In simple terms, being more carbon neutral means not contributing to the greenhouse gases in the air. With pollution reaching levels that have never been seen before, negatively affecting the environment, it’s more important than ever to do your part to stop it.
Some of the latest statistics show that the average American’s carbon footprint was 21.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the highest in the world since industrialization, and an increase of 7% between 1989 and 2014. Making changes to become carbon neutral means that you’ll be producing almost no carbon emissions during your daily activities, clearing your carbon debt by purchasing carbon offsets.
These five changes can help you create a carbon neutral home and life.
Change Out the Lightbulbs
Whether you just bought one of the new houses for sale in NJ, or you’ve been living in your home for a while, one of the most important things you can do to reduce your energy use to is replace all the light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. You’ll use 66% less energy and the bulbs will last up to 10 times longer too. Just one bulb can decrease as much as 1,300 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution during its lifetime. Did you know that if this happened in every home in the U.S. we’d reduce the electricity spent on lighting by half?
Be Mindful of Your Thermostat
By keeping the thermostat down in cooler weather and higher in warm weather it can make a significant difference in your carbon footprint. At night, and when you aren’t at home, the thermostat should be set no higher than 55 degrees. Investing in a programmable thermostat, an average cost of less than $100, can help you keep the temperature at an optimal range, saving money and going a long way in becoming more carbon neutral too.
Instead of turning on the air conditioning in the summer, use ceiling fans, shade your east and west window and avoid heat-generating activities like running the clothes dryer or dishwasher until after dark.
Even if you live in an area that isn’t prone to drought, conserving water is a must. You’ll not only save money on your water bill, but it will help prevent pollution in rivers, lakes and watersheds in your area while reducing your carbon footprint too. If you put an aerator on all the faucets in your home, you can cut your yearly consumption by 50 percent. Installing a low-flow toilet can save at least two gallons of water every time you flush. Never let the water run while brushing your teeth, use it only when you need it, and try to limit your showers to just the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off.
Use Those Tech Gadgets As Long As Possible
Far too many feel they “have” to have the latest new tech gadget, even if their current device is working just fine. But that’s a big part of the problem when it comes to your carbon footprint as all those “old” gadgets are simply thrown away – over 48 million tons every year. Even if you recycle them when prematurely upgrading causes harm as 13 percent of electronic waste is reported to be disposed of and recycled properly.
Buy green appliances
Even if you can’t afford to buy all new appliances right now, consider replacing one at a time if they’re more than 10 years old. Buying an energy-efficient model with the “Energy Star” logo uses 10 to 50% less energy and water than standard models.