Most emissions from homes are from the fossil fuels burned to generate electricity, heat and cooling. By using energy more efficiently at home, you can reduce your emissions and lower your energy bills by more than 30%. In addition, since agriculture is responsible for about a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, you can reduce your emissions simply by watching what you eat.
Replace a regular incandescent light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb (cfl)
CFLs use 60% less energy than a regular bulb. This simple switch will save about 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. If every family made the switch, we’d reduce carbon dioxide by billions of pounds!
Adjust your temperature down 2°C in winter and up 2°C in summer
Almost half of the energy we use in our homes goes to heating and cooling. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment.
Clean or replace filters on your reverse cycle air conditioner
Cleaning a dirty air filter can save 350 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases
Look for the Energy Star label on new appliances to choose the most efficient models. If each household replaced its existing appliances with the most efficient models available, we’d eliminate approximately 150 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year!
Wrap your water heater in an insulation blanket
You’ll save 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple action.
Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. You can use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year) instead of hot.
Use a clothesline instead of a dryer whenever possible
You can save 700 pounds of carbon dioxide when you air dry your clothes for 6 months out of the year.
Turn off electronic devices you’re not using
Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them
Even when turned off, things like hairdryers, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. In fact, the energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working accounts for 5 percent of total domestic energy consumption and spews 18 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year!
Only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load and use the energy-saving setting
You can save 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
Insulate and weatherise your home
Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save your heating and cooling bill and 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year.
Be sure you’re recycling at home
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide a year by recycling half of the waste your household generates.
Buy recycled paper products
It takes less 70 to 90% less energy to make recycled paper and it prevents the loss of forests worldwide.
Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%. Planet Ark has information on planting trees and can provide information about National Tree Day.
Get a home energy audit
Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
Switch to green power
In many areas, you can switch to energy generated by clean, renewable sources such as wind and solar.
Buy locally grown and produced foods
The average meal travels 1,200 km from the farm to your plate. Buying locally will save fuel and keep money in your community.
Buy fresh foods instead of frozen
Frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce.
Seek out and support local farmers markets
They reduce the amount of energy required to grow and transport the food to you by one fifth.
Buy organic foods as much as possible
Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere!
Avoid heavily packaged products
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.
Eat less meat
Methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.
Almost one third of the carbon dioxide produced comes from our cars, trucks and airplanes. Here are some simple, practical things you can do to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you produce while on the move.
Reduce the number of kilometres you drive by walking, biking, carpooling or taking public transport wherever possible
Avoiding just 10 kms of driving each week would eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year!
Start a carpool with your co-workers or classmates
Sharing a ride with someone just 2 days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds a year.
Keep your car tuned up
Regular maintenance helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces emissions. When just 1% of car owners properly maintain their cars, nearly a billion pounds of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere.