Lowering our carbon footprint is needed to be able to slow down the effects of climate change. When people think about this they usually start to think of it as a sacrifice. That it is going to be too hard because of all the conveniences they have gotten used to that they will have to give up.
The reality is that it doesn’t take a dramatic change in habits or lifestyle. We can make simple changes that taken together make a big difference.
And the technology available today makes it even easier to lower our energy consumption to make an even bigger difference while barely feeling the effects. Combine that with some mindfulness and it can be very powerful. The next thing is to make sure that others are also doing the same so the effects will be greater.
In this article, we will go over several of the simple ways that you can make your home more eco friendly and lower your carbon footprint.
One thing that can really make a difference is to use smart devices to curb your consumption of energy. With the Internet of Things, and cloud computing coming into full fruition, it means that we can use devices at home that are very powerful. They can understand how to best use the energy that you actually need without you needing to understand programming.
It is amazing just how much these devices can do. Many people are familiar with things like smart door locks and ring cameras but it goes way beyond that. You can hire a plumber like Monkey Wrench Plumbing to install smart devices that help you conserve water and even toilet paper. For instance, there are smart toilets out there that understand how much water to use per flush based on how long you have been sitting on the toilet. Not only that but these are toilet bidet combos so you can clean up without using toilet paper which is great for the environment.
Then there are smart thermostats that will determine the ideal temperature for your home based on your habits. With sensors in each room, they can identify the peak times that you use certain rooms and keep those ones to your preferred temperature automatically. This prevents you from using energy to heat rooms that you rarely use. And when it comes to air conditioning, you don’t need to keep it running all day. Connecting the system to your smartphone will have it turn on automatically once your phone gets within a certain range of the house. So you can come home to a nice cool house without it running constantly.
Upgrade your appliances
Those smart devices work better when you have new, efficient appliances. And the newest generation of appliances are far more energy efficient even if you don’t connect them to your smart devices.
Don’t wait for your water heater to go bad before replacing it. Instead, go for a new model that will drop your energy usage and will save you money in the long run.
And a dishwasher or washing machine that uses less water will end up paying for themselves over time. The beautiful thing about replacing them now is also that in some areas you will get a tax credit for upgrading to energy efficient appliances.
Go low flow
Replacing your water fixtures will also have a huge impact. Your shower head likely is using far more water than is necessary. When you get a low flow head, you can drop your usage to less than 1.5 gallons per minute. And if you also take shorter showers, then this adds up to a significant water savings over time.
These new fixtures use less water but often are made so that you don’t suffer a drop in water pressure. You’ll never even notice the difference that there is less water being used.
Go old school
A long time ago people were more green than they are now. They didn’t have much choice. Now you do but you should choose to do things the old ways sometimes.
Hanging laundry out to dry is a good example. People didn’t have dryers running all day back then. They let the sun and wind take care of it. It costs nothing to hang laundry out to dry. It can be done in the winter or when it rains too by having an area in the house dedicated to this when the weather isn’t ideal.
You should also downsize. Houses these days are much bigger than in years past. It is mostly because of all the stuff we have now. So if you curb your spending on unnecessary items, you save money in many ways. First by spending less in general and also because you don’t need as big a house. Which costs less to buy and also less money to heat and cool.
Lastly, people used to grow a lot of their own food. A yard wasn’t a perfectly manicured lawn, but an area that would help feed a family. When you do this, it reduces the impact on the environment since that means less trips to the store and also less produce that needs to travel to get to you. The supply chain for food is very intense from the resources needed to farm industrially and also then to get the produce to market.
By reducing the amount of industrialized food consumed, you can make a big impact. And if you plant fruit trees, not only are you getting free fruit, but also cleaning the air around your home and adding more oxygen to the environment.
All of these things are simple and effective. Aside from growing your own vegetables, it takes almost no effort and you won’t notice any difference in your lifestyle. Besides, growing your own produce is good exercise so rather than go to the gym, you can work in your garden!