5 Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

February 13, 2014

Reduce-Your-Carbon-Footprint

Concern for the future of the planet hasn’t waned in recent years, with experts cautioning that if something dramatic isn’t done soon, the problem will continue to worsen. A recent report from the United Nations warns that if measures aren’t taken to limit carbon emissions, in 15 years the problem will be too severe to solve with current technology.

Significant strides have been made toward slowing the progress of the Greenhouse Effect. Auto emissions testing programs are in place throughout the U.S. and some cities have instituted aggressive recycling programs. But while responsibility often falls to governmental leaders, each consumer can also make small changes that, when added together, make a big difference in improving carbon emissions.

If you’re interested in reducing your carbon footprint, here are a few things you can do to make a difference

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The first step toward a smaller carbon footprint is keeping as much waste out of possible out of landfills. As much as possible, reduce the amount of trash you generate by drinking out of cups instead of bottles and using washable plates and cloth napkins. If your town picks up recycling, be sure you take advantage of the convenience, discarding boxes, bottles, and plastic as much as possible.

2. Upgrade Your Appliances

Take an inventory of your home’s appliances and find areas where you can switch to newer, more energy-efficient models. In addition to cutting down on your energy output, you can also benefit from a tax break by purchasing Energy Star-rated appliances. When purchasing a new computer, choose a laptop over a desktop. Laptops use up to 80 percent less energy than desktops.

3. Use Solar Energy

Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular way for families to make a big difference. Federal and state tax grants are available to help families and businesses switch to solar panels affordably. In addition to the environmental benefits, solar power will also dramatically reduce your monthly electric bill, giving you extra money for a vacation or new electric car. Minnesota's solar incentives end on February 28, 2014. Don't miss out. Contact us today.

4. Carpool

In 2010, the average vehicle traveled 11,493 miles. Each vehicle emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that, in high numbers, negatively impact the environment. By switching to public transportation, commuters can reduce those emissions by reducing the number of cars on the road. Even carpooling with one or more co-workers can make a lasting impact on the environment.

5. Plant a Tree

Just one tree absorbs 13 pounds of carbon dioxide from the environment, according to the Urban Forestry Network. By adding a tree or two to your yard, you can not only reduce the impact on the planet, but you can also make the world a slightly more beautiful place. If you’re a renter or you have no room for additional trees, ask a local business or organization if you can plant a tree on their property.

While some may feel helpless to make dramatic improvements to the environment, small changes can make a big difference. If every consumer would take just a few extra minutes each day to reduce their own carbon footprint, the impact would be enormous.

Categories: Minnesota Solar Energy, Why Solar?