Reducing Your Home’s Carbon Footprint: 4 Cash-Conserving Ways to Do It
by SSF | Last Updated Feb. 25th, 2016
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released the first part of its six-year update on the state of climate change across the planet. The report states that there is a 95 percent certainty that the actions of human beings have caused much of the surface temperature rise since the 1950s.
The findings of the study include the fact that the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere is at an unprecedented level — higher than any point within the past 800,000 years. It also reports that sea levels will continue to rise at an even faster speed than they have over the last four decades, and it compared the climate change over the last 60 years to the last several millennia, finding it to be “unprecedented.”
There’s no question that climate change is real. Whether you believe it’s caused by human activity or a natural cycle of the Earth, you can take steps to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and do your part to slow the climate change already set in motion.
Here are 4 ways to do it, and save some cash while you’re at it.
Monitor Energy Usage
Many households have outdated appliances that pull a lot of extra energy. For instance, 26 percent of U.S. households have an extra refrigerator. Often this second appliance is more than 15 years old and pulls an unnessesary amount of energy, adding to carbon emissions and raising energy bills.
Specific gadgets like the Kill-A-Watt monitor individual appliance energy usage, and could prompt you to give that extra fridge to someone who needs it. Also, many residential energy providers have resources for reducing energy consumption.
A recent SMR study of the demographics of energy over-consumption found that household occupied by a single person account for 350 percent more households than they did in 1960. Further, those households use 18.4 percent more energy than households with two people, and 52.8 percent more than those with three or more.
The bottom line? Get a roommate or cohabitate with family to use less energy.
Learn to Compost
Food that is disposed of in traditional landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas. While it’s a naturally occurring gas, it’s 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Keeping food out of landfills will dramatically cut the emission of greenhouse gas we release into our atmosphere.
Composting is a valuable way to naturally return food scraps to the Earth. The many benefits you’ll rep include saving money on garbage collection, reducing water bills when used as soil mulch. You can also use it for potted plants and in gardens to enrich them without using harmful chemical additives. You can compost whether you live in a traditional house or an apartment or condo. Look online for tips on composting food scraps in an apartment setting.
Utilize Natural Air Purifiers
Of course, you know that plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, but a few plant varieties are rockstars in this department. Save the money you were going to spend on air purifiers for your home by dispersing these plants throughout your home for a natural air purifier:
- Spider Plants are great in hanging baskets, because the long, grassy leaves grow so quickly. Place them in the kitchen or near the fireplace to absorb carbon monoxide.
- Boston Ferns work well with any decor and work as natural humidifiers and remove nasty pollutants inside the home.
- English Ivy is a beautiful, easy to grow and also removes harmful chemicals from the air. Just keep it away from pets and children; the leaves are poisonous when eaten.
As you can see, there are many ways to reduce your home’s carbon emission, and keep money in your pocket in the process. They don’t have to be major, life-changing alterations either; often the simplest changes can make the biggest difference.
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