8 Smart Ways to Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint
From regular maintenance to making eco-conscious choices and buying services and products from eco-friendly suppliers, here’s how to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
1. Conduct an Energy Audit
It only takes 75 gigajoules of energy a year to have a good life. However, research shows that the average American may be using 284 gigajoules. When you do an energy audit, you can better see where there’s wastage and where you can cut costs.
You can either get a professional to do an audit or do it yourself:
- Check for any air leaks in your floors, electrical outlets, doors, windows and foundation.
- Ensure your bathroom, kitchen and laundry have proper ventilation and no excess moisture or humidity.
- Use the Energy Department’s insulation guide to inspect your insulation and ensure it’s up to standard.
- Check and replace HVAC filters if needed. Plug any leaks with duct tape.
- Insulate ducts and water pipes, especially if they move through unheated spaces.
2. Switch to Low Energy Lights
One of the easiest ways to save energy is to switch your light bulbs. LED bulbs last longer and use less energy than conventional light bulbs. If every household in America would switch to LED bulbs, it would save 348 terawatt hours, which equals the energy produced by 44 large power plants yearly.
3. Use Your Appliances on the Eco-Setting
Ensure your dishwasher and washing machine are always fully loaded before running cycles. Use eco-modes, lower temperatures and low water levels if you can.
You can also cut costs and save energy by ensuring your appliances are clean and working efficiently. For example, you should descale your kettles and dishwashers to prevent the elements from getting clogged.
Check for broken rubber seals on the oven or freezer, which can let hot or cold air escape and use up more electricity.
4. Buy Zero Waste Household Cleaners and Cosmetics
Buy zero-waste products like dishwasher tablets, universal cleaning products, soap and body wash. When zero-waste companies make cleaners or cosmetics, they often use essential oils and plant-based ingredients. Switching to zero-waste products reduces your exposure to harsh chemicals that can harm your skin and respiratory system.
You also improve your indoor air quality by reducing the amount of volatile organic compounds from cleaning chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. You also reduce plastic use since the packaging will be glass or biodegradable material.
5. Eat Local
Buy your fruit and vegetables from your local farmer’s market. Local food travels less to get to you, which can potentially make an impact on reducing fuel and energy consumption.
If you want to put a dent in carbon emissions, switch to the Mediterranean diet. You eat moderate amounts of fish and poultry and mostly vegetables, nuts and grains.
The transition towards a more plant-based diet can potentially reduce 29% of food-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The best part? You can still meet your nutritional requirements and support your health with the diet.
6. Prioritize Home Maintenance
Draught-proof windows and doors to reduce heat loss in your home. Gaps that let cold air in and warm air out make your heating system work harder.
For your windows, look for the metal window strips with brushes attached. Draught-proof your doors by covering keyholes, letterbox flaps and gaps around the edges and bottom of the door. This can drastically reduce your home’s carbon emissions by reducing the energy you use for heating.
Repair your gutters if there are any leaks or cracks to prevent water damage. Replace your gutter if it’s beyond repair. While the lifespan of a gutter is 15-20 years with proper upkeep, if it’s been that long, it’s a good idea to replace the whole system.
A damp house is a cold house, which affects how much energy you need to heat it up.
7. Turn Down The Heat
Turn down your water heater to reduce your carbon footprint. Considering the standard 140-degree Fahrenheit water heater setting can lead to scalds and burns, it’s a good idea to turn down your water heater. The optimal temperature is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, enough for a hot bath or shower. Keeping it at 120 degrees also slows mineral buildup and corrosion in water pipes, which can save costs in the long run.
Once you turn down the water heater’s thermostat, run a test to see if the hot water still comes out at the temperature you desire. You can do this by running the hot water in the tap furthest from the water heater for a few minutes and measuring with a thermometer.
8. Purchase Clean Energy
Recent developments in the energy industry have paved the way for consumers to choose what kind of energy powers their homes. To make the switch, visit the website for your utilities or do some research to see if you can switch to an energy provider that powers homes with wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint With Eco-Conscious Choices
The nature of reducing your carbon footprint is that it benefits you and your family too! You will reduce energy costs, have a well-ventilated and heated home, and protect your health with good food and household products.