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Reduce in the Home

  • Heating
    • Adjust your thermostat by 2 degrees. Cooler in winter, warmer in summer = 2000
    • Replace the filters on your air conditioner and while you’re at it, replace those filters in your car and vacuum too for even more savings = 84 – 252
    • Wrap your water heater in an insulating blanket = 250
    • Lower your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees F. For every 10 degrees you turn the temperature down, you can save 600 pounds of carbon dioxide if you have an electric water heater or 440 pounds for a gas heater = 500
    • Invest in a more efficient water heater= Heating water makes up about 15 percent of a home’s energy use.  A more efficient water heater can use 10-50% less energy
    • Install thermostatic valves on your radiator to control the temperature of a room by changing the flow of hot water to the radiator=176 [2]
  • Electronics
    • Unplug your electronics when not in use. Even when electronics are turned off, items like cell phone chargers, stereos, toasters, and computers keep using energy = 1000
    • Adjust your computer settings so both the computer and monitor go to sleep when inactive for 10 minutes. Even when your display switches to screensaver mode, your computer is still using a great deal of power = 250
    • Replace electronics such as TVs, Blu-ray disc players, DVD players and telephones with ENERGY STAR® models. —According to ENERGY STAR, “If each TV, DVD [player], and soundbar purchased in the U.S. this year were ENERGY STAR certified, we would save more than $250 million and prevent 2.9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions every year, equal to the emissions from nearly 290,000 vehicles.” = Up to you!
    • Turn off your Zoom camera.   According to a study published in the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling, one hour of videoconferencing emits 150-1,000 grams of carbon dioxide, but leaving your camera off can reduce your footprint by 96%. = 631
    • Calculate your CO2 footprint when streaming. Streaming is a simple way to watch TV, but not without emitting carbon along the way.  It is good to be aware about how much CO2 your streaming produces, and you can do that by clicking here = Up to you!
  • Lighting
    • Use LED light bulbs. Lighting accounts for close to 5 percent of the average home’s electric bill. ENERGY STAR qualified LEDs use up to 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs, last up to 10 times longer, cost little up front, and provide a quick return on investment. According to this chart switching from an incandescent to and LED would save 287 CO2 emissions a year = 287
    • Let “Mother Nature” light your home. Sunlight is brighter than a multitude of light bulbs, and it’s free.  Consider installing skylights or Solar Tubes to enjoy a bit more of natural light in your home= Up to you!
    • Turn off all lights not in use to save money and energy= Up to you!
  • Appliances
    • Only run your dishwasher when it is full and use the energy-saving setting if you have one. By eliminating just one load per week, you can save about $40 per year= 100
    • Move your fridge and freezer. The refrigerator or freezer uses more energy if it is located next to hotter equipment or appliances like the cooker or boiler. For example, if the fridge or freezer is located in a hot cellar room where the temperature is about 88 degrees F, energy use is almost double and causes extra CO2 emissions for fridges and for freezers = 320
    • Replace your old refrigerator / freezer (if it is over 15 years old), with a new ENERGY STAR model = 8,600[3] (for lifetime of product)
    • Wash your clothes in cold water or use the warm/cold setting instead of the warm/warm setting. By switching to washing with cold water, you can save on average 90% of the energy you use with every load of laundry  = Up to you!
    • Install a microfiber capturing filter to the discharge line of your washer. Studies show that synthetic fibers are found throughout the Arctic Ocean and are being ingested by wildlife. These fibers come from the wastewater of our washing machines.  By installing a microfiber capturing technology such as the Filtrol, you can remove 89% of microfibers from your wash. = Up to you!
    • Air-dry your clothes instead of using the dryer. Save $75 per year = 700
    • Install a microfiber capturing filter to the discharge line of your washer. = Up to you!
  • Water Use
    • Take a shower instead of a bath. Showers require as little as a third of the water. However, this is true as long as you keep them under five minutes long. So be quick and use a shower timer to keep track of time next time you hop in = Up to you!
    • Reduce the water you use for showers.  Consider purchasing a low flow showerhead.  Even if you don’t want to take shorter showers, avoid the habit of turning the shower on to let it warm up for a few minutes before you get in. Showers use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, and each gallon uses three ounces of carbon dioxide. If you run your shower for two less minutes a day, you can save significant pounds of carbon dioxide a year = 342
    • Cooking. When cooking or making tea, only boil the water you need.  Heating more water wastes energy. In addition, cover pots on the stove to help save energy. Using a pressure cooker is even more efficient, saving 70% of energy used compared to a pot = Up to you!  
    • Install a smart sprinkler system. Smart Sprinkler systems create and adjust watering schedules optimized for your plants/lawns. You can save up to 50% of your outdoor water use with advanced water saving technologies including weather forecasting and historical statistics.  Think of it like a home thermostat, but it reads local weather conditions to determine the most efficient way to water your plants. In fact, the average household can save up to 9,000 gallons of water a year by replacing timer sprinkling systems with EPA partnered WaterSense models = Up to you!  
