The concept of sustainability has become the subject of world-wide discussion and debate. On the national scene, and even locally, there is debate about human impact on the environment. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently offered the following definition, "(S)ustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations."
While the CDSN obviously supports "Conservation", "Sustainabilty" and our public, we work hard to bring the discussion down to a more personal level--to a business, an organization, or an individual. From that point-of-view, educating and working with people to consider their processes, systems, and actions is key. At this smaller scale, conserving resources, avoiding waste, and recycling products and byproducts can have real cost savings in addition to reducing energy use, waste and pollution.
With the help of our supporters the Conservation District will continue to address local sustainability issues through planning, education, communications, and actions.
The CDSN undertakes projects that help educate the public about natural resource issues. Check out related pages on our website to see some of what we have done right here at home. More specifically, please check out our Conservation Partnership Program. It is designed to promote business planning for conservation and allows program members to use our certification in their public relations and advertising programs
What You Can Do To Help
Education is the key. The more you know about sustainability the more aware you are of your household's and workplace's impact on the environment and steps you can take to minimize that impact and cut costs. There are numerous websites, books and newspaper articles, as well as a great deal of other resources you can turn to in order to learn more. Here is some information and a few tips on how to make your home more sustainable:
Recycling prevents waste of potentially useful materials while reducing the consumption of fresh raw materials. Recycling reduces energy use, reduces air pollution (from incineration) and reduces water pollution (from landfills) by decreasing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and has lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production.
Energy conservation reduces energy consumption and demand thus offsetting some growth in energy supply needed to keep up with population growth, ultimately slowing the rise in energy costs. Energy conservation reduces emissions, making it an important part of minimizing the impact on climate change. Energy conservation is often the most economical solution to energy shortages, and is a more environmentally friendly alternative to increased energy production.
- Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. Turn off computers when they are not in use. Many people are unaware that just because you have logged off that does not mean the computer is not still using energy. Shut it off completely. The same goes for cell phone chargers. If you are not charging your phone, unplug it.
- In the summer months, turn up the temperature on your A/C when no one is home. Leaving your A/C to run all day will run up your energy bill.
- For more tips and advice on how you can conserve energy while lowering your monthly bill please visit NVEnergy
WATER CONSERVATIONWater is one of the most valuable natural resources, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions of the southwestern United States. Growth and development in this region will continue to be dictated to a large extent by the availability of adequate water supplies. Increasing pressure is being placed on water users to become more efficient in all aspects of water utilization. Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to reduce our demand for water. This stretches our supplies farther, and protects valuable resources like Lake Mead.
- Take a shorter shower. Every five minutes of showering uses anywhere between 12 and 25 gallons of water.
- If you wash dishes by hand, fill one half of the sink with soapy water and the other half with clean water instead of letting the water run. Cut down on running water during other activities such as shaving, brushing your teeth, or washing your hands.
- Wash only full loads in your washing machine, or adjust the water level to reflect the size of the load.
- Try planting drought-tolerant and regionally adapted plants, especially in areas that are hard to water or receive little water. Use water saving landscape designs, such as Drip Irrigation, and avoid watering your landscape during the hottest hours of the day (10 am until 6 pm) to minimize evaporation.
- For more helpful tips on how you can conserve water and save money please visit Southern Nevada Water Authority
Carbon dioxide emissions come primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas used in making electricity at power plants and gasoline and petroleum diesel that run internal combustion engines in our cars, boats, trains, planes, and trucks. There are millions of internal combustion engines around the world that run on fossil fuels. Collectively, these engines are dumping millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the Earth's atmosphere making it more difficult to remedy the negative impacts of climate change and global warming.
- Many people underestimate the pleasure of a nice walk or bike ride. If you are running errands or looking to get a good exercise, consider walking or biking as an option to reach your destinations. For a bike map or more information on biking in the Las Vegas area visit the Regional Transportation of Southern Nevada's website.
- If you have to drive try to plan your trip so that you are not doubling back while going from location to location. You will complete your errands more efficiently and use less gas.
- Another term you may be familiar with is "Carbon Footprint." Every household emits Carbon. Depending on the way you manage your home, the amount you generate may be greater or less than others. Click on the link below to calculate your own carbon footprint and see what you can do to leave less of an impression on the planet we call home. Carbon Footprint Calculator
Other helpful links:
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