Most of us in the modern world are concerned about our carbon foot prints and a majority of us would like to live a cleaner, greener life. However, taking the green turn is not so easy and most of us end up taking difficult to maintain pledges like living without plastic or going vegetarian. But living green does not have to be such a pain and a cleaner lifestyle can be achieved by taking a few small steps.
1. Unplug your electronics when not needed
One of the lesser known facts about consumer electronics is that they consume electricity even when they are switched off but are plugged into an electrical outlet. As long as an appliance, charger or electronic device is plugged into a socket, it will continue to draw power from the grid. The phenomenon is known as “phantom power” and often accounts for as much as 10 percent of a household’s electricity usage. To save up on your electricity bill and reduce your carbon footprint, you simply have to unplug your appliances, chargers and electronics when they are not in use.
2. Upgrade you home’s insulation
Maintaining an acceptable temperature inside the home accounts for a major chunk of household electricity consumption. However, the load on your home’s air conditioning system can slashed by simply upgrading your home’s insulation system. Putting in triple glazed windows, doubling the insulation under your walls and sealing up the insulation in your ceilings would prevent the air inside the home from being affected by the temperature of the air outside.
3. Buy locally produced groceries and products
When buying groceries, most people don’t pay attention to details like whether a food is grown locally or if it has been shipped from overseas. Food grown locally has a lesser carbon footprint attached to it in terms of emissions outputted during transportation. Similarly products manufactured in other countries or continents also carry a huge carbon footprint. By choosing locally grown foods and buying locally manufactured products, you can slash your carbon footprint while contributing to the local economy.
4. Invest in higher Energy Star appliances and energy efficient lighting
Appliances with higher Energy Star ratings require far less energy to work than appliance with lower or no ratings. Since using appliances has become an indispensable part of our lives, it is best to use appliance with higher energy efficiency ratings. Similarly, the use of energy efficient lighting can also help you cut down on your overall power consumption and carbon emissions.
5. Buy renewable electricity
If you’re looking to make a more drastic slash in your carbon footprint, the best thing you can do is to switch to an electricity company that produces energy from renewable sources. Most of these companies offer electricity at competitive prices which makes it a good value-for-money deal also.
6. Carry reusable water bottles, beverage containers and lunch boxes
If you’re looking to reduce the amount of plastic and paper waste you produce during the course of your daily routine, the simplest thing to do is to carry reusable water bottles, lunch boxes and beverage containers. Instead of buying bottled water, you can buy a water filter and carry your water with you. Similarly, instead of buying lunch that come with a lot of packaging, you can prepare you lunch at home and carry it with you in an insulated or microwavable reusable lunchbox. Carrying a thermos of coffee or tea also helps you reduce the number of plastic beverage containers that you go through in a day.
7. Keep your car engine clean
Even if you can’t invest in a new hybrid/electric car and it’s not feasible for you to ride a bike everywhere, you can make a difference to your carbon emissions by simply keeping your car in good shape. Have it serviced as often as needed and turn off your engine whenever the vehicle has to remain idle for more than 20 seconds.
By following a few simple rules, you can make a significant difference to your personal carbon footprint and make a contribution to making the world a greener place.