Climate change is probably the most significant environment change we have today and tiny things we do still matter. Families should take necessary steps to reduce carbon footprint at home. Carbon footprint is defined as activities that contribute to the release of greenhouse gasses, a major contributor of climate change.
- Use LED lighting:
An easy way to reduce energy consumption via efficient lighting. It is unlikely that we will see huge difference in our bills after we do this; but Gigawatts can be saved if enough people do this. It means less coal and gas we burn at power plants. Houses should use light-colored flooring and paint to reflect light; so we could turn on fewer lamps. Clean dust on the lamps regularly so they will emit the same amount of light. Some tasks like reading may require only focused light, so we could turn off any background light. Avoid buying incandescent light bulbs, because they are the least efficient compared to LED and fluorescent light.
- Adjust thermostat and heater:
During summer or winter, we should maintain the temperature inside of our house at around 24 degrees Celsius. Any room with air condition and heater should be properly sealed so we could use less energy to cool or heat it. Check for cracks and gaps around floor vents, between windows and under the doors.
- Choose white roof and white paint for the exterior:
White-colored roof and exterior reflect more sunlight and make the interior of the house cooler. Darker colors increase heat transmission, which may encourage us to use air conditioner more often.
- Plant trees around the house:
We could choose plants and trees endemic to our area so they’ll grow better. They also won’t need pesticide and other potentially harmful weed killers. The added shade will make the house cooler during summer days. Consider adding small birdhouses, because wild birds could eat half of their weight in intrusive insects and pests. They could also spread valuable plant seeds and pollinate flowers.
- Don’t treat water as infinite resource:
70 percent of Earth surface is covered with water, but clean water requires energy to process and it isn’t in unlimited supply. We could use water from kitchen shower stalls and kitchen sink to irrigate garden. This simple technique could save nearly 5000 gallons of water annually. This will reduce carbon footprint and cut utility costs. People who spend on average 10 minutes each day on shower could use enough water to fill a swimming pool and add about one ton of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
- Use your appliances wisely:
All our home appliances add to the carbon footprint of a house, though we can reduce their emissions if paid closer attention to how we are using them. Make sure that all the gadgets and appliances are turned off after the use. We can save more energy by using a power strip that lets us plug in multiple devices into single outlet. Once the power switch is off, no more electricity is wasted on appliances that we forgot to turn off. Further we should consider the timely maintenance of appliances like refrigerators that consume most of the energy. We can go step ahead and ask our power company, if they have any Green power program to offer.