Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Taking Steps to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint-Greening Your Home

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Taking Steps to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Greening Your Home

Greening at home keeps more of the "green" at home: inefficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning units, windows leaking conditioned air, and appliances devour energy.

This is money out of your pocket, and it's bad for the environment: the electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home — almost 8500 Btu's annually for an average home, puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars.

Tips to help get you started:

Tuneup Your HVAC System

Clean air filters regularly and have your heating and cooling equipment tuned annually by a licensed contractor to save energy and increase comfort at home. When it's time to replace your old equipment, choose a high efficiency model, and make sure it is properly sized and installed.

Efficient Appliances

When you replace an appliance, look for products with an ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR-qualified products are available in more than 40 product categories, including lighting, home electronics, heating and cooling equipment and appliances. If your local utility supports appliance recycling, find out how you can participate.

Be Water Wise

Municipal water systems require a lot of energy to purify and distribute water. Don't let water run while shaving or brushing teeth. Repair leaky faucets and toilets promptly. These simple actions can help households save hundreds of gallons of water each month: saving water, especially hot water, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Be Smart with Power Management

Did you know that your battery charger uses energy while plugged into the wall even when you’re not using it to charge your phone, laptop, or PDA? Unplug your appliances when not in use. Adjust power management settings for your computer to conserve energy. Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when you're done using your computers, printers, wireless routers and other electronics. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms.

Replace Low-Efficiency Lightbulbs

Replace incandescent bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). Check the package to match the bulb type with your fixture to get the best performance and life from the CFL.

Use Renewable Energy

Solar energy can be used to heat homes, buildings, water, and to make electricity. Today, more than 200,000 houses in the United States take advantage of the sun's energy. Find out about renewable energy incentives in your state:

More Smart Tips To Green Your Life:

Buy Seasonal Produce

Organic food tastes better and it’s kinder to the earth. Thirty percent of the fossil fuel used on farms goes into the making of fertilizers.

Get greener by buying items grown or produced within 100 miles and you’ll reduce the amount of diesel fuel needed to ship food. You can get fresher food and help small-scale agriculture by shopping at neighborhood farmers’ markets.

Think Before you drive…

Save energy by carpooling, taking public transportation, riding a bike, or walking. Another way to reduce your carbon emissions is to combine errands when you do drive.

Cars & Renewable Fuels

Before buying a new or used vehicle, check out the EPA green buying guide: Highly fuel efficient cars, hybrids, and vehicles that use cleaner alternative fuels help reduce greenhouse gases emissions. Reduce pollution from your current vehicle by getting regular tune-ups and making sure your tires are properly inflated to achieve your vehicle’s optimal gas mileage.

Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Recycle cans, bottles, plastic bags, and newspapers. Support recycling by purchasing items that are reusable and/or recyclable. When you recycle, you send less trash to the landfill and you help save resources that would be used in manufacturing non-recycled products.

Spread The Word!

Talk with your family and friends about climate change. Let them know the ways you’re changing your lifestyle to help prevent more climate changes.