15 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon FootprintPosted on Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 6:34 am | See all Polar Activities Entries.
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- Use cold water for laundry, instead of hot. Up to 90 percent of the energy used in washing clothes goes toward heating the water.
- Turn down the heat and air conditioning when you’re not home. Try using a programmable thermostat that does this automatically.
- Choose energy efficient appliances. Look for the EnergyStar logo when purchasing your next appliance.
- Write a letter to elected officials, local and national, saying you’re concerned about climate change and listing what you’d like to see done.
- Buy products in the largest size you can use to avoid excess packaging.
- Bring your own bags to the market, either cloth ones or your old paper and plastic ones. When buying just a few items, skip the bag.
- Buy locally grown and produced foods. These foods use drastically less fuel for shipping.
- Take shorter showers and install a low-flow showerhead to reduce hot water use.
- Ditch the plastic water bottles for reusable containers.
- Check to see if something can be recycled or reused before throwing it away.
- Eat less meat. If, like most Americans, you get close to 30 percent of your calories from meat, dairy and poultry, your diet contributes over 3,274 lbs. of CO2 every year. Vegetarian diets contribute only half that. Replacing red meat with fish, eggs and poultry saves more than 950 lbs. of CO2 a year.
- Switch to compact florescent bulbs, which use up to 75 percent less energy than standard bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
- Give the car a break. Take public transportation. Ride a bike. Walk.
- Use a power strip. Many appliances draw power even when turned off, including toasters and televisions. With a power strip, you can stop the draw by leaving the switch in the “off” position.
- Make sure your house is well insulated. Simply caulking and weather-stripping your home can significantly reduce heating and cooling bills.