With Earth Day upon us, a billion people around the globe are expected to participate in events and activities at a local, national or international level to show they care about the environment. If you’re interested in getting involved with the green movement, here are a few easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home. Changing just a few habits can make a huge difference over your lifetime and ensure a beautiful planet for future generations so you can minimize your impact on the earth everyday, not just a holiday.
Switch to Zone Heating
Heating and cooling accounts for more than half the energy used in a typical home, making it the largest energy expense for most Americans. Save money and minimize your carbon footprint by turning down your central thermostat to implement zone heating, the process of only warming and cooling the rooms you use the most. By investing a couple hundred dollars in a freestanding electric fireplace or infrared heater, you’re concentrating the heat to minimizing wasted energy warming areas you never use like the guest bedroom or attic.
Unplug Your Gadgets
You may be surprised to learn that leaving your phone cord dangling from the wall even when it’s not connected to any devices is draining energy. Plug all your electronics into a power cord that can be shut off when not in use. This simple act can save you up to $100 a year on your energy bill.
Replace Your Light bulbs
Replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED or CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs, which use 75% less energy. It may sound impossible, but one energy efficient bulb can use up to 1,300 pounds less carbon dioxide over its lifetime. If everyone in the US made the switch, we could reduce our electrical output by half.
Not only is it better for you and supports your community, but local foods physically require much less fuel to reach you. While you may crave out of season fruits and veggies, the carbon emissions required to get to you is astronomical. According to the Worldwatch Institute, food travels an average of 1,500 miles between the farm and the supermarket so try to find a sufficient replacement from your own region.