“Home Improvement:

A Young Man’s Quest to a Greener Household”

By:Joseph Kadish

turn off the lights

            “Going green”: it’s a concept familiar to all of us, which has been engraved into our minds as the way of the future. We know how important it is—yet few of us take it seriously. Many people feel a sense of satisfaction when they turn the faucet off while brushing their teeth or put a can into a recycling bin; but the amount of things we could, (and should), be doing is innumerous.

It wasn’t until I began my internship at TerraCycle that I began to take notice of my family’s not-so-eco-friendly habits. A quick tour around my home exposed me to a handful of environmental hazards and I realized that something had to be done. After some research, I learned some simple and quick solutions to get started. Check back each week to see my progress and learn some helpful tips to improve your own everyday living!

Chapter 1:

I’ve Seen the Light (And Turned It Off)

A few nights ago, I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to a rumbling tummy. Unable to fall back asleep, I decided that a trip to the kitchen was exactly what I needed (leftovers!) As I descended the stairs, I was guided by the light of a small lamp on a table in my foyer. I paid no mind to this, as it was usually left on.

That lamp was sufficient enough to light my way to the kitchen, but as I forged on, I found a much more illuminated path. A small nightlight was plugged into the outlet next to the bathroom sink. Above the fireplace, two lights had been set to dim and in the kitchen, the bulbs underneath the microwave were on full power. In the dining room, the china cabinet was lit and on the opposite wall, two thin lamps gave off an orange glow. At 2 a.m., my house shone brighter than a tanning bed. This was my wake-up call, so to speak.

I returned to bed, leaving a trail of darkness behind me. The next night I decided to check downstairs after everyone had gone to sleep, to see the potential energy-wasting damage. I was met with same dismal results. You’d think that with all of the bickering my dad does about the electric bill, he’d be more conscious of the lights left on after dark. I decided to take action and make my family more aware of our energy-sucking ways.

We decided to be more mindful of the electricity we use not only at night, but all the time. After all, there’s no better place to start saving the environment than in your own home. Check my next post to see what I did to help conserve my family’s energy consumption!

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