SOURCE: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, news release, April 21, 2015
TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- To mark Earth Day on Wednesday, experts suggest you consider making lifestyle changes that will reduce your impact on the planet.
Reducing water usage and car travel are good places to start, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign suggest.
Water conservation is crucial, and not just in the parched West. Thirty-six states are expected to have water shortages by 2016, according to a university news release.
The average American family of four uses more than 400 gallons of water a day, the Environmental Protection Agency says. Take shorter showers and turn off the water while brushing your teeth, experts advise.
Transportation accounts for about one-third of the average American's contribution to climate change. Americans use about 385 million gallons of gasoline every day, or more than a gallon for every person, the experts said.
Instead of using your car, try walking or cycling or use public transit, they suggest. When using your car, combine errands into a single trip. Also, keep up with scheduled maintenance on your car.
Home lighting is another important area, the researchers said. If you replace just one in four incandescent bulbs with a compact fluorescent bulb, you can save about 50 percent on your lighting bill. Switching 16 incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent bulbs saves emissions equal to taking a car off the road for a year.
The experts offer some other energy-conserving tips:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers tips for greener living.