Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Here are some great and easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Many of these methods simply require a small change in lifestyle and basic environmental awareness.

Reducing Household Energy Emissions

  • Clothing - keep the dryer turned off. Air dry your laundry instead.
  • Computer - turn off your computer monitor when not in use. Avoid unnecessary printing of files. When possible, enable double-sided printing.
  • Dishwasher - set your dishwasher to air dry.
  • Filters - be sure to replace your heating and cooling filters when necessary.
  • Gardening - use a push mower instead of a gas lawn mower. Devise a system to capture rainfall which can be later used to water your plants and garden.
  • Lighting - replace your existing lightbulbs with energy efficient compact flourescent lighbulbs. Be sure to swith off a light when not in use.
  • Powerstrips - turn off your power strips when not in use.
  • Recycling - try to recycle as much waste as possible.
  • Showerheads - replace your old showerheads with low-flow. This will help reduce the amount of energy needed to heat water.
  • Water Heaters - When going on vacation or an extended trip, switch your water heater to "vacation" mode. You can also blanket your water heater if it is located in a cold part of the house.
  • Windows - make sure windows are properly sealed and close fully.

Reducing Transportation Emissions

  • Air Filter - be sure to check your air filter monthly, and replace if necessary.
  • Car Choice - choose a vehicle that gets the most mpg. SUV's, Pickups, Hummers, etc. are notoriuos for being the least energy efficient vehicles.
  • Car Maintenance - make sure your car is properly maintained. Fix any mechanical issues that may arise.
  • Driving Speed - try to travel no faster than 45 mph when your not on highways. Avoid harsh acceleration and braking patterns.
  • Fuel - if your car permits, choose the cleanest burning fuel possible. If possible, invest in a hybrid car.
  • Idling - turn your car off when not in use for more than 30 seconds. Try to avoid rush hour at all costs, or take backroads if possible.
  • Public Transportation - utilize whenever possible. Try to carpool, walk, or ride your bike when feasible.
  • Tires - be sure to check your tire pressure frequently. Improper tire pressure can reduce your fuel efficiency by 3 percent and lead to rapid tire wear.
  • Travel Route - map out your route in advance, and take the shortest distance possible.
  • Trunk - remove access materials in your trunk to reduce the weight of your vehicle.

Reducing Emissions from Diet

  • Bottled Water - bottled water requires heavy packaging and can be harmful if reused. Instead, try buying a thick plastic water bottle, the ones athletes use.
  • Buy Local - local foods are often nutritionally better for you and have less distance to travel.
  • Composting - this helps reduce the amount of contribution to landfill and greenhouse gases. You can simply dump your food waste in the backyard and allow for natural decomposing.
  • Garden - start your own garden and grow seasonal vegetables and fruits.
  • Locality - buy from local farmers and farmers market.
  • Meat - try to reduce meat consumption. Diets heavy in meat contribute more indirect emissions than diets heavy is vegetable consumption.
  • Organic - buy organic produce whenever possible.
  • Seasonal - only buy foods that are in season. Otherwise, you are buying products that are produced in industrial farms and/or travel long distances.

Reducing Emissions from Goods and Services

  • Donations - donate your old electronics and goods.
  • Locality - buy local goods and services, so materials have less distance to travel.
  • Packaging - avoid buying products that are over-packaged.