There’s never been more need for sustainable practices, and reducing your carbon footprint could mean changing just a few of your habits and behaviors. Carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gas you emit over a certain amount of time. The more emissions produced, the worse the consequences for our environment. Practicing the following tips can help you do more than protect the environment; you’ll likely find most of these habits are going to save you a significant chunk of change. Get more eco-friendly in your daily life with these four ways of reducing your carbon footprint.
1. Check Your Shower Habits
When it comes to bathing, baths are out of the question. Taking a shower instead of filling up the tub means cutting your water consumption significantly. The average shower uses around 30 to 80 liters of water, while a bath can use anywhere from 150 to 200 liters.Choosing to shower can minimize water use and reduce your water bills, meaning great things for the environment and your wallet. Are you a diehard bath lover? You can still keep your tub, but consider a home renovation that replaces inefficient tubs, showers, and faucets with energy efficient alternatives that make better use of water and energy. These renovations can be costly, but financing through companies like Renovate America makes it easy to add upgrades that will save you money down the line.
Consider other shower habits that might help you cut down on water waste. Does your water heater take a significant chunk of time to heat up your shower spray? If so, it likely means you turn on the faucet then wait several minutes while precious water runs down the drain. Keep a bucket in the bathroom and collect the cold spray. This clean water can then be used for cleaning purposes in other areas of the home or used to water your garden. It’s also important to consider installing a low-flow showerhead; this is one investment that keeps on giving. While conventional showerheads flow at around 5 gallons per minute, modern low-flow showerheads typically cut that rate in half, flowing at 2.5 gallons per minute.
2. Purchase a Convection Oven
Investing in a small convection oven can pay off within the first month of use. Unlike conventional ovens found in most homes, a convection oven features a fan and exhaust system. The fan and exhaust are designed to blow hot oven air over and around the food, then help vent this air out. This helps the food cook quickly and evenly. Because food cooks more quickly—around 25 percent faster than conventional ovens—convection oven alternatives are more energy efficient, used for less time with lower temperatures.
3. Wash Your Clothes in Cold
Many people are under the impression that washing clothes with cold water won’t get them fully clean, and under this belief, choose to run their laundry on the hot water cycle. This isn’t actually the case, as modern advancements in detergent and machine technology have made cold water just as effective for everyday laundry needs. As about 90 percent of energy used while running a load of laundry is used to heat the water, opting for cold water rinses can eliminate energy waste. Detergents like ZERO laundry powder from Ecover are phosphate free and designed to deal with tough stains even in cold water, meaning your clothes get clean without wasting energy and polluting local water systems.
4. Filter Your Own Water
Tap water likely isn’t as clean as you think it is, and even the so-called clean water straight out of the tap isn’t necessarily as “pure” as you might be led to believe. Tap water travels through miles upon miles of pipes, and can easily pick up pesticides, runoff sediments, and contaminants during it journey. Tap water is then disinfected using chlorine or ammonia (known carcinogens), then fluoride is added. Get the most out of your tap water by filtering with a Brita, and avoid buying bottled water. It’s expensive and extremely wasteful. Almost three liters of water is used to produce a single liter of bottle water, and according to The Pacific Institute, almost 17 million barrels of oil arerequired to produce plastic bottles for American consumption—with over two-thirds of these bottles making their way to local waterways and landfills, polluting ecosystems and poisoning native wildlife. Filtering your tap water can help you save money and help the environment—it’s a double win.
If you’re searching for easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and improve the world around you, consider incorporating these behaviors in your daily life.