10 Carbon-Lowering New Year’s Resolutions
December 31, 2014.
2015 is here - time to make a few resolutions to prevent climate change, save you money, and help promote a healthy lifestyle in the new year.
1. Figure Out Your Carbon Foot Print
First things first – use a carbon calculator to see how much of the earth’s resources you are using in your daily life. The calculator will ask you a few quick questions about electricity use, how you heat and cool your home, how you get around, and recycling habits to estimate how many pounds of CO2 you produce per year. It’s a great way to learn about the climate impact of your daily living.
2. Replace Light Bulbs
You have probably replaced one or two light bulbs in your home, but now it is time to consider doing a full lighting overhaul. Upgrading 15 of the inefficient incandescent light bulbs in your home could save you about $50 every year. Efficient LEDs are great for indoor and outdoor use. Sure, they are a little more expensive in the short term, but they have definite pay-back, great light quality, are fully dimmable and never burn out.
3. Sign Up for a Home Energy Audit
One of the best and easiest ways to make your home more efficient is to schedule an energy audit. An audit will quickly determine where air leaks are, which, when sealed, could save between 5% and 30% of your total home energy use each year!
4. Eat Less Meat
About 8% of U.S. carbon emissions come from the agricultural sector of which beef, poultry and pork production are a largest contributors. You can cut the carbon impact of your food in half by reducing your meat consumption.
5. Stay Up-to-Date on Climate Change News
The best way to prevent climate change is to be an educated consumer and citizen. So grab a climate change-themed book that interests you. This is also a great method of staying inspired and will encourage knowledgeable conversations with family and friends.
6. Avoid Plastic Shopping Bags
You can make a statement in the checkout line by using reusable tote bag. Offsetting the need to make plastic bags reduces your footprint and simplifies life.
7. Grow a Vegetable Garden
In the U.S., growing, shipping, and preparing foods makes up an additional 13% of the nation’s carbon impact. You can save money on groceries and gas by growing some of your own vegetables at home. Start with an herb garden and see where things go!
By composting all food and yard waste instead of sending it to a landfill, you will save up to 500 pounds of CO2 per year. It’s easy to do can reduce your footprint by as much as 2.5%.
9. Use a Reusable Water Bottle
Disposable water bottles create tons of waste in the US every year. It takes a lot of energy to truck filled bottles to stores and to recycle the associated plastic when empty. Reusable bottles are easy, just fill up and go!
10. Take Shorter, Cooler Showers
Nearly 12% of home energy use goes towards heating water, and half of this hot water goes to the shower! Keep your showers under five minutes to cut your shower energy's consumption in half. One fun method is to put on music and try to keep your showers under 2 songs long.
Wishing you all a successful, prosperous and healthy New Year. Check back each week and sign up for our Newsletter for more News and carbon-reducing tips!