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Published on January 12th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans

10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your CO2 Footprint

The average American produces over 100 pounds of carbon dioxide per day!  We don’t all have money on hand for the newest appliances or a hybrid car, so here are a few things you can do to lend the planet a hand without spending much time or money:

  • Put a lid on it! If you’re heating something on the stove, put a lid over your pot or pan.  Boiling water with in a covered pot takes much less time and saves energy too.  Also make sure that the pot fits the burner snugly so energy in the form of heat does not escape out around the edges.
  • Inflate those tires.  Properly inflated tires not only prevent wear and tear on the tires themselves, but they also give your car a couple of extra miles per gallon of gasoline.
  • Bring your own grocery bags.  Every time you go to the store, paper and plastic bags are manufactured and disposed of for your convenience.  Reuse the bags from your last trip or get some canvas ones for long term use.
  • Save water. The water that comes out of your faucet has been filtered, cleaned, pumped, and sometimes heated—all energy intensive processes that shouldn’t be taken for granted.  Save some water and help save the atmosphere too.
  • Get a compact fluorescent bulb. These cost a bit more when you buy them, but the energy savings make up for it quickly.  The bulbs also last much longer than regular incandescents, so you’ll spare yourself a few trips to the store.
  • Cold water laundry.  One of the biggest energy drains in your washing machine is the heat it takes to warm the water.  Unless your clothes are terribly soiled, wash your threads on the cold setting—the savings will show on your energy bill.
  • Plant a tree. Trees breathe in CO2 and breathe out O2.  They store the carbon in their tissues, where it can’t contribute to global warming.
  • Grab a sweater or open the window. Heating and air conditioning are one of the biggest energy users in a typical home.  Turn your thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter to make a big dent in carbon dioxide conservation.  Even just one or two degrees makes an impact.
  • Change your computer settings.  We all know that keeping the computer on can be convenient, but if you’re leaving work or going to bed for the night, shut down those energy drainers.  For daytime use, set the computer to hibernate after it’s been idle for a few minutes.
  • Share! Do you really need your very own lawn mower?  Wrench set?  Wireless router?  Get to know your neighbors and set up a sharing system.  Your wallet will thank you, and so will the planet.

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9 Responses to 10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your CO2 Footprint

  1. These are all really great ideas! My family and I live in a tiny suburb in California and we always share stuff with our neighbors and have fortnightly meetings about ways to save the planet E.G: picking up your child’s elementary friends in the car as well instead of us all driving. I think i’m going to introduce some of these at the meetings, definitely the pot lid one because all the wives on our street, including me, are addicted to cooking for everyone– come along to my home and i’ll be delighted to make you a huge Scottish feast (my parents are from there) and make a key lime pie to go!

    • Hey Casey, you’re so right, we should really bring these up at the meetings. Yeah and we really do love to cook, even though me, you, Eleanor, Fran, Gracie, Tyler and Ally are the only ones on our street who aren’t housewives (we can all get proper jobs like independent women ;]). Well done Stephanie Evans for a really fabulous article! By the way, the meeting’s not at Theresa’s next week anymore, but has been moved to Devil Dana’s (God that woman is cruel). Oh, and i’ll make an awesome meatloaf and triple chocolate muffins as well for anybody who’s interested!

  2. Tyler Cairns says:

    Oh wow, talk about reunions! I was just checking out tips on being eco when i saw both of you guys’ names at the bottom of this page, and may i say Miaow Becky, you sure got a thing for them lazy women and honey, we all hate Dana. God i feel like i’m on Wisteria Lane with all the cattiness! Yeah we should definitely bring these up and none of you could beat my truly Italian (parents are from there) Ricotta and Beef Cannelloni with my homemade Torta Della Nonna! Strangers are all welcome to try it!! 😛 And by the way Casey, you should have picked a Scottish Dessert 😉

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