Its time for Spring Cleaning once again and its also a good time to talk about reducing carbon dioxide emissions in your home. It doesn't take a lot to make a big difference.
In case you are new to the whole "carbon neutral" debate, here is a summary: carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere when we burn fossil fuels such as oil, coal and gas. CO2 is a bi-product every time we generate electricity and start our cars, turn on our computers or run our dishwashers. Here are a few tips to utilize your energy more efficiently at home and reduce your emissions. The great part of doing these simple steps will result in lower energy bills.
(1) Set your thermostat 3 degrees cooler in winter and 3 degrees warmer in the summer.
(2) Clean / Replace filters in your heater and air conditioning unit.
(3) Run your dishwasher when it is fully loaded, between the hours of midnight and 4 am and use the energy-saver setting if there is one.
(4) Power down your electronics, computers, stereos, iPods, etc when not in use. Unplug them from the wall when you're not using them either -- even though they are turned off, they still suck energy in the "off" position.
(5) Buy recycled paper products -- it takes anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent less energy to produce recycled paper products than new materials.
(6) Sign up to switch over to green power (power generated by clean and renewable sources like wind and solar). It might even make economical sense for you to install solar or wind powered resources if you own your property. It may cost a bit more up front, however you can sell back energy you don't use to the utility companies. For some, renewable energy sources can be a money maker and not an expense for the home.
(7) Wrap your hot water heater with an insulated blanket and set the heater's thermostat to no more than 120 degrees.
(8) Replace all incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent instead. Again, a bit more expensive up front, however they last 50-75% longer than regular bulbs which is a savings to you overall.
(9) Support local and sustainable farmers by shopping for produce at local farmers markets. Most communities have many markets throughout the week in different locations. By shopping locally, you are saving on fuel costs and emissions from transporting it to you. In addition, buy organic foods and products. Organic soil has been shown to capture carbon dioxide and store it at higher levels than chemical laden soil.
(10) Say NO to plastic shopping bags. It is believed that plastic bags take more than a century to break down. As they disintegrate, they release poisonous chemicals into the water and soil. Either re-use your paper grocery bags or keep a stash of cloth ones in your car for your next grocery trip.
These are just a few simple ways you can begin to convert your home into a greener, cleaner living space. Comment on the post if you have suggestions to reduce carbon emissions.
If you are looking for organic products visit us at: OrganicLivingForMe.com.