Beyond Efficiency

Saving energy is one of the greatest impacts you can have on reducing environmental degradation. But it does not make your lifestyle environmentally sustainable. If you are interested in becoming more environmentally sustainable, it is important to consider the materials and chemicals that comprise the products you purchase as well as the resources that go into their manufacturing, transport, and disposal. This applies not just to household equipment but to all items you purchase. Look for ways to reduce your overall consumption. Buy locally grown foods. Reduce the number of miles you drive by combining trips, carpooling, biking, or taking public transportation, when feasible. You can also "neutralize" the impact of the remaining energy that you can't avoid using by buying "carbon offsets" from a reliable organization that invests the money you spend in projects that help prevent carbon dioxide emissions like renewable energy generation or reforestation. To learn more, try some of the following resources:

Other Organizations

Directories of Products

Newsletters, Publications

If you are interested in becoming "carbon neutral," these resources will help you calculate your carbon footprint and find the most trusted carbon offset companies: 

Page last updated June, 2010