Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Wondering what that term means exactly? Carbon footprint loosely refers to the amount of greenhouse gases we emit; the more we release, the worse off our environment is. If you hope to make a positive change in both your local and the global community, consider these tips for reducing your carbon footprint this winter.
Change Out Those Lightbulbs
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by switching up the lightbulbs used in your home or workspace. Simply shifting over to compact fluorescent light bulbs could save you up to 75 percent in energy use when compared to incandescent bulbs. On an even brighter note (no pun intended), these bulbs can last you up to 10 times longer. Side note: turn those lights off when you leave the room—you’ll save tons of energy and massive amounts in your energy bill.
Carpool to Work
Instead of sitting in traffic, listening to the radio DJs chatter on about nothing, partake in some morning conversation with a coworker by setting up a carpool. You’ll save money on gas, foster camaraderie in the office, and cut down on gas emissions—it’s a winning trifecta. Don’t have a coworker who lives nearby? Use the help of a Park n Ride if you hop on the freeway to get to work. If not, consider getting a little more exercise in your day by riding your bike to and from work. Your body and our environment will reap the benefits.
Don’t Linger in the Shower
We know, we know—a hot shower in the winter can be oh so pleasing. Unfortunately, this habit can wreak havoc on our ecosystem. Try to stick to warm water, and keep your shower time limited to five minutes or shorter—plenty of time to suds up and wash off. If you want to do more in the efforts to conserve water, consider installing low flow showerheads and try to bathe only every other day with just a quick wipe down. Also try to avoid baths: showers use only about a fifth of the energy required to draw a bath, and if kept short enough, much less water.
Make a Habit of Unplugging
In our increasingly technology-saturated world, we may have dozens of products plugged in at any given time. Make an effort to unplug those that you’re not using. You’d be surprised to learn how much power and energy electronics continue to use even when they’re turned off. A quick sweep through the house before you leave and the use of state of the art power strips can help you cut down on this waste.
Buy a Water bottle
Are you still buying plastic water bottles? It’s time to stop and embrace reusable bottles. There’s no limit to the companies out there offering top of the line water bottles designed to keep your beverages cold and fresh as possible throughout the day. You’ll save tons of money on grocery bills and rest assured that you’re not contributing more plastic waste to our ecosystem.
Plant Some Trees
Love getting your hands dirty and seeing the fruits of your labor immediately? Planting a tree could be just the ticket. Trees consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, improving our air quality. They also provide shade, which could help you cut down on costs in the upcoming spring and summer months. Need more convincing? Planting a tree in your yard can significantly increase your home’s value, which will come in handy should you ever try to resell.
Install Energy Efficient Appliances
There’s no understating the benefits of energy efficient appliances, especially in cooler months. In the winter, it’s understandable to want to crank up that heater, but if you have an old HVAC system, you could be wasting energy and money. While installing energy efficient appliances can be expensive, it’s often worth it. These days, there are government-endorsed PACE financing programs that can help homeowners afford installations like energy efficient heating and cooling systems. These investments can pay off in the long run, keeping your home more comfortable and saving you money for years to come.
Making a difference has never been easier. Make a commitment to practicing these easy habits and do your part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.