Going Green for Greenies: 8 Easy Ways to Lessen Your Carbon Footprint at Home

(This is the second in a series of guest posts, this one courtesy of Katie Nielsen.  There’s some great info here, so we certainly hope you’ll get to hear more from Katie soon! If you’d like to join the Trek Light family and be a guest blogger let us know!)
  1. Let There Be Light! When your older incandescent light bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). While the initial purchase price is higher, CLFs are inherently greener: they generally use less power and they last much longer. In fact, CFLs use 75% less electricity than incandescent
    ones (which can save as much as 5% on your monthly electric bill) and they last 10 times longer (via EnergyStar).
  2. Thirst for Tap Instead of purchasing bottled water, opt for plain ol’ tap and carry around a reusable water bottle (I’m a big fan of the Camelback BPA-free water bottle). Not only will this significantly cut down on packaging and container waste, it can save you green. In fact, worldwide bottled water sales exceed a staggering $50 billion. If your tap water is less than pure, invest in a water filter to purify it.

  3. Don’t Trash Electronics Electronic waste, which most often ends up in landfills, contains toxins such as mercury that are harmful to the environment. Contact your local government and inquire about an electronics recycling and hazardous waste program or set up an event if they don’t have one. You can also donate and recycle old electronics when you no longer need them (think donating old cell phones to a women’s shelter).

  4. Nay to Paper and Plastic Paper and plastic bags are typically discarded after a single trip, contributing to landfills and wasting valuable resources (e.g. trees). Whenever you go out shopping, bring your own reusable bags. Most supermarkets, mass retailers, and drugstores sell them for just a few dollars each. (Editor’s Note: Of course, if you want a reusable bag that’s strong enough to hold over 50 pounds and packs down into a pouch small enough to fit on your key chain – you know where to get it!)

  5. It Saves to Conserve On gas, that is. Not only is using less gas easier on your wallet, it’s also good for the environment since it’s producing less carbon dioxide. Use less gas by carpooling, using mass transit, or riding your bike to work. If you’re forced to drive, just drive smarter – don’t speed, keep tires properly inflated, and avoid rapid acceleration.

  6. Go Paperless If you work from home or have a home office, considering going paperless when it comes to business documents. The need to print is almost completely eradicated by using an electronic document management solution. Not entirely convinced? Try this free paperless office ROI calculator, which can show you just how much you’ll improve your bottom line by going paperless.

  7. Shop a Farmer Spring has officially sprung which also means you’re likely to see the annual farmers’ markets popping up all over town. Supporting local farmers can drastically reduce your carbon footprint since less fuel and packaging is used to provide your daily meals. Plus, the local produce is typically fresher, less expensive, and better tasting.

  8. Get Automated A programmable thermostat costs between $30 and $100 – a meager price tag when you consider how much in can save you in heating and cooling costs. The thermostat enables you to set a schedule to adjust the temperature so you are not wasting energy cooling or heating your home when no one is there.
As always, you’re encouraged you to leave comments at the bottom of the post, but if you’d like to contact Katie directly you can send her an email or follow her on twitter!
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