Lighting typically accounts for 5-10% of household energy use and LED bulbs require only 10% of the energy required by traditional indandescents and 50% required by CFLs. LEDs provide far higher quality light compared to CFLs, don't contain toxic mercury, and last 10 times longer than both incandescents and CFLs. LEDs are the easiest way to reduce your energy consumption.
Appliance use accounts for about 15% of our household’s energy costs, with refrigeration, cooking, dishwashing, and laundry at the top of the list. Set your current appliances to eco-friendly modes, e.g., set your refrigerator to the highest temperature, and ensure you properly maintain them. When you shop for a new appliance, look for the ENERGY STAR® label, found on products that exceed minimum federal standards by a substantial amount. Use smart power strips to turn off appliances when not in use.
Water Heating typically accounts for 20% of our homes' energy use, second only to heating. Simple tips to reduce hot water use include:
• Reduce use by showering instead of taking baths, and install low flow shower heads.
• Modern detergents allow clothes to be washed on cold or warm, don't bother with hot.
• Don't overuse hot water in the kitchen, let your efficient dishwasher do the work.
• Repair leaky faucets quickly because their waste can add up quickly.
• Set your water heater temperature to 120°.
• Ensure your water heater is properly maintained and replaced every 8-12 years.
• Insulate your Water Heater.
• When shopping for a new water heater, look for the ENERGY STAR® label for substantial energy savings.
• For the most environmentally friendly option, consider installing a Solar Water Heater.
We live in one of the coldest environments in the United States and heating makes up about 60% of our home energy use.
• Monitor your thermostat carefully or even better, install a programmable thermostat.
• Lower your heat slightly and invest in warm blankets, comfortable warm home clothes, and slippers.
• Keep closets closed and un-used rooms closed, and vary the heating according to each room's need.
• Ensure baseboard heaters are not blocked by furniture.
• Ensure your windows and doors are properly sealed.
• Improve your insulation and replace windows with double- or triple-pane options.
• Ensure your heating system is as efficient as possible.
• Close insulating blinds and drapes at night and open them during the day to absorb solar heat.
Once you've made your home usage as efficient as possible, sign up for Lower Valley Energy's 100% Green Energy, sourced from the Foote Creek wind farm between Rawlins and Laramie and the Horse Butte wind farm south of Idaho Falls. 100% Green Energy costs 6.4 cents per kWh versus the standard 5.2 cents per kWh.
Once you've made your home as efficient as possible and signed up for Lower Valley Energy's 100% Green Energy, produce your own energy with rooftop solar or new Tesla solar shingles. You can also store your clean power with home battery storage for use overnight and at peak grid times. We're glad to offer low-interest home energy loans for your installation.
Providing clean water requires an enormous amount of energy, and water is under ever-increasing demand for drinking, farming, agriculture, and incidentally, producing energy. Natural landscaping with plants adapted to the local climate, soil conditions, and native species requires little to no water, fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides and results in a beautiful, low-maintenance, and more sustainable landscape, forming the foundation of our native habitat and ecosystem.
Reducing, reusing, and recycling can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. Just as an example, recycling 50 cans saves enough energy to light a room for a week. The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. Check out the Teton County Recycling Guide to see where and how to recycle easily.
Thanks to Friends of Pathways, we now have an extensive bike path network throughout Jackson Hole. Riding your bicycle is great exercise and great for transportation to and from work. Soon, we'll also have a new Bike Share program to help us further shift away from vehicles to bicycles. Not for the faint-of-heart, it's also a year round option with new fat-tired snow bikes.
The 1987 Jackson to Teton Village ski bus has come a long way. Southern Teton Area Rapid Transit (START) now has an expansive 30-bus network serving the Town of Jackson and Teton County, with routes to and from Star Valley and Teton Valley, Idaho. START reduces our community's driven miles by over 3 million per year, translating into approximately 100,000 less gallons of fuel and 1.8 million less pounds of CO2 per year. In addition, START greatly reduces the demand for multi-lane roads, helping our community maintain its unique character.
Local Traffic produces 40% of our total CO2 emissions and traffic to Jackson Hole produces 22%, making transportation our largest source of emissions by a large margin. Electric Vehicles offer a way to fuel vehicles from electricity, and our electricity is some of the cleanest and cheapest in the nation, with an available 100% Green Option for slightly more. Check out our Electric Vehicles page for efficiency statistics and a regional charging network map.
You can reduce the emissions of your current vehicle by up to 70% using hypermiling techniques. Avoid hard acceleration, time stop lights to brake as little as possible, never idle when stopped, don't carry unnecessary weight in your vehicle, remove ski racks and rocket boxes in the summer, keep your tires properly inflated, keep windows up at higher speeds, and remember to drive 45 at night. In addition, alongside the move toward electric vehicles, more and more high-efficiency cars, SUVs, and trucks are now available using a mix of technologies like hybrid-electric, turbo-charging, clean diesel, and natural gas.
According to the Earth Policy Institute, 1 trillion single-use petroleum-based plastic bags are used each year, nearly 2 million each minute. The amount of energy required to make 12 plastic shopping bags could drive a car for a mile. City, state, and national governments around the world are trying to limit plastic bag use with education, bans, and fees.
Transporting bottled liquids across the country in trucks is far less efficient than using local water pipes. Thankfully, clean, fresh, environmentally-friendly Wyoming water is available straight from the faucet. Use a re-usable bottle when away from home.
The Local Food movement aims to connect food producers and consumers in the same geographic region in order to develop a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly, self-reliant and resilient food network, that will improve the local economy and community's health, and provide a positive social impact. Eating locally produced, seasonal foods reduces transportation needs substantially for every bite, resulting in lower emmissions.
Animal agriculture contributes significantly to global emissions. Naturally fed animals have a lighter carbon footprint due to the improved health of the animals; less fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels required to produce the grain feed; and the healthy grass keeps carbon dioxide in the ground and out of the atmosphere. Eat less meat in general and higher quality meat whenever possible.
Avoid using disposable paper, plastic, or styrofoam plates, cups, and flatware. Re-usable party cups, plates, and flatware are easy to clean, last a long time, and produce far less waste.
Air travel is one of Jackson Hole's largest sources of carbon emissions. While it's obviously difficult to tell anyone not to travel, especially our visitors, be conscious of air travel's impacts and support the industry's move toward greater effiency. Use the Jackson Hole airport shuttle at Ride 2 Fly.
We live and work in a consumer-driven society that is putting enormous strain on our environment. Support brands who create products and services with an eco-concious supply chain. Make your voice heard with your spending decisions.
Jackson Hole hosts five million visitors each year and conservation was quite literally invented here with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park, the world's first National Park. We have the unique opportunity to set the right example of modern conservation for our visitors, amplifying the impact of our efforts nationally and globally.
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