking care of their animals. Smaller farms or grass-fed animals usually end up using less water, but the majority of meat produced and purchased in the U.S. comes from larger facilities.
Limiting the amount of meat you eat can have a huge impact on saving water. You don’t have to cut it out completely. But, reducing your meat intake significantly can help you to lower your food water footprint by up to 35%. If you do choose to cut it out completely, your food water footprint will obviously continue to go down.
How Processed Products Affect Water Intake
It’s important to understand that food guidelines are different all over the world. Some studies have suggested that if each person followed the health and nutrition guidelines of their country, everyone would be able to reduce their food water footprint. But, there are certain details that are important to keep in mind.
Everything from wine and beer to sugars, processed foods, and oils take water in order to be produced. Some take less than others. For example, wine takes less water than beer to produce. Are you willing to make the switch for a nightly beverage? How about cutting out dairy products?
Some of these changes can be difficult for people, but when you’re willing to make just one or two small adjustments, you can actually make a big difference in how much water you’re saving.
The best advice is to follow a healthy diet plan, rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to limit your meat intake as much as possible. If you do make these dietary changes, you’ll be able to feel good in more ways than one: First, you’ll know you’re doing your part to help the environment. Second, you’ll undoubtedly start to notice the health benefits that go along with nutrient-rich diets!
It’s nearly impossible to avoid hearing about energy conservation nowadays. It’s on the news, it’s on social media, and it’s likely a hot topic between your friends and family. But, have you ever asked yourself why it’s so important?
Why is there such an urgent emerging need to save energy?
It seems like a simple question, and really, the answers are just as simple. Let’s start out by getting this out of the way: Energy conservation is about more than just saving money.
Does saving energy cut down on your utility costs? Of course! But, that’s a beneficial byproduct, and not the actual reason conservation is so important.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at why energy conservation has become such a necessity.
Focusing on Fossil Fuels
While cleaner forms of energy are available and frequently used, we still depend on the burning of fossil fuels for the majority of energy consumed in this country. That includes oil and coal.
So, what’s wrong with burning these fossil fuels?
The biggest problem is that they aren’t renewable resources. The more electricity used, the faster these resources run out. Because we’re so dependant on them, running out of them could leave us with an energy crisis until cleaner, alternative forms become more common.
Fossil fuels also aren’t great for the environment. When they’re burned to create electricity, they pollute the air. Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the overall air quality.
Saving Energy Generates Energy
When just one unit of energy is saved, it’s equivalent to the production of two units of energy. Think about how much greater our resources would be if everyone took the time to just do one thing each day that would conserve energy.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to conserve energy. In fact, you can get your whole family on board in fun ways. Saving energy could be something as simple as turning off lights when you leave a room, to lowering your thermostat a few degrees.
Other easy ways to save energy at home include:
- Purchasing energy-efficient appliances
- Change your light bulbs to LED
- Wash your dishes by hand
- Insulate your house
- Take shorter, cooler showers
You can take pride in knowing every little bit helps when it comes to saving energy. And, by practicing some of these conservation methods, you’re ensuring that the next generation doesn’t face an energy crisis.
Making the Switch to Cleaner Energy Sources
When you hear about the necessity of energy conservation, it’s important not to take it lightly. The entire world needs to make a change when it comes to where the majority of our energy is produced. There aren’t enough clean, renewable options in action today, which could lead to huge problems later on.
By doing your part, you can be a strong influencer when it comes to the changes we need to make. Not only are you creating a better future for the young people in your life, but you’re creating a healthier future for the planet.
Don’t be afraid to get involved in the conversation the next time energy conservation comes up. Learning as much as you can about it will undoubtedly inspire you to do whatever you can to help.
By now, you’ve probably done a bit of browsing around our website. Maybe you’ve even read some of our blogs on energy and water conservation. But, the more you know about who Tinker actually is, the better.
We’re proud of what we do, and we want as many students, teachers, and utility companies to be involved as possible. The more people on board, the more opportunities for conservation and education to take place!
Who is Tinker For?
Tinker is for both educators and utilities. We provide K-12 education programs that are fully operational, using technology-driven resources to engage kids and young adults in a proven way of learning.
