Climate change is a big problem facing the world and our environment. With too many greenhouse gases caused by carbon dioxide emissions, we are damaging the ozone layer of the Earth. It won’t be long before the effects of too much carbon take a major toll and the Earth becomes inhabitable.
If you want to go green but don’t know how you can reduce your carbon footprint at home, read on. This article will talk about cost-effective and easy ways to be more environmentally friendly.
Change Your Purchasing Habits
The food that you eat and the clothes that you wear can have a profound effect on the environment. Diets that are high in animal products mean that there are more greenhouse gas emissions from rearing those animals. Cows are notorious for releasing tons of methane gas into the atmosphere each year. The more meat you eat, the more cows there are.
Clothing material doesn’t decompose very easily. It also releases methane gases. When unwanted clothes gather in landfill, it can increase methane gas release. The average American home throws away almost 100 tons of clothes every year, of which 80% goes to waste. Don’t buy clothes on a whim, and try to use them until they are too torn to be useful anymore.
Install a Heat Pump Water Heater
Heat pump water heaters are great alternatives to gas and electric heaters. There are no carbon dioxide emissions and no special chemicals and substances used to create new energy for heat. The technology works by taking air that is already available outside and placing it into a water tank. The air is pumped back and forth to create and release heat.
There are plenty of cost-effective units that you can install with ease. Be sure to check out heat pump water heater reviews before you buy, as one unit may be better than another for your specific needs. For more information, Carbon Switch provides the latest reports on climate change as well as updated statistics on carbon dioxide emissions. These guides that will teach you how to become more energy-efficient and live sustainably.
Reduce Water Usage
A person needs water every day. Apart from needing to drink enough to stay alive, we use water to wash our clothes and clean the house. The issue is that it takes a lot of energy and resources to produce clean usable water for reservoirs. Dirty water requires a lot of heat to boil bacteria and unsafe substances out, which increases everyone’s carbon footprint.
The only real way to reduce your water consumption safely is to use less of it in your daily routine. Instead of using running water to rinse your mouth after brushing your teeth, keep a glass of water nearby. Only take just enough to rinse your mouth. When you take a bath, use the waste water for the garden.
Practice Basic Energy Consumption
Take a look around and see how many lights you have on. How much plastic have you thrown into the garbage just this week alone? Simple everyday things that we don’t normally think about can have the biggest impact on our carbon footprint. Switch off appliances that aren’t being used. Even the microwave that isn’t running is still using energy to stay on.
Reuse plastic bottles and containers you buy your food in. Better yet, don’t buy your food in plastic. If you cannot stay away from plastic such as cleaning agents, use them to plant your next tomato seedlings. Those plastic bottles can be used to store other household items that you would normally buy new packs of, such as rice and pasta.
Reduce Paper Consumption
The best way to achieve this is to go digital as far as possible. Cancel the subscription to have your newspaper delivered, and read the news online. Each time a tree is cut down it releases carbon dioxide into the air. This is far less compared to the chemical emissions from the process it takes to turn that tree into paper.
Manufacturing processes alone account for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting down the amount of paper that needs to be produced saves the air but also the forests. It can take years for trees to grow big enough to produce paper and there is only so much land available that can be forested.
Turn the Temperature Down
Turn the heat down on everything including your geyser. The standard geyser will heat up to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. By reducing it to just 120 degrees, one person can save more than 500 pounds on their carbon dioxide emission per year. For small households that don’t require a lot of hot water to bathe or shower, switch the water heater off for a few hours every day. For bigger families, keeping the heat on all day but at a lower temperature saves more energy than switching it on and off. This is because it takes more energy to heat something up than to maintain its temperature.
The thermostat is the next biggest cause of energy consumption. Just a few degrees lower means you can save tons of money on your electricity bill. This eases the pressure on the substation, subsequently producing less greenhouse gas emissions.
Become Socially Aware
Being energy efficient is easy and doesn’t require a lot of money or time. The most important thing is to be consistent over long periods. Small incremental change has a better impact than no change at all. You may even motivate the people around you to lower their carbon footprint. Try to be more actively involved in eco-friendly ways of living.
By being an activist for something, you will start to see where the shortfalls are and where you can decrease your carbon footprint. By becoming socially aware you can inform the public.
With enough pushback from everyone, manufacturers would have to find better ways of producing things like plastic. If people practiced basic carbon footprint reducing habits like these, there would be fewer people buying unrecyclable material that goes to waste.
- Formerly a senior accountant with a business degree, Linda now manages to generate story ideas; planning, assigning, and editing content for our website.