Quick Wins for Climate Friendly Living
At ClimateStore, we welcome you to start making climate friendly choices in your life. If this is your first time looking into reducing your carbon footprint, we recommend these easy - but important - first steps. If you implement them all, we estimate you can reduce your footprint by roughly 10% and you'll save some money too!
"Turn off the lights!" This is practically the anthem of the energy efficiency movement and for good reason! Nearly 11% of home energy use goes towards lighting needs. Turn off your indoor AND outdoor lights when you leave the house for the day or retire for the night - it could slash your lighting footprint in half.
It is also time to start phasing out incandescent light bulbs in favor of, which use about 1/10 as much energy while giving the same warm, bright light as incandescents. Check out our , too!
Nearly 12% of home energy use goes towards heating water, and a full 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 (radio songs run for about 3 minutes.) You could also use a. Try "pausing" for long tasks like lathering up or shaving. If you run your shower for long periods of while waiting for the water to warm up, check out these to limit your water waste.
Computers and electronics use about 9% of the energy in your home, but experts estimate that almost 1/5 of this energy goes to waste. Many of these devices continue to draw power to even when they are turned off or not charging. This electricity use is called "vampire power" or "phantom load" because it often goes unnoticed. One easy way to reduce vampire power is to change the energy management setting on your computer, setting to sleep after 5 or 10 minutes of inactivity rather than having it on all the time. If you don't know how change these settings, this short tutorial for the EnergyStar website can help. You can also unplug devices when you are done with them or use a power strip to cut off your computer or entertainment system after it is powered down. Alternatively, investing in a for key rooms in your home is an easy way to automate these energy saving steps.
Daily driving accounts for about 33% of most car commuter's carbon impact. There are many things you can do to increase your fuel economy without investing in a hybrid vehicle. Keeping your car tires inflated to the recommended pressure can increase your fuel mileage by 10%. Set a schedule or reminder on your phone to check your tire pressure once a month. Idling is a huge waste of fuel. If you idle for just 10 minutes everyday, that adds up to 60 hours of wasted running time every year! Americans idle everywhere, at school, work, gyms, stores, and restaurants. Some people even idle through entire sports games! Set a new "no idling" goal for yourself. Wait inside instead of using drive-through, keep the car off while you wait for passengers, and use remote starters thoughtfully on colder days.
The other half of your home's hot water goes to kitchen needs and laundry. By washing your clothes in only cool and cold water, you can save a lot of energy. Due to chemical advances in the last 15 years, many detergents now work just as well in cold water as in hot water - as do soap nuts! If you already wash most of your laundry in cold water - consider trying air drying your clothes. You can do this indoors on a inside or outside in the warmer months.
Disposable water bottles create tons of waste in the US every year. It takes a lot of energy to truck these bottles around and to recycle them. It's easy to use a reusable water bottle, even if you purchase filtered water barrels for your home. Just fill up and go!
Replace your old thermostats with smart thermostats These devices heat and cool the house according to a schedule, so your house will be reliably comfortable in the morning, then use less energy while you are out, and will be comfortable again when you return home for the evening. If you already have programmable thermostats, you can make cold temperatures feel warmer by installing an airtight wrap over your windows to reduce drafts and heat loss. are less than $12!
Recycling is becoming increasingly available across the US! If you don't yet have a recycling service, check in your municipality to see if it has become available nearby. If you aren't sure what you can recycle in your town, workplace, or while traveling, the mobile iRecycle app can tell you based on your present location.
While emissions from air travel may feel like it's out of your control, one study and a seperate article shows that taking non-stop flights can offer energy savings of 20-50% over connecting flights. This is in part due to eliminating the extra fuel use during landing and take-off, and it part due to the reducing the total mileage with an "as the crow flies" path. If you can't find non-stop flights for your air routes, consider purchasing carbon offsets through your airline or an trusted independent party (like CarbonFund or TerraPass ) They should cost between $5 and $15 dollars for domestic travel.
Share your green mission with friend, family, and neighbours. There is a lot of information out there regarding climate change and people in your community might want help learning about the issue and taking action. Giving one of ouras a gift is a great way to share this information, too. You can even share our "My Plan" and "Learn" pages via email, Facebook, G+, Twitter, and Pinterest.