Our water and energy conservation kits give students a hands-on experience. They learn to become responsible consumers of energy, and they can take what they learn in the classroom home with them. As a result, they can actually be the ones to educate their family (even their parents!) and create a more energy-conscious household.
Our programs are utility-sponsored. If you’re a part of a utility company, you might be wondering what’s in it for you. The answer is abundantly positive, and easily-trackable. By sponsoring educational programs like the ones provided by Tinker, you’re promoting both water and energy conservation for the next generation. That helps to create a more sustainable world for all of us.
You can even track progress through an online dashboard, which helps to encourage participation and can give you a clear picture of the results.
How it Tinker Different?
We pride ourselves on being a turn-key operation that connects with the modern student. That’s why we use technology to break down barriers and encourage a greater response from students of all ages.
Kids learn differently than they used to, thanks to technological advancements. We’ve adapted with those changes, and we’re happy to offer a program that really relates to K-12 students. With a technology-focused learning environment, students are more likely to be engaged in what they’re learning.
The best part?
They’re more likely to retain what they’ve learned, and take that information with them wherever they go. That knowledge is exactly what will create a brighter future for the planet.
So, who is Tinker really for?
In short, it’s for everyone. While we work with educators and utility companies, there are no boundaries when it comes to the people this program can touch. It starts with students, but those students can quickly share what they learn with friends and family. Educators can even learn a lot about energy and water conservation. And, utility companies can feel good knowing they’re doing their part to educate future generations on the importance of conservation.
If you’ve been curious about what Tinker really is and how it works, we hope this blog has cleared it up for you. Of course, if you have more questions or you’d like more information on implementing the program in your area, feel free to contact us!
From leading corporations trying to reduce their environmental impact to California laws requiring new construction to be more environmentally-sound, solar panels aren’t going anywhere. In fact, they’ll undoubtedly become more popular in the future as new construction continues to pop up across the country.
But, you don’t have to be in the process of building a new house to add solar panels to your home.
You might think that it’s not worth the investment, but that’s a common misconception!
There are actually many different benefits to installing solar panels on your house. Once you know some of the advantages, you might find it’s easier to make the switch and start saving energy.
Going Solar Saves You Money
One of the biggest reasons people avoid ‘going solar’ is that they think it’ll cost a lot of money. On the contrary, solar panels will start saving you money right away. The average household can save up to $100 each month in energy costs.
Solar panels are usually under warranty for about 20 years. If you add up the savings, that equals $30,000 in the typical lifespan of your panels! Depending on your state and the amount of sunlight you get, you could end up saving thousands more.
Additionally, there are tax breaks and rebates to consider! If you do install solar panels, be sure to talk with a federal tax specialist about an income tax credit.
It Increases the Value of Your Home
As solar energy becomes more popular, homes that have solar panels also become more appealing. As stated above, the average warranty for panels is 20 years. You might move within those 20 years, and putting your house on the market with solar panels could make it a much more desirable purchase. In turn, you can set your sale price higher.
Solar Energy is Saving the Planet
The best reason to go solar is to help our environment. Solar panels use pure, clean energy from the sun. When you install them on your home, you’re helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and you’re also helping to lessen our dependency on fossil fuels from foreign countries.
Because they’re long-lasting and easy to install, you can really start reaping the benefits of solar panels right away. Not only do they pay for themselves quickly, but you’re helping the environment immediately, too.
It’s true that shopping for solar panels used to be a complicated process. But, because of the increase in demand, it’s become easier than ever. If you’re considering any upgrades to your home, you should absolutely consider the benefits of solar energy.
Talk to a local manufacturer or agency who installs solar panels and don’t be afraid to ask about more details. You should be able to get a better idea of how much money you can save, and what the installation of these panels on your home could really mean for the economy and the environment, for a more sustainable future.
We all have appliances in our homes. From the refrigerator to the washing machine, big and small appliances are used every day. Because of their convenience, electrical appliances make up about 30% of our energy bills each month.
Energy Star appliances were first introduced in 1992. The Energy Star symbol is a government-backed label that lets consumers know the product they’re buying will help to cut down on energy costs and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
While Energy Star appliances started out solely on computers, now just about any energy-efficient appliance can carry the label.
