April 22 is Earth Day! Every year, Earth Day marks the birthday of the modern environmental movement in 1970.
Here are some things to know about climate change, from NASA (U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration):
- “Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, ice on rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, plant and animal ranges have shifted, and trees are flowering sooner. Effects that scientists had predicted in the past would result from global climate change are now occurring: loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and longer, more intense heat waves.”
- “Global climate is projected to continue to change over this century and beyond. The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gases emitted globally, and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to those emissions.”
“At Sunrise, we are committed to caring for the environment,” says Jim Clark, vice president of Facilities. “In every community, we take steps that help keep our carbon footprint low and protect our planet while we bring meaningful days to residents.” For example:
- Over the past two years, Sunrise has installed LED lighting (which is more environmentally friendly than incandescent or fluorescent lighting) in more than 100 communities.
- Many communities have satellite-controlled irrigation systems, which only water the lawn when needed.
- Communities use low-flow devices on all sinks to reduce unnecessary water flow, as well as high-efficiency appliances and equipment.
- Dozens of communities have held the ENERGY STAR certification from the Environmental Protection Agency, which signifies that the buildings use an average of 35 percent less energy and release 35 percent less carbon dioxide than typical communities.
- Two recently opened communities, Sunrise of Huntington, NY, and Sunrise of Old Town, VA, have earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Do you want to make a difference in your personal life? Here are a few of the steps that the National Resources Defense Council recommends to help fight global warming:
- Power your home with renewable energy.
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
- Reduce water waste.
- Waste less food, and eat less meat.
- Buy better lightbulbs.
- Unplug or power off devices when you’re not using them.
- Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, and keep your car well-maintained.