Tips To Help Reduce Carbon Footprint
The whole point of renewable energy is to save money and have as small an impact on the earth as possible. And one of the most effective ways to do that won’t cost you a dime – in fact, it will save you money.
By cutting waste and using less electricity in the first place, you can reduce your electric bill immediately. This can ease the pressure on your budget and also make it far more realistic to install a solar power system in your home that could replace your grid-based power.
To help you cut down your waste, here are some tips to help reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your bill:
1. Insulation and Windows
– By properly insulating your walls and ceilings, you can reduce your heating costs by 25% or more. This immediately cuts down on how much oil or electricity you use and allows a solar heating system to run far more efficiently. Windows can be equally as wasteful. Consider upgrading to double-glazed windows to minimize heat loss.
– You can also seal up any cracks or holes on the outside of your home to reduce the heat loss you experience in the winter. Simple caulking and stripping can go a long way, and in some regions, cities and local governments are subsidizing the cost of doing so, even offering huge tax credits to encourage action.
3. Light Bulbs – If you’re still using old-style incandescent light bulbs, switch today because they waste a LOT of energy. Upgrade to the far more efficient compact fluorescent (CFL) models to cut down on your energy use by 75% and get as many as five years out of each bulb. The cost has dropped quite a bit recently as well to make it far more affordable when replacing the entire home’s lighting.
4. Thermostats and Refrigerators
– Anything that has a thermostat can be adjusted to use less energy. Your refrigerator is a good start as they use a tremendous amount of power. You can buy a smaller one to start with, storing less food over shorter periods of time. You can also turn up the temperature to as high as 37°F (3°C) and your freezer to 3°F (-16°C) – the most efficient temperatures to maintain food safety.
You water heater thermostat can be turned down as low as 120°F (49°C), plenty hot for showers or washing. Additionally, you can turn your thermostat down in the winter to 68°F (20°C) – plenty warm enough to feel comfortable. The 4-degree difference has a massive impact on energy consumption.
5. Wash with Cold Water
– Most clothing doesn’t need hot water to get clean when adequate detergent is used. Another tip regarding your water use is to avoid using the dishwasher when it’s not full. Additionally, turn off the drying cycle. Instead, you can open the dishwasher to let it air dry.
6. Shower Heads
– Get a low-flow showerhead installed to cut down on how much hot water you pump through it each day. It costs only $25, but the drop off in energy use is tremendous.
7. Air Conditioning
– Avoid turning on air conditioners unless the temperature gets above 85°F (30°C). When you turn on an air conditioner, turn the thermostat up to 76°F (25°C), and if it has an energy-saver mode, turn it on as well. If you plan on using solar energy, air conditioning can be a huge drain on your batteries.
This list has enough simple suggestion to get you started today, but there are dozens of other things you can do to cut down on your energy use. Turn off lights when you leave the room. Unplug electronics that use power even when not in use.
Do things by hand that you don’t need electricity for. Spend more time outside and less time in front of the TV. Buy smaller electronics that use less power. Buy appliances with the Energy Star label.
The more money you can save on your electric bill and the further you can reduce your usage, the more affordable and viable a solar power system will be, and the closer you’ll be to cutting ties with the power grid once and for all.