It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with the devastating effects of climate change, but there are important steps you can take to help the cause by reducing your carbon footprint. Your personal carbon footprint is the sum total of the greenhouse gases that result from your activities, including traveling, heating your home, and buying food. Not sure how your lifestyle measures up? Start by calculating your carbon footprint using the EPA’s convenient carbon footprint calculator. By making small changes to your everyday behaviors, you can do your part to cut back emissions and reduce the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Here are 10 easy ways you can lessen your carbon footprint.
10. Cut Electricity Consumption
Power plants have huge carbon emissions. In fact, they account for 35 percent of emission in the United States. Reduce your impact by investing in energy-efficient appliances and by unplugging devices when they’re not in use. If you have trouble remembering to unplug, invest in smart outlets that automatically cut the flow of electricity at a set time. Some models even allow you to control lights and appliances from your smart phone.
9. Use LED Lights
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, lighting accounts for 10 percent of residential energy usage. The next time a light bulb burns out, make sure you are replacing it with an energy-efficient LED bulb, which can last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
8. Automate Heating and Air Conditioning
Heating and air conditioning can be huge energy draws, particularly if you live in a climate with extreme temperature swings. Reduce your energy use with smart thermostats. Program the thermostat to use less heat while you’re at work and when you’re sleeping, and you’ll save money while cutting emissions. With the smart controls, you can set the system to warm the house just before you get home or wake up.
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