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After Earth Hour: Small Steps, Big Impact

Closeup of bike pedal

Earth Hour is just the beginning. You’ve shown the planet you care by turning your lights out for one hour. So what’s next?

Keya Chatterjee, WWF’s Director of Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach, shares three simple tips to help reduce wasteful energy consumption year-round.

Reduce electricity use:

It sounds simple—and it is. Switch to LED light bulbs in your home. If you have air conditioning, turn up the temperature when you leave your home this summer. The Department of Energy estimates you can save between 5% and 15% on your energy bill if you adjust the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees before you leave your house for an eight-hour span or longer .

And going solar is easier than ever. Solar panel prices have dropped 80 percent since 2008. Lease options in many states allow homeowners to go solar with zero upfront costs and savings on the energy bills every month after.

Reduce carbon emissions from transportation:

Make greener transportation choices. Many of the small trips folks make by car could be accomplished on foot or by bike. If you live in a city, take public transportation more often.

If you don’t live in a place with public transportation, consider a switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Eliminate food waste:

Americans throw away between 30-50% of our food. Portions are too big and we tend to toss leftovers. Globally, one out of every three calories produced is wasted.

The good news? If we eliminate this waste, we could halve the amount of new food needed by 2050. Remember “sell by” does not equal “use by.” Another easy step: Mark an area of your fridge as “eat now” so you throw away less food.

Want to do more? Check out some other green tips for a cleaner environment.