Homeowners today have the ability to reduce their carbon footprint with a combination of simple changes, modern tech, and practical green tips. The US’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deﬁnes a carbon footprint as “The total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, family, building, organization, or company.” For homeowners across the globe, their carbon footprint is affected by things such as energy consumption, water usage, and even how much junk mail the household receives. To reduce a home’s carbon footprint, consider several green tips and tactics.
Reduce Energy Consumption from Heating Units
Home heating is a large contributor to energy consumption and CO2 emissions, especially in colder regions of the US. Eliminating air leaks/drafts throughout a home is a good ﬁrst step for reducing home energy consumption. Energy-efﬁcient improvements like these can help you save money each month, and they can also help you out when it comes time to sell if you do your research. Seal gaps around doors and windows to stop leaks. Increasing wall and attic insulation also keeps heat in to use less energy.
Switch to Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs
Ditch the old incandescent light bulbs and make the switch to CFLs (compact ﬂuorescent lamps) or LEDs (light emitting diodes. Both CFLs and LEDs use up between 25-percent and 80-percent less energy than incandescent lights. In addition, CFLs and LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescents.
Use Less Water
The average American family uses approximately 300 gallons of water daily. The best ways for homeowners to begin use less water in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint are: • Shut the taps when brushing teeth • Take shorter showers and remember showers use less water than ﬁlling the bathtub • Opt for energy-efﬁcient, water-saving appliances • Use the water-saver features/cycles on dishwashers and clothes washers • Switch out old shower heads for energy-saving models • Fix leaks Global Stewards reports that 13.7-percent of all household water is wasted because of leaks. Stopping water leaks not only helps to reduce the home’s carbon footprint, but it also can help prevent the development of mold.
Eliminate Junk Mail
Junk mail not only is annoying, but the energy used to produce each piece contributes to your home’s carbon footprint. The energy used in the junk mail’s production, its delivery, and its disposal averages more greenhouse gas emissions than that produced by almost three million cars. Eliminate or at least reduce the household’s junk mail by removing your name(s) from direct mailing lists.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat and EnergySaving Appliances
Any products that are designed to save energy are ideal for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint. These include but are not limited refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves, and dishwashers. A programmable thermostat is essential, helping to save money each month as well as energy when programmed properly. Actual settings to maximize energy savings will vary by home size and other factors like use of ceiling fans, amount of home insulation, and type and age of HVAC.
Recycle and Reuse
Items such as plastic, glass, cardboard, and multiple varieties of paper can be recycled and then used to create other products in an effort to reduce resource consumption. The best way to do this is to set up easy-to-use recycling bins and then follow your area’s recycling protocols. Reuse what you can, especially items like plastic carrier bags. Take it one step further and bring your own non-plastic bags for shopping. Creating a storage area for these types of items can help you remember to reuse them when the time comes. Every homeowner can begin to reduce their carbon footprint with a few simple steps. Every little bit helps – you’ll feel better at the end of the day, and as an added bonus, you may ﬁnd yourself with some extra savings each month.
CLICK HERE For information on Staying Green While Traveling!