The effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions starts at home. Carbon dioxide accounts for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, and electricity makes up the largest portion of CO2 emissions. This means that in order to lower your carbon footprint, you must look to the electricity-hungry appliances in your home with a critical eye.
Not sure where to start? Some of the worst electricity-guzzling culprits are the things you use every day, like a desktop computer and blow drier. Others, you may use weekly, like a clothes dryer–but you may not even need to use one at all if you consider drying your clothing on a rack placed beside your radiators in winter, or a line outside in the warmer months.
You can still save energy–and money–on appliances and devices that are truly necessary by simply unplugging them when not in use. Remember, just because a device is not turned on, does not mean it isn’t using power! Make a habit of unplugging your countertop appliances all at once so you don’t forget.
Finally, when you buy white goods like washing machines, ensure they’ve got a good Energy Star rating. Luckily, manufacturers are starting to make energy-efficient appliances standard. When your appliances are beyond repair, replacing them with Energy Star versions can save you thousands of dollars on your energy bill over several years. In the meantime, there are still some efforts you can make to reduce your usage of your current ones. For example, planning meals in advance can decrease your need to use the oven and stove. Boil several eggs at once rather than that single day’s portion, and be mindful of not preheating the oven too far in advance of your food prep. Only fill the kettle up with as much water as you need, and don’t blow dry soaking wet hair–towel dry it first, and then wait until it’s only a bit damp.
Adopting these measures, both large and small, is enough to reduce the size of your household’s carbon footprint. See more tips in our infographic, below.
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