New Year's Resolution #5: Green Your Commute

Green Mountain Energy lists its ten New Years resolutions

Published: 27-Dec-2007

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--It’s that time of year again -- time for consumers to start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions for 2008.

For many Americans, dieting is the most popular New Year's resolution. This year, Green Mountain Energy Company, the nation’s leading provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, suggests a different kind of diet – a "carbon diet." The company is encouraging individuals to consider making New Year's resolutions – with a different purpose – that help protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a leading contributor of global warming.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average U.S. household is responsible for the emission of almost 60 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually. CO2 is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Each household can eliminate up to 32 percent or 20 tons of this CO2 footprint by making simple yet powerful choices.

If you haven’t already made your list of “green” resolutions, Green Mountain offers 10 simple ways to be “green” in 2008.

Green Mountain’s Top Green Resolutions for 2008:

1. Sign up for cleaner electricity. Most people don't realize that making electricity is the leading cause of industrial air pollution in the U.S. By purchasing 100 percent new renewable energy for a year, an American household using an average of 938 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month could help avoid contributing over 15,600 pounds of carbon dioxide (C02) annually.

2. Go on a Carbon Diet. Reduce your carbon footprint or become carbon neutral by purchasing carbon offsets. Consumers can offset their electrical usage, automobile transportation, air transportation and natural gas usage by purchasing carbon offsets from BeGreen, a division of Green Mountain Energy Company. Consumers can purchase the BeGreen Driver, BeGreen Flyer or BeGreen Home products. For more information, to purchase a carbon offset or to find out what your carbon footprint is, visit: www.begreennow.com

3. Give the Gift of Green. Plant a tree for a friend to offset carbon emissions. BeGreen also offers the Gift of Green: one native tree is planted in an ecosystem restoration project in the U.S. For only $9.95, the recipient of your green gift receives a plantable ornament made of seed paper, plus a card telling them about the environmental benefits of their tree. Consumers can purchase the Gift of Green at www.begreennow.com.

4. Purchase a Hybrid Car. Hybrid gas/electric cars are becoming more affordable and accessible than ever. The Honda Insight and Toyota Prius are at the top of the EPA's Green Vehicle Guide and get roughly 45-60 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city. Better fuel economy means lower CO2 emissions. In fact, a five-mpg difference equates to about 2,800 pounds of CO2 pollution a year.

5. Green your Commute! Give your car a break. Combine trips whenever possible, share a ride, use mass transit, walk or bike whenever possible. Leaving your car at home just two days a week will save almost 1,600 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions each year! Keep your car well-maintained to maximize its fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability.

6. Drive Smart. Every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of C02 out of the atmosphere! Keep your car tuned up, combine trips, limit idling to 30 seconds, never “top off” the tank, drive less aggressively and maintain proper tire pressure. Keeping you tires inflated properly can improve gas mileage by more than 3 percent.

7. Upgrade to EPA’s ENERGY STAR-certified Products. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2005 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 23 million cars.

8. Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL). A CFL puts out the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb but uses two-thirds less electricity. CFLs last 10 times longer and use about 72 percent less energy than a standard bulb.

9. Recycle More. You can save 2,400 pounds of C02 per year by recycling just half of your household waste.

10. Say No to Plastic Bags. When shopping, bring a reusable bag to carry your purchases. A plastic bag can take an astonishing 500 years to decompose.

“As consumers make their New Year's resolutions this year, we hope they will consider the impact their decisions can have on the environment," said Gillan Taddune, Chief Environmental Officer for Green Mountain Energy Company. "Going green is not only easy to implement, but it often can save you money."

Green Mountain's Top 10 Green Resolutions for 2008
1. Sign up for Cleaner Electricity
2. Go on a Carbon Diet
3. Give the Gift of Green
4. Purchase a Hybrid Car
5. Green Your Commute
6. Drive Smart
7. Upgrade to EPA ENERGY STAR-certified products
8. Switch to CFLs
9. Recycle More
10. Say No to Plastic Bags About Green Mountain Energy Company

Green Mountain, the nation’s leading provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions, began in 1997 with a simple idea: “to change the way power is made.” The company offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products using renewable sources such as wind, water and solar that help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted into the air. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid over 3.3 million tons of CO2 emissions. Visit www.greenmountain.com.

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