While solar panels, windmills, and other similar systems tend to be the face of climate advocacy in the energy sector, they're far from your only option. In fact, some of the most impactful changes can be enacted by any citizen, regardless of where they receive their power from.
This is where Energy Efficiency comes into play. Even if you can't make the switch to solar yourself, there are plenty of strategies for reducing your energy usage—and in turn, your carbon footprint—without compromising your current lifestyle.
Some examples include:
50 by 25 has been working on multiple fronts to boost energy efficiency within Harrisonburg, such as:
Coordinating with Charlottesville's Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) to set the foundation for a program providing assistance to local residents seeking to improve their energy efficiency
Insert other examples here
Many houses in the U.S. suffer from some form of structural flaw, be it leaky pipes, drafty windows, or poor heating. These issues not only make your house less of a home, but also undercut your home's energy efficiency, and can often lead to you being hit with utility bills far larger than what you should rightfully be spending.
We're probably not the first group to tell you about these, but it bears repeating nonetheless. LED lightbulbs are capable of producing the same level of light as their incandescent counterparts at a fraction of the energy cost. Each bulb you replace with an LED equivalent can save you around $10 a year on electricity (and considering how many lightbulbs the average home has, those savings can add up quickly.
Leaving your computer on when you're not actively using it can put a serious drain on your household's energy consumption. Make sure to put your devices in sleep mode—or power them off completely—when not in use.
If you're looking to learn more about energy efficiency, consider checking out the following organizations for more comprehensive overviews of the subject:
Earthcraft is a building certification program with construction tenets designed around maximizing energy efficiency. They offer blueprints for everything from single-family housing to small-scale commercial spaces. You can access their housing manuals here
The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy's Energy Saver website is designed to provide consumers with reliable information on energy efficiency methods. You can access the site and its resources here.