Celebrate Earth Day by finding
many ways to go green
Earth Day (www.earthday.org) is celebrated and observed April 22. That's the official date of Earth Day, but you can make our world a cleaner, greener place to live year-round in many different ways.
First, you can make a green contribution by cutting back on how much electricity you use to power your home electronics. Second, you can reuse and recycle common materials around your home or business. As an NGEMC member, you can also support green efforts by signing up to pay for one or more blocks of green power through TVA's Green Power Switch program. You can also see green by going paperless with NGEMC by signing up for ebill and paying your monthly bill by bank draft.
On the electricity consumption side, today’s homes are using more power than ever in part because of a jump in the use of electronics. By 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that electronics and small appliances will account for almost 30 percent of household electricity use.
Modern homes are packed with electronics that consume electricity. These energy hogs include TVs; phones; DVD players; set-top boxes to receive signals from cable, Internet, satellite or over-the-air systems; home theater systems; computers; video game consoles; printers; and portable stereo systems. Battery chargers for cell phones, electric shavers and portable music players also sap electricity from a home. Much of the electricity used by today’s home electronics is consumed by “phantom load” or “leaking electricity,” where devices still use electricity even when they are off. Even though a device may appear to be off or sleeping, electronics that have a digital display or a standby mode constantly draw power when plugged in. As much as 20 percent of the electricity used by appliances can be lost while they are sitting in the standby mode, waiting to be used.
Trim home electronics
Whether you buy a new, energy-efficient electronic device or keep using your existing home electronics, you may be able to use less electricity by following these methods:
• Plug your electronics into a power strip with an on/off switch, and turn off the power strip when you are not using the products. This is the only way to ensure that the electronics are not using electricity.
• Unplug battery chargers or power adapters when the equipment is fully charged or not connected to the charger.
• Always turn a computer off when work is done. If you must keep it on, enable power management tools. When shutting down the computer, turn off the monitor.
• If you are in the market for home electronics, look for products that have earned the government’s ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR electronics use up to 50 percent less energy to perform the same functions as standard models—saving consumers money on electric bills.
Make the Green Power Switch
Going green for you may also mean buying portions of your electricity from TVA's Green Power Switch program that generates power from clean, renewable resources like the wind, the sun and methane gas. GPS is great because it generates power using nature's resources, your small investment is kind to the environment and all the green power TVA generates goes straight into the power mix of the Tennessee Valley.
Residential customers can buy one block (150 kilowatt-hours) of electricity for $4 per month added to your monthly bill or as many blocks as you like for $4 per block each. The cost per block won't change with your monthly usage. Commercial and industrial customers can purchase multiple block minimums based on their electric use as defined by the rate schedule under which they are served.
Paperless billing and bank draft means less waste
Making a green choice by opting for e-bill and paying your bill by bank draft will cut down on paper and pollution. When you sign up for e-bill, you will automatically receive an email with a link to your bill each month. Bank draft gives you an automatic and free way to pay your bill, because NGEMC drafts the bill's amount from your bank account on the bill's due date each month. You can learn more about bank draft and e-bill and sign up if you wish.
Reuse and recycle for a bright future
One of the easiest ways to make the world greener is to reuse and recycle materials such as paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum cans, motor oil, oil filters and antifreeze at your local collection center or landfill.