Fossil fuels run the world. They provide heat and energy, they’re used extensively in manufacturing and can even be found in plastic. However, all this modern magic will come to an end – sooner rather than later. According to Forbes, fossil fuels are in their final century, but by cutting back now you can help make a global impact to extend the life of our existing fossil fuels.
I’ve been working with my family to make this transition for years, and we’re making progress, but it takes some practice to learn to live a life with less fossil fuel. The good news is that even practicing helps with progress.
Ready to save the world? Of course you are! Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Buy an Eco-Friendly Car
If you can’t function without a car, then trade in your current model for an eco-friendly model. It’s no longer a sacrifice to drive an electric or hybrid vehicle. It used to be that these cars were tiny and uncomfortable, but now you have many eco-friendly auto options to choose from.
I ended up choosing a Kia Soul EV, which was a lot less painful on my budget than most other electric SUVs. I have kids to haul around the city, so a smaller vehicle just wasn’t an option.
One of the easiest ways to blow through a tank of gas is by shuffling your kids to and from after-school activities. Trust me, I do it all the time. Whether you have an eco-friendly car or not, sharing transportation nights with other parents gives me a night off to decompress and helps reduce the amount of fuel we’re using.
- Live Near Essentials
In a perfect world we’d all have the space to grow enough food to feed ourselves, but pending that, focus on living a greener city life. When you pick a home, be it an apartment or a house, live as close to your essentials – think groceries, work or the park – as possible.
I’m what you’d call an urban homesteaders. I live in the city but use container gardens and participate in a community garden. We’ve even built a chicken coop to help us live a greener city life. The benefits of living close to where we work and play means we boost our level of exercise, cut down on fuel and don’t have to dread city traffic.
- Insulate: Reduce Your Heating and Cooling Bill
A well-insulated home makes for a cooler summer and a warmer winter. It also means you’ll be spending a lot less on your heating bill because you’ll be using less fossil fuel. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends checking your attic, floors, walls and basement for proper insulation to increase energy efficiency.
We don’t often use air conditioning in the summer, and I do my best to stick to just a fan if I use anything at all. Before we checked and fixed the insulation in our home, an air conditioning-free summer wouldn’t have been an option.
- Convert to Solar
I grew up in a house with oil heat and, let me tell you, it was expensive. Now I know the cost was more than just to my parents’ budget. Consider solar power instead. It provides enough electricity to power your entire house, and sometimes you can even send your excess electricity to the power company to turn a small profit. Even better, you don’t have to live in a house to benefit from solar power.
As a family, discuss where you can make changes in your day-to-day lives to save fuel. My husband is in construction, and even he tries his best to use fuel-saving equipment and tier-4 products. So trade in your car, call around the neighborhood and start a carpool for the kids or for your daily commute. Every action will cause a positive ripple effect while you and your family live a simpler, greener life.