Help Reduce Your Home's Thirst for Energy
Becoming more environmentally astute and reducing our reliance on dwindling fossil fuels is the responsibility of all of us, young and old. In almost every aspect of daily life, our carbon footprint can be reduced to help maintain our limited resources and the best place to start is in the home. Basically, our carbon footprint measure the impact human activity has on the environment as a whole, which is both directly and indirectly measured in emissions of carbon dioxide. This can encompass virtually everything from how much electricity we use, how much gas our cars consume and even what brands of toiletries we buy. Households can, to an extent, take control and reduce consumption of energy, which can also reduce household bills significantly with little extra inconvenience.
Steps To Achieving Sustainability at Home
In many homes, the heating and air conditioning systems use nearly half of the household's total energy consumption. This is a good place that you can begin to save money and become more eco-friendly. The general rule is that for every degree that you raise the temperature that your thermostat is set to, you will save three percent on your energy bill. Another good tip is to keep curtains closed during the hottest part of the day, and open a window to allow a cool breeze in at night. You can also make use of ceiling fans in areas of your house that you don't use all the time, and that can lead to a lower energy bill each month. One way to save an average of two hundred and fifty dollars a year on your electricity bill is to make sure that you unplug electronic devices such as televisions, computers, and cell phone chargers when they are not in use.
Even the light bulbs that you buy for your home can have a big impact on your energy usage. A 13 watt compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb will brighten your home as well as a 60-watt traditional incandescent light bulb. Not only does this make a big difference in your power use, the new style of fluorescent bulb will burn longer as well. Another option is to at least occasionally allow your clothes to hang on a clothesline to dry, rather than always operating the dryer which uses a ton of energy. Choosing a shower over a bath is also a great way to cut back on energy use.
Have Environmentally Friendly Landscaping
Gardening and landscaping choices matter as well. A tree can be a good supply of shade and will reduce the carbon dioxide in the air. Planting trees is not only environmentally friendly, but it can increase value to your home as well. Another way to save money and energy is in your watering system. Use only the sprinklers that are necessary. Consider a manual lawn mower as well. These models are so quiet, that they will add to your whole neighborhood's peacefulness. Planting your own herb and vegetable garden is another great method of going green. Home grown produce is healthier for you and will save you money on that monthly grocery bill as well.
Many newly built homes take sustainable lifestyles to the next level with solar and geothermal powered heating and cooling systems. Yet the average household need not invest much, just a little creativity and a commitment to help reduce each home's carbon footprint. The average American emits over 20 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, which is over six times the global average, and every little step in the right direction matters.
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