Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

by April Reinhardt
(last updated June 14, 2013)

If you've ever used an online calculator to assess your carbon footprint, or even if you haven't, you probably realize that there are simple things that you can do in your personal and professional life to reduce that footprint. As kids, most of us were told to turn off the lights when we left a room. Although our parents were worried about saving money on the electric bill, turning off lights when we leave a room today not only saves money, it reduces the amount of energy we consume. Here are a few additional, very simple, things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Conserve heat by repairing drafting doors and windows. Seal or insulate fireplaces if you don't use them. Hang drapes or heavy curtains at windows for added insulation. Add insulation to your attic. Replace old windows with energy-efficient models. Replace your thermostat with a programmable model, and turn that thermostat down.
  • Conserve water by using rainwater to water your lawn and garden. Replace the insulation on your water heater. Repair leaky faucets. Consider replacing your showerheads and toilets with low-flow models to use less water. While brushing your teeth, turn the water off. If you need to boil water while cooking, use a smaller pan and less water. Not only will the water boil faster, it will take less energy to heat it. Take showers instead of baths.
  • Conserve electricity by choosing Energy Star-rated appliances. Use energy-saving light bulbs instead of traditional incandescent bulbs. When you use your clothes washer, dishwasher, and clothes dryer, make sure you have a full load in the machine. Consider allowing your dishes to air dry, as well as your clothes, instead of using your dryer. Turn down the temperature of your thermostat and your water heater thermostat. Use solar-powered lighting outside instead of electric lighting. Remove cell phones from their charges when they are fully charged, and turn off televisions, games, and computers when not in use.

When driving, make sure that your tires are fully inflated, since that small measure may save gas. Try to carpool to work and to outside activities. Use your air conditioner sparingly. Don't let your car warm up too long on frosty mornings. Consider riding your bike to work or to other activities.

All of these measures can help to reduce the carbon footprint that you leave behind. Incorporate these same principles at the office to help reduce energy usage even further. You can reduce, reuse, and recycle at the office as well as at home.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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