Ten Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

The media is full of news stories about air quality, emissions and carbon footprints. Nations pass legislation requiring businesses to clean up their act, but it’s just not enough.

Individuals must come together and do their part.

But how? People are not going to abandon millions of automobiles overnight, tear out their fireplaces or give up their lifestyle.

Here are ten ways to reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy your current lifestyle comfortably.

  1. Switch to an electric lawnmower. The advantages are many- no gas, spark plugs or filters to try to find, no more pulling on a starter cord until you’re blue in the face, and no more hauling gas. They charge quickly and are very quiet. Many models are available for your particular lawn.

  1. Drive less. If you live less than a couple of miles from the store, walk or ride a bicycle. Have children? Depending on the neighborhood, backpacks and panniers allow them to pick up groceries and get exercise at the same time.

  2. Barbeque with propane instead of charcoal. Okay, I know I just stepped on a hornet’s nest. But propane is a cleaner fuel with no smoke, and you can flavor the meat with any number of “smoky” sauces on the market.

  1. Choose Energy Star when replacing appliances. Energy star appliances use far less electricity, which means fewer emissions from power plants.

  2. Switch to fluorescent or LED (light emitting diode) lights instead of incandescent. The old incandescent bulbs use far more electricity than the new, efficient CFL or LED lights. They save the cost of replacement over their lifetimes.

  3. Use renewable energy in your home. Wind and solar are two power sources gaining popularity in homes. With grants and incentives, installing them can be affordable, even free. And you get to sell excess energy to the power company.

  1. Reduce, re-use and recycle. It’s not just a slogan; it’s been done for centuries. Wooden ships became homes, which became fences, wagons or firewood. Today, reducing packaging, reusing objects in a new way or recycling soda bottles into fencing makes sense.

  2. When replacing the family car, choose fuel economy over style. Hybrids, electric, alternative fuels and more for vehicles are providing consumers with eco-friendly choices. The day of the gas-guzzler is over.

  1. Maintain your air conditioner, heating system and water heater for maximum power efficiency. These three methods use most of the power in the home, so it makes sense to keep them at their best.

  2. Turn things off. When leaving a room, turn off the light, computer, tv, etc. Turn off power strips at night, unplug chargers when not in use. Switch to battery alarm clocks. Every little bit helps, and you’ll be surprised at the results in just one month.

Everyone can incorporate these ten steps into their daily routines. Steps that save you money also help save the planet.

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