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
Avoid taking baths, long showers and using big rain shower heads. Use a water saver shower head to reduce the amount of water being used and take a short shower. Remember there is chlorine in the water and the longer you are in the water and the warmer the water the more chlorine your skin will absorb.
Placing on demand water heaters near the sink, shower or washer save massive amounts of energy. Many gallons of water are wasted every time a person turns on hot water and has to wait for cold water to run first before the hot water can arrive.
Turn off lights that are not being used. It is amazing to see the number of lights left on in businesses, commercial buildings and homes at night.
Unplug electric devices when not it use. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, appliances consume a significant amount of “phantom” electricity even when they are turned off.
Hot water heaters waste a lot of energy keeping the water hot 24 hours a day. Consider replacing them with an on demand hot water heater that heats water to meet demand.
Do you need hot water to wash your clothes or will cold water work just as well. Most of the energy used in the washing machine cycle involves heating the water. Often the washing machine is quite a distance from the hot water heater wasting a lot of water to deliver the hot water.
Turn off your desktop monitor and processor when not in use. A lot of phantom energy is wasted keeping monitors on when they are not being used. More current computer models and especially the Chromebox can save a lot of wasted energy compared to larger and older units.
Ban the Bags and Bottles
Avoid buying bottled water. We all know that the plastic bottles are not eco friendly and mostly end up in land fills or litter. Buy your own water filter system and create your own bottled water to be placed in recycled BPA free plastic, glass or stainless steel bottles. Most bottled water is tap water that has been run through a filter and then put into a plastic bottle that leaches unhealthy compounds into the water. These are not good for the environment or you.
Plastic bags are another persistent polluter in our environment. Replacing them with recycled and reusable bags is an easy and smart idea.
Buy in season and locally grown organic foods. This will save a lot of fossil fuels and money wasted on chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides and pesticides. It will also save a bundle on refrigeration, storage and transportation costs. The same concept is important for other goods and services as well. Shipping produce around the world or across a large country is not sustainable and is very wasteful
Replace incandescent light bulbs and Compact Florescent Light (CFL) bulbs with LED bulbs. CFL bulbs contain mercury and create a hazmat situation if broken.
Use devices, dimmers, sensors and timers to cut your electric use. Using a solar sensor and timer to turn outdoor lights off and on.
Learn to control that gas pedal foot to optimize gas efficiency. It has been estimated that 20 to 30% of the fuel efficiency of your vehicle is determined by your driving behavior, habits and style. Learn to take your foot off the accelerator earlier to allow the engine to naturally decelerate the engine to reduce braking and gas consumption. Also avoid excessive acceleration at traffic lights. This is especially important if driving faster will then result in more braking at the next traffic light. Aggressive driving wastes am excessive amount of expensive fuel.
Combine your short errands and to do trips into one more efficient route. Most people do not realize how much gas is wasted to start a car, warm it or cool it, drive a short distance for a quick errand and then head back home. Every time you run one quick errand your are wasting fuel, money and time. Keep checklists in your smart phone for each store your frequent on a regular basis. This is a great way to remember and remind yourself of the items you want to have in stock at home.
Use all forms of mass transit that are available. Buses, car pooling, ride share, shuttles, subways, trams, trains and vans offer a more efficient transportation system and reducs fuel wasting vehicles stuck in traffic. On a recent trip to the Dallas Convention Center I flew into DFW Airport and took the train into downtown and then walked several blocks to the hotel and convention. Yes it took a bit longer than a shuttle or taxi but I saved money and helped support the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system. Dallas is way ahead of Houston when it comes to mass transit.
Chose clean and renewable energy whenever it is offered. Hydroelectric, solar, tidal and wind help reduce our dependency on coal, gas, nuclear and petroleum products.
Active and Passive Energy Savings
Use passive energy saving design ideas for making your home more effective and efficient at maintaining a comfortable temperature. Simple things like the direction of the sun shining on walls and windows, location and type of trees and building insulation and materials make a major difference of energy usage. Put your water heater device near where it is needed versus running long lines and pipes that waste excess cold water and energy trying to send warm water to where it is needed.
You can also maintain a routine of energy saving habits with the choices of blinds, ceiling fans, curtains, doors, fans, lights, panel curtains, programmable thermostats, roman shades, shades, space heaters, tinting, windows, zone modification and other strategies to maximize passive temperature control and minimize wasted energy consumption. By blocking the sun out or allowing it in you can greatly influence the inside temperature. Curtains are easy ways to help keep a house cooler or warmer. Pre-setting your programmable thermostat to adjust your temperature needs can save a massive amount of energy over time.
Replace single pane glass windows with double pane and tinted windows. A house with tinted double pane glass windows will save a fortune when cooling and heating a home. Think of the savings over decades of use and you will find they pay for themselves in a short time.
Make your attic more energy efficient by updating and upgrading it and your air delivery systems. By adding additional insulation, a radiant barrier and solar powered vents we cut our electric bill in half during the hot summer months. The energy tax credit and savings have paid for the entire upgrade. Our house can now be listed as an energy saver home upon listing which brings a premium benefit.
The Healthy Habits 2016 series is excited to share simple steps to help improve our conscious choices to cut our carbon footprint. This post shared simple strategies you 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:
Conscious Choices Can Cut Our Carbon Footprint (Part II)
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