    • Replace your grass with native drought-tolerant plants.  This can support animal habitats, promote biodiversity, and save water.  Add some more joy to your home by checking out the Audubon Society’s Native Plant Database to learn about the best native plants for birds in your area  = Up to you!  
    • Capture and use stormwater via rain barrels. Stormwater capture via rain barrels is a cost effective and smart way to saturate plants and lawns without taking from the main water supply.  Want to look stylish while harvesting rain water?  Check out this list of rain barrels that look good while getting the job done = Up to you!  
    • Create a rain garden in your own yard.  Guiding rainwater in your own yard by way of a rain garden can help offset flooding in your yard and neighborhood. Check out Gardener’s Supply Company’s detailed guide to creating a rain garden = Up to you!
    • Install faucet aerators. Faucet aerators are small, round devices that you can screw onto the tip of your faucet to create a more consistent, splash-free steam of water. Aerators usually create a mixture of water and air, making the stream smoother. A WaterSense  faucet aerator will limit the water flow to 1.5 GPM (gallons per minute) or less. Installing aerators can save 0.7 gallons per minute = Up to you!
    • Turn Off Water When Brushing Teeth Or Shaving.  This simple practiced concept actually makes a big difference—it saves 10 gallons per person per day! = Up to you!
    • Install High-Efficiency Toilets. Installing high-efficiency toilets can save 19 gallons per person each day.
    • Participate in Fix a Leak Week! March 14 – 20 is the Environmental Protection Agency’s Fix a Leak Week! According to the EPA, “The average family can waste 180 gallons per week, or 9,400 gallons of water annually, from household leaks.”  This would be equivalent to washing more than 300 loads of laundry! The Fix a Leak Week page gives step by step breakdowns in how to detect leaks, how to fix those leaks, and when it is time to consult a professional.
    • Instead of using a hose use a broom to clean outdoor areas. Using a broom to clean outdoor areas can save 8–18 gallons every minute.
    • Find ways to reuse water around your home.  Leave a bucket in the shower to capture water as you wait for it to heat up.  Then reuse that water for your plants. = Up to you! 
    • If washing dishes by hand, plug up the sink or use a wash basin.  It’s also more efficient to have a side of the sink with hot water to wash, and cold water to rinse. = Up to you!
    • When thawing food, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight rather than running it under hot water.  This is important for health issues as well. = Up to you!
    • Skip the garbage disposal.  Add food wastes to your compost pile instead of using the garbage disposal. = Up to you!
    • Install a drip irrigation system. A drip irrigation system is much more efficient than sprinklers.  = Up to you!
    • Add mulch.  A 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch can help slow water evaporation. sprouting. = Up to you!
    • Water plants at the right time of day. Watering in-ground plants in the morning helps to prevent evaporation.  But water container gardens late in the day for healthier plants. = Up to you!
    • Consider porous materials when designing outdoor living areas. Think gravel or pebbles for outdoor landscaping.  Porous surfaces allow water to drain freely, instead of creating storm runoff. = Up to you!
  • Home Improvements
    • Get an home energy audit. Many utilities offer free home energy audits to find where your home is poorly insulated or energy inefficient. You can save up to 30% off your energy bill = 490 – 2,939 lbs
    • Insulate and weatherize your home. Properly insulating your walls and ceilings can save 25% of your home heating bill and 1,120 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Caulking and weather-stripping can save another 1,700 pounds per year = 2,820
    • Update or replace your window. Replacing your windows with ENERGY STAR windows make your home more energy efficient by keeping cold weather out during cold months, and by keeping cool air in during warm months. Save up to $583 per year = 246-6,205
    • Replace your gas yard tools with electric ones = Operating a lawn mower for 1 hour is like driving a 2017 Toyota Camry about 300 miles.  Operating a leaf blower for 1 hour is like driving a 2017 Toyota Camry about 1100 miles.  In fact, the science shows that by the early 2020s smog-forming emissions from SOREs will exceed those of passenger cars in the South Coast Air Basin = Up to you!
    • Plant a few trees. Trees sequester – or store – between five and 400 pounds of carbon dioxide annually depending on their size and growth rate. Properly placed trees shade our homes and office buildings, reducing air conditioning needs up to 20 percent, thereby reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned to produce electricity = Up to you!
    • Install solar on your home.  Installing solar will pay back in the end, so if it is a viable option, go for it!  400,000 pounds of CO2 saved over lifetime of of the product = 16,082 per year [4]
    • Switch to green power. Did you know that as a residential customer you can choose to purchase renewable energy for your household?  If your electricity company doesn’t offer the option directly, you can purchase renewable energy through Renewable Energy Certificates. Green-e is an organization that certifies REC providers and offers a database and links to suppliers who sell certified RECs  = Up to you!