The 2016 Great NEWS posts enjoy sharing Healthy Habits to promote happiness, health and harmony. Today’s post is about how conscious choices can cut our carbon footprint. This information may provide valuable insights for those eager to be more eco friendly and green as they design, build and live life caring about the earth, ecology and environment. My goal for today’s post is to share some simple steps anyone can implement to reduce our carbon footprint.
More ways to we can cut our carbon footprint.
Store frozen foods in a chest freezer rather than an upright freezer. Upright freezers loose most of the cold air every time you open the door. Then it must work hard to bring the temperature back down. Door ice and water dispensers help keep the doors closed more.
Compost your left over produce rather than grind it up in the garbage disposal. This will save electricity and prevent excess organic material from winding up in the waste water treatment system. Your compost pile will produce valuable fertilizer for your organic garden. Worms will love it and this also helps keep your yard healthier.
Plant your own food trees and organic garden. This can save a lot of money and time shopping for expensive items like: cucumbers, flowers, fruits, herbs, sprouts, squash, tomatoes and other things you are buying from the market. Children can learn a lot about the circle of life by being involved in maintaining the organic garden and food trees. Some kids even make extra money selling the surplus produce which is a great lesson to learn early in life.
Design Build Live Eco Friendly
Educate yourself and investigate different eco friendly home building methods. Then decide to Design, Build, Live a sustainable lifestyle. Build or buy a Compressed Stabilized Earth Block (CSEB) houses or another eco friendly version rather than conventional bricks and sticks or prefabricated homes. Be sure they use energy efficient systems and passive strategies to the fullest extent possible.
Air dry or solar dry your clothes before or instead of electric dryers. This can allow the moisture to naturally evaporate which will save a lot of electricity and help your clothes last longer.
Maximize your use of natural cleaning compounds and minimize your use of harmful synthetic chemicals and compounds. Synthetic chemicals are bad for the environment and bad for you.
Big RVs and jumbo trailers are dinosaurs from the old school thinking about cheap gas and are very expensive and inefficient. Most are gas guzzlers that cost more to own and operate in the long term. Why not consider a pop up style camper or small “Casita” on wheels. Pulling a small trailer allows you the flexibility to have your own bed on wheels while allowing you to disconnect from the trailer and drive your vehicle around more efficiently.
Avoid appliances and devices that use single use batteries that are then throw away. This is very destructive and wasteful. Look for devices that use rechargeable batteries instead. Cameras, flashlights, MP3 players and toys all come with rechargeable options. You can also buy rechargeable battery kits.
Consider an electric or hybrid car instead of a traditional fossil fuel burner. As more people embrace this technology we will see prices drop and major energy savings potential.
Efficient Small Engines Save Big Bucks
If you must purchase a combustion engine vehicle at least chose one with a a more fuel efficient and smaller engine. Choose a four cylinder over the six cylinder and a six cylinder over the eight cylinder. Small difference do add up to large savings over time.
Use a crock pot to cook food in and an electric tea kettle to heat water. Both of these will save energy and time over using a conventional stove. Avoid microwaves which change the molecular structure of food and water rendering them less healthy.
Use a small ceramic heater in the bathroom in the cold months rather than trying to heat the whole house with central heat. In the summer time you can cool a bedroom with a ceiling fan and cool green plants like an ivy, closet plant or spider plant. A zen water fountain can also help cool the room and help you sleep better.
Plant a variety of bushes, flowers, fruits, root crops, trees and vines in your yard or on your property. Flowers are good for bees, birds and butterflies. This is one of the best ways to help support the environment. Plants provide oxygen, shade and shelter at the same time they absorb CO2 and hold water. This is good for all living creatures and the planet.
Building super efficient Cob ovens and rocket stove mass heaters in our backyards, communities, homes and restaurants is a great way to have an energy efficient cooker, fireplace, heater, pizza oven and water heater. This could replace many conventional charcoal BBQ grills, fire pits, gas grills and ovens that are not very efficient. Renewable wood can be used as an energy efficient fuel. You could even create a system to heat the water needed for cleaning the dishes and pots.
Cooking food in the winter naturally warms a house. Cooking less and eating more greens and salads in the summer keeps from overheating the house in the warmer months.
Well designed bike and hike trails could be a key feature of every community. As we design build and live in concentrated eco villages we can utilize green spaces to promote safe biking and hiking as exercise and relaxation. In Europe most communities are better designed and built to be more effective and efficient for living. People there actually take biking and train tour holidays and vacations.
