As we burn fossil fuels such as petroleum gas and coal, carbon dioxide and various other gases get released into our environment. Heat is trapped close to the earth because of these emissions which causes what it referred to as the 'greenhouse effect'. The rising temperature of the Earth leads to extreme storms, higher sea levels and other issues that result from a changing climate. By working together to conserve energy, drive less and create less waste, we will be able to reduce the carbon footprint we produce and help fight against global warming. Below are some steps to do this.
Determine the Size of your Carbon Footprint
Your carbon footprint is how much carbon you are responsible for releasing into our atmosphere due to your daily habits. Your carbon footprint becomes bigger as you burn more fossil fuels. For instance, a person who rides their bike to and from work each day will have a smaller footprint that a person who drives. You can use a free carbon footprint calculator to determine your own footprint. Your spending habits, driving habits, diet as well as other factors will be taken into account for calculating your share of carbon that is released into the environment.
Use Less AC and Heat
Caulking or installing weather stripping around windows and doors and adding insulation to your walls can reduce your costs of heating and cooling by over 25 percent since it reduces energy you require to heat or cool your house. While sleeping or gone for the day, turn down the AC or heat. Keep moderate temperatures at all times and install a thermostat that is programmable and set it a couple degrees lower in the wintertime and higher in the summer. This can actually reduce the carbon dioxide contribution each year by 2000 pounds.
[Image Courtesy of William Murphy/Wikimedia Commons]
Around 28 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are due to transportation. You can decrease your own personal impact by driving less, carpooling, biking, walking, using public transportation or buying a vehicle that is more efficient. Driver slower since fuel economy becomes substantially worse when driving above 60 miles per hour. Avoid traveling by air if possible or buy carbon offsets for your flights. Braking and accelerating excessively also reduces efficiency. Don't carry excessive weight in your vehicle trunk, ensure your car is inspected and tuned up regularly and keep your tires inflated.
Plant a Tree
Trees are not only meant to provide paper for you and companies like ThePensters where you can get your business case study written for you. They also help the environment. Dig and plant a tree. Trees give off oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. Just one tree can absorb around a ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime.
Obtain a Report Card through the Utility Company
Most utilities agencies will give you a free home energy audit which can help you identify areas in your home that might not be energy efficient. Additionally, they might even offer you a rebate program that will help with paying for energy-efficient upgrades.