DIY Green Energy For Homes

8 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

All of us use energy to live, in the home, at work and when we travel by car or plane.

The amount we use can be measured as an expression of the carbon dioxide released by the sources of energy we choose to achieve the above without any attempt to offset this.

Can you make reductions?

The answer is yes and by doing so you will make a contribution to the future wellbeing of the planet and your wallet too!

Here are 8 simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint that you can start immediately.

1] Look at the demands of your home for electricity and consider how this can be reduced.

Lighting, especially old style incandescent bulbs can be replaced with longer lasting CFL's that use up to 75% less electricity.

Get the whole family into the habit of turning off lights when they leave a room, or for some little used areas add time switches or dimmers to reduce demand.

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2] Start recycling paper and cardboard, organic waste and glass and plastic in the home.

Food waste in particular can be composted and used to grow herbs and vegetables for your consumption.

There is nothing better than the joy of eating fresh produce that hasn't had to be transported miles to your table and wrapped and sprayed to make sure it looks good in the supermarket.

Most areas have drop off points for sorted plastics, metals and paper products where they can be sent for recycling.

Find out where yours are and take the few seconds a day to separate each category.

3] Check your home's insulation.

Heating is the major cost in a household and to be efficient you need to make sure that it doesn't leak out through the roof, walls and floors. Learning how to get rid of air leaks indoors would also bring substantial energy savings.

Consider double glazing for windows, wall cavity filling, and ceiling and under floor insulation as part of the solution for this.

4] On a similar theme consider the choice of home appliances that are ecofriendly.

From washing machines, to televisions and refrigerators there are approved energy efficient models that use less electricity and will save you money in the long term as well.

Washing machines that use less water and systems that allow you to recycle the rinse water for lawn and garden offer an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.

The reticulation of water to households uses large amounts of electricity for pumping and wastage is a continuing problem for older city systems.

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5] Outside the home the greatest contributor to your carbon footprint is the method of travel you use to commute.

Vehicles that use non renewable and polluting fuels occupied by single passengers are hugely inefficient.

Consider carpooling amongst neighbors or work colleagues or even using public transport.

When traveling by plane many airlines have options that invite you to offset the energy used by buying forestry to give you a carbon credit!

6] If petrol driven vehicles are your only option then make sure they are well tuned and maintained.

Badly tuned engines add greater amounts of co2 into the atmosphere and you should also select your next vehicle with an eye to efficient consumption. While hybrid cars are an option as well, even selecting a smaller car to commute in can make a significant contribution to a smaller carbon footprint and your wallet.

7] Plant a few trees!

The contribution to the environment by replanting cleared areas cannot be underestimated.

As well as adding to the earth's ability to deal with carbon dioxide levels and the mitigation of erosion forces there are visual benefits to be had as well!

8] Look at your work environment and encourage the efficient use of energy there as well.

Recycling, lighting and heating plans for these areas can be part of the work experience that transplants back into other homes. You could learn how to set up a green workplace and start influencing your friends and colleagues to do the same.

Even just looking at one or two of the above will make a difference.

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