Avoid traditional gas or wood fireplaces and gas fire pits. These literally cause you to burn money up in smoke. It is better to use super energy efficient Franklin stoves or Rocket Stove Mass Heaters with a glass viewing panel to heat your home. Ingenious modern designs have created some amazing advances that allow you to use less wood while producing many times the amount of heat that is stored inside and does not go up the chimney.
Designing comfortable, efficient and moderate homes and living spaces is the wave of the future. Living in a mega McMansion wastes fuel, money, resources and space when we can design, build and live in a super efficient cozy cocoon that meets all your needs while also minimizing our long tern carbon footprint? Big is not better it is unsustainable. Smaller is more ecological, economical, efficient, easier to maintain, energy efficient and environmentally friendly so that sounds much smarter to many people.
In many areas central Air Conditioning (AC) units are being replaced by zone AC systems. Big AC units use a lot of electricity and end up cooling an entire house even if one or two people are only using one or two rooms in the house. How crazy is that? Zone cooling cools bedrooms while sleeping and the main living area during the day. When people are away cooling is minimized. Closing off rooms and vents can divert cool air to where it is needed the most.
Native Plants and Natural Landscaping
When it comes to landscaping use native and drought resistant grass and plants. Large manicured grass lawns require an excessive amount of water, additional maintenance and mowing which all waste fossil fuel. Planting edible wild foods and native plants is good for the environment and you.
Every apartment, condo and house could have rain water catchment and storage to help conserve our precious clean drinking water resources. Designing our communities to catch and hold rain water run off for plants and in ponds is just common sense. Most irrigation systems are wasting vast amounts of clean drinking that is needed more for human use.
Eating lower on the food chain is one of the best ways to reduce our carbon footprint. When you do the research and discover the amount of chemicals, crops, energy, feed, fuel, land, transportation and water it takes to grow a pound of beef or produce a gallon of milk compared to a pound of beans, chia seeds, greens, hemp hearts, lentils, peas, quiona, rice, sea weed or sprouts you will be shocked. Plants produce mass amounts of high protein foods much more efficiently than the Commercial Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). The more greens and veggies we eat the more we help our health and the health of the planet. For the non vegetarian free range chickens and eggs are some of the most efficient animal products to raise and consume. Goats and rabbits are also efficient converters of plants into animal products. Even eating grass fed beef is better than GMO corn fed.
If every house had a digital readout inside showing the electricity, gas and water consumption each hour people might just wake up to the fact they are wasting massive amounts of precious resources. My electric provider Green Mountain Energy sends me a weekly email showing my current, previous and projected energy use for each week and the cost.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, repair and repurpose is a mantra that fits more today than ever before. All aluminum, cardboard, glass, lawn cuttings, paper, plastic, and tin should be recycled. Too many people are consuming too many goods, products and services that are depleting and wasting valuable natural resources. Learn to be vocal with your vendors about vast amounts of wasted packaging, paper and plastic.
Ban the bags and use recycled reusable bags instead. Single use plastic bags are a travesty of trash. They end up in land fills or as litter. They contain such a small amount of plastic it is not even economical to recycle them. They are a hazard to animals, birds and infants. Banning plastic bags will greatly reduce unsightly litter around the globe.
The Healthy Habits 2016 series is excited to share simple steps and conscious choices can cut our carbon footprint. This post shared simple strategies we can begin to implement right away. When we learn to design, build and live with the ecology, energy and environment in mind we become more conscious about our impact on humanity and the planet. With a little cooperation and planning we can create eco friendly communities. Let us know additional ideas and suggestions to reduce our carbon and water footprint.
What is your current Gap?
How much energy, fossil fuel, money, resources, time are you wasting on an average summer or winter day. Are you living life in an eco friendly and sustainable way or are you propelling the planet and your self to financial destruction and doom? Which ideas mentioned in this blog post grabbed your highest interest and are easiest to implement?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
There is a wealth of information available regarding how to design, build and live an eco friendly and sustainable lifestyle. What areas are of the most interest to you? Have you started thinking about your dream home and retirement vision? When would now be a great time to begin researching how to create the most cost, energy and fuel efficient home for your dream life future? Imagine the feelings and satisfaction of knowing you will be happy, healthy and in harmony in a super eco friendly home with a sustainable lifestyle for the rest of your life.
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding the solutions, strategies and suggestions in this post? What other ideas and inspiration will help motivate you to implement some simple steps? What will it be like to create a healthier lifestyle at the same time you are helping reduce your carbon footprint? Reach out to other like minded people and begin sharing the best practices and proven principles to be green and sustainable.
Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Words of Wisdom on Vitamins
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