Sense Blog

Five Simple Ways to Love the Planet

This Valentine’s Day, as worries about Covid and climate change dominate the headlines, it’s a good time to make your own contribution to helping the planet. So here are five simple things you can do to show your love for the Earth.

1. Be a trailblazer. Social scientists say that ideas are contagious, and we can see it happening in our own lives. Your neighbor invites you over for a friendly evening with wine and cheese by their firepit. Now you want a firepit, too. In the same way, your Earth-friendly decisions can persuade others. If you’ve taken steps to help the planet, whether it’s driving an EV or installing solar panels on your roof, don’t be shy about sharing what’s worked for you. By telling people about your decision and why it matters, you may find that friends and neighbors follow you on the path toward a low-carbon future.

2. Get involved locally. Much of the work to take care of the Earth occurs at the community level, and there are many ways to get involved through local action. As a Sense user, you probably know more about home energy than many neighbors. You can investigate whether your community has access to energy from sustainable low carbon sources and join a community board that’s helping to make green energy options available. Or you can volunteer for a town sustainability committee that educates neighbors about how to save energy, water and other resources. You can find a map of some of these sustainability councils through https://icleiusa.org/network/ or by searching for your community’s sustainability options on Google

In many communities, volunteer groups work together to maintain trails in natural areas nearby. Trail maintenance days can be a great way to take care of nature while getting to know like-minded neighbors. Another way to contribute: ask a local non-profit group that protects the Earth if they need volunteers.

Many businesses give employees a day off to volunteer for the community. If your employer has this benefit, you can take Earth Day off from work and join a local cleanup effort.

Whatever you choose to do, your energy, talents and expertise will be welcomed!

3. Take the next step on your clean energy path. Small, individual changes in behavior can add up to have a big impact on climate. This year, map the next step on your personal climate journey by assessing how you can go further to eliminate carbon emissions in your life. Is this the year you’ll invest in solar panels or upgrade to a more efficient heating and cooling system for your home? Track your progress by checking on your energy savings over time in the Sense app.

4. Stand up and be counted. Getting to a carbon-free future will require substantial, ongoing public investment at a national and local level, which can only happen with broad political support. To demonstrate your commitment to the Earth’s future, make your voice heard at the ballot box, in letters to your elected representatives, and by joining like-minded people at political events.

5. Plant a tree. What could be simpler than planting a tree in your own yard? And yet planting a single oak tree that’s native to your local ecosystem can have a big impact. According to scientist and author Doug Tallamy, oak trees support

more life than any other tree in North America and there are more than 90 species of native oak trees to choose from. Oak trees help fight climate change by capturing more carbon and holding more rainwater than other trees. If you choose an oak or another tree species that’s native to your region, it will sustain a small ecosystem of insects, birds and critters, according to Tallamy’s research.

Let us know how you’re spreading the love this Valentine’s Day! Share your planet-friendly choices with us on Twitter by tagging @Sense.