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By Camille Capili

In recent years, the danger of climate change has become more apparent. Impact caused by humans has proved to be disruptive to the balance of nature. Energy consumption usually requires nonrenewable resources, which cause several adverse effects to our natural world: water, air, thermal pollution and global warming.

Because of the cost to acquire it, energy is a valuable resource that asks for our mindfulness upon usage; the goal is to keep the Earth as green as possible. Here are three alternative everyday choices anyone can make to impact the environment positively.

1. Learn to love LED

LED lights are an energy-efficient light bulb that operates on a few watts of energy. Compared to traditional light bulbs, LED lights can save more electricity and last longer. The lights also remain cool, so they don’t heat up the way old-fashioned lights do — lowering the risk for breakage and flammability.

Interestingly, incandescent lights have about 90% of their energy lost as heat instead, which means energy and money are wasted. What can we do about this? Make the switch to LED. The US Department of Energy states that the average household saves about $225 in energy costs per year by using LEDs — think of the number of foodie trips you could have with that money!

2. Don’t go crazy with the AC

Excess usage of your heating and AC hurts the environment due to the sheer amount of energy needed to power them. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air conditioning costs homeowners about $29 billion annually.

If it’s particularly blistering on one summer day, try using a fan or keeping the windows open to let air circulate. Go to your local mall where you can count on the AC to be running, and that way, you can get your steps in, too.

If it’s getting a little chilly in December, don’t forget to layer up and find your warmest sweater before switching any thermostat switches. A little bit of cold won’t hurt. It’ll just make the hot cocoa taste that much better!

3. Surprise, vampires ARE real

Don’t be an energy vampire. What’s an energy vampire? Well, first, let me ask you this: in your house, how many electrical appliances do you have plugged in that you aren’t using, like your toaster, electric fan or desk lamp?

Here’s the problem: any electronics plugged in, even when turned off, still leech energy. Energy still leaks, and because it’s not being used, it’s being wasted. This is what we call vampire energy. Vampire energy costs U.S. households an average of $100 per year, according to the US Department of Energy — that’s a whole $100 that could’ve gone to rent! When your phone reaches 100% battery, consider unplugging the charger so that you don’t let this monster degrade the environment or take up your electricity bill.