So, what actually qualifies as an Energy Star appliance, and what are the benefits? Let’s take a closer look.
What Does it Take to Be an Energy Star Appliance?
In order to garner the label of “Energy Star,” an appliance must meet certain criteria. This criteria is set in place by the US Department of Energy.
Criteria are different based on the type of appliance, the size, etc. The bottom line is that they need to use less energy than standard appliance models. They need to be able to save you money on your energy bills, and they need to be committed to protecting the environment by causing fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
The criteria might seem complicated. Thankfully, as consumers, we don’t have to worry about checking the standards when we’re buying appliances. Energy Star has made it easy to identify the best appliances with their notable labels.
Why Should I Choose Energy Star Appliances?
There are plenty of reasons to seek out appliances with an Energy Star label. One of the most obvious, of course, is to save money on your energy bills. But, the benefits don’t stop there. When you opt for these appliances, you’re helping to conserve energy for the whole planet.
Energy efficiency in appliances can help to do things like control pollution, limit our dependency on foreign energy sources, and boost the economy! When the government has to use less money on resources for energy production, that money can be used elsewhere within our economy.
If everyone in the world only purchased Energy Star appliances, we would have a much cleaner, more sustainable environment. There would be far less panic about an energy crisis, and we could focus more on renewable energy and conserved energy that can be used in better places.
When the minimum amount of energy used to complete a task is taken by appliances, that conserved energy can be used elsewhere. Therefore, we’re less likely to run out of energy sources so quickly.
Maybe you’ve noticed the Energy Star logo before, but you’ve never considered why it’s so important to choose these appliances. These regulations and criteria have been set in place for a reason. It’s about so much more than saving money on an electric bill. If you haven’t updated your appliances in a while, or you’re looking to make a change, make sure whatever you choose carries the Energy Star symbol.
Did you know that the average American family uses about 400 gallons of water each day? We’ve covered some tips in the past on how to save water at home. But, it really is a family effort.
If everyone in your family made one different choice each day that conserved water, think about how many gallons you could save each day? Not only will you be shocked at how much water you’ve been wasting, but you’ll also love saving money on your water bill!
One of the best ways to get the whole family involved in saving water is to turn it into a challenge.
See who can save the most water each week. Turning anything into a healthy competition is bound to motivate your family to do their best!
So, how can you get everyone, from your spouse to your kids involved in conserving water?
Let’s look at a few easy tips.
Don’t Take Baths
Sometimes, nothing sounds better than a nice relaxing bath, right? Many young kids also prefer taking baths to showers. Unfortunately, filling up the tub ends up wasting a lot of water. It’s unnecessary to use that much water just to get clean.
Instead, opt for a quick shower! That’s actually another hidden tip: Try shaving a few minutes off your daily shower. Even shortening your shower by just five minutes can have a huge impact.
Fill the Sink
It might seem contradictory for us to tell you not to take a bath, but to fill up your kitchen sink for dishes.
Let’s clear that up.
Putting a plug in your kitchen sink to do the dishes will end up using a lot less water than running the faucet the whole time. Fill the tub once with soapy water, wash your dishes, and give them a quick rinse at the end. That way, you won’t literally be pouring water (and money!) down your drain.
This is a great way for the kids to chip in on saving water if doing the dishes is one of their daily chores.
Start Saving Outside
Does someone in your family have a green thumb or like to work outside? They can enjoy their hobbies and conserve water at the same time.
Choose plants that don’t require a lot of watering. When you do have to water them, make sure you’re doing it on cooler days. When you water on hot days, or in the middle of the day, a lot of that water can evaporate, meaning you’ll have to water more frequently.
Why is it Important to Conserve Water as a Family?
There are so many benefits to making water conservation a family affair. Not only are you helping the current state of our planet, but you’re teaching your children to be responsible with water use for the rest of their lives.
Conserving water as a family sets an example. But, it also might make you more aware of other areas in your life where you can start making impactful changes, too. Maybe you’ll start focusing on energy conservation, or recycling. Being more aware and making your children more aware of what will sustain our planet can create a much brighter future.