A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide that is released in to the atmosphere by a person or household. Emitting too much carbon dioxide is thought to be extremely harmful to the atmosphere and is contributing to climate change. There are small things that can be done in a home to use energy more efficiently and there are bigger ways of reducing your energy usage by installing renewable sources that do not damage the environment.
Easy Tips for Saving Energy
The most important way to save energy and money at home is to make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed. The better insulated your home is, the more you can conserve energy.
When buying new appliances, always check the energy efficiency. Products with an energy star will greatly reduce the amount of energy used. When not in use, unplug appliances rather than leaving them on standby mode which will still use power. Maintain appliances as much as possible so they are working efficiently and using as little energy as possible. Regularly maintain your heating and cooling systems especially as they can use large amounts of energy so emit masses of carbon dioxide.
Always turn off lights in room that are not being used, and use energy efficient or LED bulbs.
Install a programmable thermostat on your heating or cooling system so you can set the system to come on or turn off only when needed. Turning down your heating just one or two degrees can save a significant amount of energy.
Rather than always using hot water, try to use cold water for certain tasks such as laundry and dish washing. This will save a lot of energy as heating water takes up a lot of power.
Recycle as much as possible with any materials that can be recycled. Recycling uses less energy and saves the need for cutting down trees for more paper, drilling for more oil for plastic etc.
Open up your curtains during the day to let the sun in to warm the space. Once the sun has set, close the curtains to contain the heat inside.
Bigger Ideas with Renewable Energy
To utterly improve your carbon footprint at home, think about installing renewable energy sources such as solar thermal heating, solar electricity or bio energy. Although it requires a larger expense in the beginning, solar panels can save a lot of money and greatly reduce your carbon emissions. Once installed the energy produced is renewable, free and not harmful to the environment. If panels are installed that produce more than your demanded electricity, the rest can even be sold back to the electricity company, so as well as saving money a profit can also be made. Solar thermal heating is a small, easy to install system that is integrated with your heating system to provide hot water using solar heat. With all solar systems, when the radiation is low, your conventional energy system will be used as a backup so everything in your home is still working at capacity.