Since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, we have been burning fossil fuels like coal, gas and oil to produce energy for homes and factories. As a result, the Earth is now 1 degree Celsius hotter than it was a century ago. According to the United Nations, we are the last generation that can prevent irreparable damage to our planet, with only 9 years left to do it. The Paris Agreement says that we need to keep global temperature rise to 2˚C, but ideally 1.5˚C, by the end of the century. Luckily, there are a few things we can do in our personal lives to reduce our energy consumption. Here are six ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
1. Go Renewable
One of the best -if not the best- way to reduce your carbon footprint is to simply opt for clean sources of power such as solar or wind energy that produce very little greenhouse gases.
The renewable energy industry has dramatically evolved over the past few years and thanks to the improved technology and reduced costs, many home and business owners are now investing in renewable systems.
The government also encourages people to go renewable by allowing you to receive 22% of your renewable system cost as federal tax credits in addition to many incentives and rebates that will reduce your solar system’s cost even more.
In addition to the numerous environmental benefits, going renewable is, in fact, a very good investment that can save you a lot of money.
On average, a solar system will last for around 25 years and the great part is that it’ll pay for itself within 7 years by reducing your electricity bills and by selling the generated electricity to the grid (net metering).
In other words, investing in a solar system right now won’t only reduce your energy footprint but also will get you around 18 years of free electricity.
2. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
Another great way to reduce your home carbon footprint is to invest in high energy efficiency electronics.
Each home appliance has an energy rating, which indicates how much energy it’ll use in comparison to other products from the same category, size and capacity.
As a general rule, the more energy stars the product has, the less energy it’ll use, and the more money you will save on utility bills.
These energy efficient appliances might be a little more expensive than the other products. However, they are in fact much cheaper in the long run, as they will significantly reduce your electricity usage over time.
For instance, an energy star appliance can save you up to 50% of the energy required, which as a result saves you money.
3. Switch To LED
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), lighting is responsible for 6% of total U.S. energy consumption.
LED lights are 85% more energy efficient, can last 25 times longer, and they are much cheaper than incandescent lamps.
Right now, there are over 2 billion working incandescent lamps in the United States alone and if we replaced these lamps with LED lights, we can save around 30 billion dollars in electricity costs and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases by over 1.4 million tons of CO2/Year.
4. Consume Less Energy
Obviously one of the best ways to reduce your energy footprint is to simply use less energy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you should go totally off grid and live off 2 gs bulbs.
All I’m trying to say is you should consume energy more wisely.
For instance, don’t leave your light on during the night or when you are out, turn off your appliances while you aren’t using them, and invest in a smart power strip.
5. Focus on Efficient Heating
According to the EIA, over 30% of the energy generated yearly is used for cooling and heating purposes.
This means more fuels and gases are used to produce more energy and subsequently more greenhouse gases are produced.
Luckily, there are some solutions we can do to decrease this effect such as:
- Improve your sealings
- Have better insulation
- Use smart thermostat
- Turn down your water heater
- Make sure to close the refrigerator or freezer after using and don’t keep it up for long so you use less energy and also prevent damage
- Use a cold water cycle to wash your clothes. Not many people know that, but many detergents are designed to clean better in cold water. It also helps in decreasing the energy consumption and the amount of water used
6. Do An Energy Audit
Energy audit is by far the best way to find out how and when you are consuming your energy, which devices consume the most and how to use energy wisely.
For those who don’t know, Energy Audit is a comprehensive system that provides data about a certain power system in order to manage this system.
In other words, an Energy audit tracks your usage of the devices and analyses it for you to understand how you are using these devices and which devices are wasting energy.
Of course this plays a vital role in identifying the problems with your system and how to solve these problems in order to save energy and cut costs.
7. Switch to Electric Cars
Even though they might be a little pricy, electric cars are actually cheaper in the long run due to low running costs, as well as tax incentives and government grants that apply to most of them. These zero-emission vehicles offer a smooth riding experience and reduce noise pollution as well! Also, this type of car is the least likely to fire. If you compare gas vs. electric cars fires, you’ll find out that EVs have the fewest fires per 100K vehicle sales.
Climate change is one of the biggest fears we are facing now and we should take a step to decrease it.
This of course won’t happen in one night,however, by applying the tips mentioned in this article, we can help in decreasing our energy carbon footprint and save our planet.
In the end, we really hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did.
If you have any innovative tips to reduce your carbon footprints, please, share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.