How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
By now everyone must be aware of the how-to book series written "for dummies", so why not write a simplified article about reducing one's carbon footprint that anybody can read and relate to? After all, it is the simple, little things that we can all do to improve our homes and our lives that will add up to a cleaner and greener planet for our children and grandchildren.
Did you know that the average person in the developed world actually creates about 35,000 - 45,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually? No! Well that isn't surprising because the news media rarely seems to talk about the technical details of energy conservation and the environment because a better story is that "we are all gonna die!" The news media also never talks about just who easily we, yes 'we' you and I the ordinary people can do a lot about the vast amount of CO2 emissions that we produce. Society (again, you and I) are too busy shouting that "someone should do something about the environmental problems, the melting ice caps and the possible death of 70% of all animal life in the centuries to come." And of course we do this from our armchairs while watching TV and sipping a cold beer or chilled white wine when we could just simply get up and start by turning the refrigerator down a little!
All kidding aside, there are so many simple, cost-free ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint that anybody can start doing these immediately! For instance, if you simply turned the refrigerator down to around 37 degrees and the freezer to 3 degrees you would save a of electricity and that would conserve energy. "But why the refrigerator?", you ask? A refrigerator uses a lot of power to keep things cool or frozen, in fact in the average home the refrigerator accounts for 20% of all of the electricity that a household uses. Since almost every home or business has a refrigerator, that few degree change if implemented by everyone could make a huge difference in reducing CO2 emissions and our carbon footprints!
The conservation of energy for the average person or business is not only about switching off a light that is not in use, but also machinery and office equipment, ensuring that they are switched off completely rather than just letting them 'sleep.' A computer that is sleeping uses as more energy to 'sleep' over a year than it does when it is being used and that is costing you money and the environment 'damage.'
Live in a hot sunny climate? Did you know that if you painted your home a light color you will use less energy to cool it and if you add a tree or two to create a bit of shade you will use even less energy to cool your home. If you live in a cooler climate do the opposite and paint your house a dark color and it will stay warmer, keep the trees because they will help keep the wind off the building and of course the same applies to the premises of a business. Planting trees will also help to balance your home or company's emissions of CO2 which come from using electricity. It is a well-known fact that trees and other plants can consume CO2 and then turn it in to oxygen, making the air around us fresher and more healthful.
What are some other simple, basic changes we can make that will conserve energy and reduce our carbon footprint? Speaking of trees and plants, how about when you have finished pruning and trimming your plants, ensure that you save them in a compost heap. The compost can be used to make more healthy plants grow and guess what? You will save money and conserve energy by not buying fertilizer for the garden.
The good news is that just by selectively buying things you can conserve energy. The next time you are in the market for any home appliance or a new car look for the most energy efficient models. And don't stop there, if you are responsible for influencing the buying decisions of your company or business apply the same principles of buying energy conserving machines, cars and of course computers there as well.
Finally, it should be stressed that conserving energy is not always about giving things up, yes it is a good idea to walk or cycle when you can instead of using the car and of course if you commute to work you can do two things to conserve energy at work which are very simple. One major thing you can do to conserve energy if you commute to work is to leave your car behind and to try and use public transportation. In some cases it isn't possible to use public transport due to various reasons, but it will most likely get you to the office faster and that is something to consider. If you can't do your entire journey by public transport then maybe try 'park and ride' or carpooling with other employees at your business. One other solution to reduce your CO2 emissions is That option is working from home and with video conferencing, email and all of the rest of the tricks of the internet It is likely that you will find that working from home can be more efficient, you will feel better and you get to spend more time with your family or TV which ever is your preference.
In Summary? Simply put, energy conservation for dummies is simply thinking about what you are doing, how you do it and maybe just altering a few things in your life. In no time at all you, where you live and where you work will become a better less polluting place and that is good news for all, you help save the planet, cash and of course the pollutants that cause or aggravate diseases such as bronchitis or asthma are taken out of the environment. What more could you want for your family and your friends?