Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for up to 77% of polluting greenhouse gas emissions.
With just a small amount of effort, you can help make a lasting impact on the environment and reverse the trends of climate change for future generations by cutting your personal CO2. And you’ll save money at the same time!
How to cut your carbon and save money.
If you can’t switch to a 100% green energy plan for your home, there are lots of ways to reduce your home’s electricity usage to cut CO2, from switching to LED light bulbs to installing energy efficient appliances.
Your heating and air conditioning system is the biggest single factor in your monthly electric bill, and using a smart thermostat can give you instant electricity savings. And did you know that installing proper insulation in your attic can be your best bang for the buck?
Now check out our list of energy-saving tips and start sharing in the effort to safeguard the Earth by reducing your carbon footprint with these simple ideas that will also cut your costs:
Use Renewable Energy to Power Your Home
Over 30% of energy-related CO2 in the U.S. is associated with electricity
First, consider this. If you live in a de-regulated energy state where consumers have the power to choose their energy providers, select a 100% renewable energy plan to immediately zap your home’s fossil footprint
Check GetGreenEnergy.com (launching in 2020) for low cost green plans from major electricity providers. These plans will have lower electricity rates than most polluting fossil-sourced energy plans. Enroll in less than 10 minutes
By converting to a green plan, a small or mid-size home that burns an average of about 1000 kWh of energy per month will annually cut about 1,300 pounds of CO2, equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed annually by 1,800 young trees
If you live in a regulated energy state that provides home solar panel subsidies, government incentives can offset the cost of solar energy equipment
In addition, there are federal home solar subsidies available
Improve Attic Insulation
The Dept. of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can reduce your electricity consumption and give you savings of 10 to 50% off your monthly bill
Although commonly used fiberglass has a lower upfront cost and is easy to apply and replace, this type of insulation can hide air leaks and is less efficient
Green home builders recommend that blown-in cellulose insulation has a better R-Value rating of 3.2-3.9, which gives it much better insulation quality
Use Appliances Certified by Energy Star Program
Purchase Energy Star Products which are certified to be more efficient, reducing your energy consumption between 10 to 50% each year
Energy Star is a program of the U.S. Dept. of Energy
Water heaters are one of the most energy-consuming appliances. When you buy a new water heater, make sure it has an Energy Star rating with an R-Value of at least 24.
This can give you an annual energy savings of at least 16%
Get a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat
will learn your preferences and suggest settings to conserve energy, reducing your home heating and cooling energy use up to 15%
Buy LED Lightbulbs
Although LEDs have a higher upfront cost, the cost is offset by having a much longer lifetime
They will reduce your CO2 and save you money by using 1/3rd to 1/30th of the energy of incandescent light bulbs
Turn Off Lights
Lighting usage accounts for around 11% of your home’s electricity
Installing smart light switches on existing light fixtures can save electricity by turning lights off when you are not using rooms, and have added benefits like dimming or remote usage
Unplug Your Devices
Many electronics will consume electricity when plugged in, even when not in use
Stand-by energy can be lessened by using an advance or smart power strip
By simply unplugging or flicking the “off” button on a power strip you can save on your energy costs and help reduce your individual carbon footprint by 20% or more
Place Exterior Shading Around your House
Carefully positioned trees can reduce a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling by up to 25%
The Dept. of Energy estimates that the proper placement of three trees can save an average household between $100 and $250 in energy costs
Shading of an air conditioner can increase its efficiency by as much as 10%
Improve energy efficiency by using cost effective “Low-e” window film on existing windows and enjoy an energy savings of around 15-20%
Keeping your windows and doors sealed to cut down on drafts gives you an advantage of around 10 to 20% energy reduction and savings
Wash in Cold
You can eliminate 90% of a typical washing machine’s electricity usage by washing with cold water
Get a Low-Flow Showerhead
If every household in the U.S. installed one of these, the country could reduce annual water consumption by 250 billion gallons, conserving the energy required to process and bring clean water to your tap
These shower heads use two gallons per minute or less vs the 2.5-gallons per minute from a standard showerhead
CAUTION: DOUBLE PANE WINDOWS ARE PAINFUL FOR YOUR POCKETBOOK
According to the Energy Star program, the average home can gain up to $465 in energy savings per year by replacing single pane with double pane windows
However, because the cost of replacing windows may run tens of thousands of dollars for many homes, it can often take decades to recoup your investment
ESTIMATED AVERAGE ENERGY CONSERVED AND SAVINGS PER YEAR
|Energy Star Appliances||10-50%|
|Energy Star Water Heater||16%|
|Turn Off Lights||10%|
|Unplug Your Devices||20%|
|Exterior Shading Around Your House||25%|
|Wash in Cold||90%|
Most people already know that lowering your energy usage is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, but many people don’t know exactly which items to focus on in order to get immediate, high-impact results. We hope you’ve found our information helpful in doing just that.
Whether you use advance options like purchasing a smart home system to manage your usage, or low-tech solutions like keeping curtains closed during hot weather, you can take action right now to cut your usage and help safeguard the planet.