With Climate Change becoming more and more apparent each year, it takes all of us to make a difference. However, with the world so large, it sometimes feels like one person’s contributions seem insignificant. Despite this, that one individual can influence several people and those people influence several more people.
Over time, that group of people grows into the size of a community, then city, then county, then state. Sooner than later, real change can be seen with the effort of the collected people and it can all start from a single individual.
With regards to the climate crisis, it takes all of us to make a difference. In this article, here are seven ways to lower your household carbon emissions. Some are quick and easy, while others are large and powerful.
Seven Ways to Lower Your Household Carbon Emissions:
1. Replace light bulbs with LEDs
LEDs (light-emitting diode) use significantly less electricity than incandescent and CFL (compact fluorescent lightbulb). Compared to an incandescent light bulb, LEDs use 75% less energy! While they do cost slightly more than a regular light bulb, over time they can save you a decent amount of money. Plus, LEDs last a lot longer than incandescents and CFLs. Less energy and fewer products means fewer emissions.
2. Shop local
Shopping locally not only benefits the planet but also your neighborly local businesses! By buying local goods you are reducing the amount of product transportation. Items shipped and flown long distances contribute a lot of emissions to cover such great distances. Instead, buying from your local business owners may reduce that carbon footprint. Your local business will also thank you, too!
3. Compost and garden
Got any scrap food waste after cooking? Toss it in an outdoor space for composting and start a homegrown garden! It is not only fun, but healthy for you and the environment! By using food “waste” and growing your own fruits and veggies, you reduce the amount of food miles in your weekly grocery shopping. Food miles are the miles the food has traveled from farm to table. The less food miles, the less carbon emissions from transportation. Lastly, growing your own food is healthy for you and your family!
4. Reduce meat and dairy consumption
And speaking of healthy diets, reducing the amount of meat and dairy can significantly reduce your household carbon emissions. While some consider delectable, meat and dairy use an extreme amount of resources to produce the final product. All of these resources take an abundant amount of energy, which leads to carbon emissions. Plus, the very nature of cattle produces a lot of nitrogen gas, an even more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Instead, switch the protein to fish, beans, tofu, or protein-rich vegetables. For example, according to Our World in Data, the same amount of protein from peas produce 90 times fewer carbon emissions than that of beef. Like gardening, it is not only good for the planet but you too!
5. Install solar PV
Speaking of solar PV, rooftop solar is more popular than ever before. This is because the cost of solar has dropped immensely over the years combined with the federal tax credit. However, starting in 2020 the once 30% tax credit is declining until the tax provision sunsets in 2022. If you are already thinking about going solar, now is the time to do so to claim the tax credits before they are gone. As with the theme of this article, switching to electric/renewable/more efficient devices generates less carbon emissions for your household.
6. Switch to an electric dryer, water heater, or oven
Also known as fuel switching, replacing gas-fired appliances with electric ones can reduce your household carbon emissions. This is especially so when purchasing heat-pump powered electric dryers or water heaters. Heat pump technically is significantly more efficient than regular resistant electric or gas-fired. Plus, the grid is constantly getting greener through the deployment of more and more renewables such as solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy!
7. Switch to an electric car
Lastly, switching to an electric car is a fantastic way to reduce the household’s carbon emissions. You may have been waiting for this one since this is an EV consultant/education site. Nevertheless, switching from an Internal Combustion Engine vehicle (ICEV or gas car) to an electric vehicle (EV) can greatly reducing your contribution to Climate Change. EVs produce less emissions through both operation of the vehicle and throughout the vehicle’s entire lifecycle. Plus, electric cars are so efficient they can also save you money. In fact, a typical EV is rated around 120 MPGe while a regular gas car is rated around 30 MPG.
Have you and your household thought about any of these carbon savings efforts? Ones like switching to LEDs or reducing meat and dairy intake are really easy to start! Others like switching to an electric car or installing solar PV require an investment, yet payback both financially and carbon emissions-wise.
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Hi there! I’m the founder and project manager at Charged Future: the EV charging consultancy. Charged Future helps businesses achieve their EV charging goals. Specifically, I serve as the project manager for your EV charging project, which can save you both time and money! Additionally, I can search and apply to all eligible rebate applications, which can typically cover a large portion of the project cost.