Earth Day gift bags decorate the CommuniTREE in the Los Alamos County Municipal Building. Courtesy/LAC
With kraft gift bags full of conservation items, the CommuniTREE in the Los Alamos County Municipal Building has giveaways for all ages right now.
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is sponsoring the CommuniTREE in observance of Earth Day through the end of April. DPU staff decorated the tree sculpture with giveaways aimed at helping community members conserve water and electricity.
DPU has five long-term goals related to environmental sustainability. The giveaways on the CommuniTREE support three of those goals.
Be a carbon neutral electric provider by 2040.
LED lightbulbs reduce carbon emissions because they last much longer and use a fraction of the energy when compared to incandescent bulbs. If you buy one today, it’s likely to work for a decade, while incandescent bulbs may not last longer than a year. Replacing all bulbs in a home will greatly reduce carbon produced in manufacturing, transportation, energy production and disposal processes.
Promote electric efficiency through targeted electric conservation programs.
Incandescent bulbs waste 90% of the incoming energy required to light them as heat. Swapping incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs will lead to savings on utility bills.
Reduce potable water use by 12% per capita per day by 2030 using 2020 data as the baseline.
Reducing water in a dry climate is tough. DPU’s Water Rule W-8 requests that customers water their yards on a schedule determined by address numbers. While following this guidance is a choice, it is one way that we can all work together to reduce water consumption throughout Los Alamos County.
Community members are welcome to stop by the Municipal Building, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays through April 30 to take a conservation goody bag from the CommuniTREE. All bags include LED lightbulbs and Water Rule W-8 magnets. Bags marked for “Everyone” have colorful LED nightlights in them. Bags marked for “Big Folks” have automatic dusk-to-dawn LED nightlights in them and are marked as such because they include bumblebee magnets that may be choking hazards for small children.