“Green living,” “eco-friendly,” “going green,” “sustainable practices”--these are all buzzterms that we hear all the time in both the personal and business spheres. It’s more important than ever to dedicate ourselves to lowering our carbon footprint. If the hurricane season of 2017 is not proof enough of climate change, NASA has reported that as the ice of Greenland melts, coastlines along the Eastern Seaboard are rising. Along with the regularly suggested tips of monitoring household temperatures, carpooling, recycling, and unplugging your electronics, here are a couple other suggestions to reduce your footprint and help keep our planet functioning for the next generation. Energy sources
In a society highly reliant on cars for commuting and 18-wheeler trucks for transporting goods, it makes sense to utilize as many alternative energy sources as we can. If you drive many many miles a year, this could add up and make a major difference in your ecological footprint.
If it’s time to get a new car, consider looking into an electric car or a hybrid vehicle. Hybrids use both gasoline and electricity. You can fill these cars up at a gas station and also charge them at a charging station. Because of this, they have much higher gas mileage, which will save your wallet as well as the planet. Since hybrids charge up when you press the brake pedal, they’re usually better for people who drive in the city rather than those who commute along an open Interstate highway.
If you drive a diesel vehicle, it’s worth checking out biodiesel. Biodiesel is organic fuel
that is often made from leftover cooking oil from restaurants and businesses. Biodiesel is usually a blend of petroleum diesel and bio-product, and it is also easier on your engines.Updating your house
The US Energy Information Association says that in 2016, the average American household used 10,766 kWh, which is costing us an average of $1,400 just on electricity. There are several techniques that might help cut down this consumption and therefore cut costs.
Making sure you have updated and efficient windows and siding
is an easy and effective way to reduce your home’s energy use. Solid, energy-efficient home construction can help keep your indoor temperature consistent by reducing air leakage, and window treatments can reduce heat loss in the winter and help garner heat in summer.
If you want to get a little more advanced, you might consider installing solar panels on your home. Solar panels save enough energy to roughly offset your car’s footprint. After the initial cost of installation, using solar energy could save you as much as $28,446 over a 20-year period, depending on where you live. Of course, solar panels don’t work for every house; you kind of need to have a good chunk of the house exposed to the sun for a lot of the day. But they’re becoming more and more common, and it isn’t difficult to get a contractor to help you assess your needs and house and install the panels for you.