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Reducing your Carbon Footprint

July 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm

How to Easily Reduce Your Carbon Footprint from Home

Many of us are concerned about the environment and conserving energy, but feel helpless in doing so. We can’t all afford hybrid vehicles or expensive solar equipment, nor do we have the time and energy to create a greenhouse and grow our own food. Because of these issues, it’s difficult to recognize effective methods of reducing our carbon footprints; however, in actuality, there are many small things we can do that collectively cause a large beneficial impact on our environment. The following are some tips and tricks about how to make a big difference on the world, just by switching up a few things we do in our home.

• Stop Buying Bottled Water

Bottled water creates a horrendous carbon footprint. If you’re worried about consuming unsafe water, invest in a water purifier, whether it be attached to your sink tap or in the form of a pitcher. By discontinuing your use of bottled water, you will conserve materials used to store water and energy used to ship it. More statistics can be found here.

• Unplug and Save

This is a very easy and simple step that not only saves energy, but also saves you some money on your electricity bill. When not using an appliance or charger, unplug it. Make sure your computer is turned off, or at least in hibernate mode, when you are not using it. Computers can use a lot of energy when left on so be sure to change the necessary settings if you have not already. Little do many people know, leaving electronics and other appliances plugged in uses electricity, even when not turned on or fully charged. Some people can get their electricity bill down between 10 and 20 dollars by using this trick.

• Get Everything Done at Once

When running errands, try to get everything done in one trip. This will drastically decrease the time you spend driving around. Constantly going on small trips with your car throughout the day can add up quickly and create a large carbon footprint. Not to mention, you’ll save a lot more time being able to relax at home.

• Use Reusable Things

Invest in some reusable bags. Not only are the bags safe for the environment, but they’re also big. This will stop you from using many plastic bags when shopping. Save all re-sealable and plastic containers that originally stored food you bought. This will save you time and money from buying tupperware, and conserve materials and energy used to create, market, and ship those products.

• Use Less Hot Water

When washing dishes or doing the laundry, try to use cold water as much as possible. Heating up water uses a lot of energy; if you use fuel, you have probably realized this already. Also consider washing everything in one load. It’s safe to use bleach on colored items if diluted in water and detergent first. Using this trick will also save you a few bucks on your electricity bill.

• Recycle

Return all the bottles you use. This is a wonderful recycling tip that also puts money in your pocket! Other easy recycling methods include taking your old clothes and items to a thrift store, and having a yard sale instead of throwing things away. Also, consider taking some sewing classes. You can learn how to deconstruct old clothes in order to make new garments. More statistics can be found here.

• Insulate Your Home

During colder times during the year, it’s important to conserve as much energy as possible. You can do this by repairing your windows in order to keep air out of the house. If you visit any kind of hardware store, you can find easy-to-use insulation kits for your windows and doors. Also, sectioning off windows with plastic tarp is a great technique to keep cold air out. These tips will reduce your carbon footprint and keep you nice and toasty.

• Go Local and Organic

Many don’t realize that imported edible goods cause a massive negative carbon footprint, due to the large amount of travel they take to get here. Also, food that isn’t organic has a bad effect on the environment due to pesticides and other harmful chemicals used. By buying local and organic food, you’re not only helping the environment, but you’re also helping your local economy, and your body’s health.

• Say No to Frozen Food and Cook Fresh

Frozen food that’s either microwaved or cooked in the oven uses tons of energy to freeze, ship, and display in stores. You can drastically decrease used energy by discontinuing yourself from buying frozen goods, or at least lowering your use of them. By getting rid of your microwave and simply buying fresh food, you’ll find yourself saving energy and money.

• Use Energy Efficient Lights and Turn Them Off

Energy efficient lights are easy to find and they’re just as affordable as regular light bulbs. Not only do they help save energy, but they’ll save you money on your electricity bill as well. Also, when not using lights, turn them off. This seems like a small step, but your light usage can add up very quickly in a short amount of time.

About the Author: David Malmborg works with Dell, and enjoys writing about technology. In his spare time he enjoys reading, the outdoors, and spending time with his family.

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