Alternative energy sources such as solar, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, and wind can help keep our air cleaner than burning fossil fuels, such as oil and coal. Alternatives also are renewable. Shifting to their use can help us reduce our dependence on limited fossil fuel reserves.
- Turn off your lights, radio and TV when they are not in use.
- Run your dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer only when full.
- Run large appliances at night when the demand for electricity is lower.
- Put on a sweater and more blankets instead of turning up the heat.
- Wear light clothes, open your windows, and use a fan before turning on the air conditioning.
- Dry your clothes on a clothesline when possible.
- Use compact fluorescents light bulbs, which last longer and use a lower wattage to provide the same amount of light. Remember that fluorescents containing mercury should be disposed as hazardous waste.
- Encourage your power company to offer energy from alternative sources, and sign up for it at your home and/or business.
- Add insulation and weather stripping to your home.
- Insulate your water heater and hot water pipes.
- Install solar panels. If a buy-back program is available, you may be able to sell any extra energy back to your power company.
- Install a wind turbine or geothermal heat pump if resources in your area allow.
- Heat your home with an EPA-approved biomass, such as corn pellets, or a wood-burning stove or fireplace insert.
- Support community and government efforts to increase the use of alternative, energy-efficient technologies that will pollute less.
- For more information, visit:
- Indiana Department of Energy: www.in.gov/energy
- U.S. Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: www.eere.energy.gov
The many species of wildlife that survive and even thrive in Indiana depend on a delicate natural balance. And that balance is very threatened.
- The introduction of invasive, non-native species of plants and animals and the over-application of chemical pesticides and fertilizers dramatically and negatively affect our ecosystem.
- But no modern trend has had more negative impact on wildlife than urban sprawl. Sprawl has decreased wildlife habitat, forcing some species out and leaving others to make their homes in developed areas. Each year, 89,000 acres of Hoosier farmland is lost, mostly to development. Wild land also is threatened.
- Things to do for wildlife
- Turn your backyard into a wildlife refuge. Visit the Indiana Wildlife Federation at www.indianawildlife.org for tips and certification instructions.
- Support land trusts that buy land to preserve it for habitat. Visit the Land Trust Alliance for more information at www.lta.org.
- Put up bat houses. Bats eat bugs-especially mosquitoes-but they avoid people.
- Install birdhouses, feeders, and baths. Change the water often so mosquitoes don’t breed.
- Learn to identify Indiana’s native species, and don’t introduce invasive plants and animals.
- Use natural pest management like ladybugs and nematodes in your yard and garden instead of pesticides and herbicides.
- Keep your pet cats indoors. Nationally, house and feral cats kill an estimated 100 million native songbirds each year and even more rodents, the choice food source of most species of hawks.
- Have your pets spayed or neutered and never leave unwanted pets in rural areas to feed on native wildlife. Reduce the number of homeless pets by adopting animals from shelters.
- Protect endangered species. See the list at www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/endangered/rare.pdf.
For more information, visit
Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Fish & Wildlife: www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/
Indiana Wildlife Conflicts Information Hotline: www.entm.purdue.edu/Wildlife/wild.htm
Purdue University Pesticide Programs: www.btny.purdue.eduPubs/#pesticides
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: www.fws.gov