Each year, millions of people around the world join on Earth Day, April 22, to make a positive impact on our planet. But you don’t have to wait until Earth Day to make an impact.
You can make a difference in your community and the world every day with these ideas.
1. Plant trees
Planting trees is something we feel strongly about at Black Hills Energy. In Story City, Iowa, alone, we have helped plant more than 3,200 trees.
Trees are great for the environment and a perfect way to celebrate Earth Day. They help preserve the soil, they provide oxygen which improves air quality, and they support wildlife. Plus, a strategically planted tree can also save you 20% on your energy costs by providing shade and wind protection to your home. Just remember, call 811 before you dig to identify buried utility lines.
What, you don’t have a tree to plant? No worries. Each year we partner with the Arbor Day Foundation to give away 800 trees to our customers. Check back on Earth Day, April 22, to register for your free tree here.
2. Pick up trash
Picking up trash may not be glamorous, but it’s an awesome way to make your community more beautiful. Removing trash also protects wildlife and prevents unwanted materials from leaching into the soil and water.
It’s easy — gather a group of friends and family members, pull on some gloves and grab a trash bag. Our team in Colorado enjoyed doing just that at a nature area last year, and the team in Blytheville, Arkansas, put in some time to beautify their community with a city trash pickup event.
3. Sustainability at home
There are simple things you and your family can do right at home to make our world more sustainable.
Ditch the plastic bags. Did you know that Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each year, and it takes 1,000 years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill? Plastic bags break down into microplastics, which contaminate oceans, wildlife, and the soil. Instead of using plastic bags, reuse clothe bags.
Compost it. Food waste is a huge contributor to climate change. By collecting and composting food waste, you are not only creating nutrient rich soil, but you’re helping reduce waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.
Skip single-use water bottles — buy a reusable bottle instead.
4. Go paperless with your bills
Get rid of the piles of paper in your house and cut down on needless waste by signing up for paperless bills. Start with your Black Hills Energy statement. To sign up for eBill just log in to your account (or create one if you don’t have one yet) and click on “Enroll in eBill.” You can also sign up here.
5. Buy locally sourced food
By purchasing food grown close to home, you reduce the pollution created when products are shipped or trucked long distances. You’ll also be supporting producers in your community.
6. Save energy at home
Two good things will happen when you take steps to conserve. You’ll be helping the planet and your energy bills will go down. Simple steps such as getting your furnace inspected annually and installing a programable thermostat can go a long way. We’re ready to help you save money and energy all year long.
7. Consider electric vehicles
Electric vehicles emit fewer greenhouse gasses, making them a significant tool in the battle to keep our planet healthy. Our Ready EV program provides cash rebates to cover a significant portion of the cost of electric vehicle charging equipment and installation. Ready EV charger rebates are available to both residential and business customers receiving electric service from Black Hills Energy.
By incorporating some of these ideas into your everyday life, you’ll be making your world a healthier and more sustainable place. Happy Earth Day everyone!
Black Hills Energy Blog
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