The average American's carbon footprint may shock you—in Houston, each household emits 41.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.
But the facts also have a positive spin; every year, more and more of us are taking small steps to collectively make a large impact towards a sustainable future for our planet. Maybe you’ve already started carpooling to work, or have committed to buying local groceries, or even better maybe you already have a reusable grocery bag, or two!
There are hundreds of small steps you can take towards reducing your carbon footprint—here are three of our favorites and how you can easily get started today.
1) Reduce, reuse, recycle
Yes, this phrase is quite reminiscent of elementary school science class. But it holds just as much value today as it did back then.
In 2018, most major cities have already rolled out a recycling program (and in some cities, compost too), making it easy for you to separate your recyclables and reduce the overall waste that ends up in a landfill. Here’s why that’s important.
Landfills release both methane and CO2 emissions as a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic materials; and in America, landfills are the third largest contributor of methane emissions (the gas that traps heat in the atmosphere).
Simply separating the recyclable and compostable materials in your waste can significantly reduce landfill waste, and allows organic waste to be put to use as part of a landfill gas (LFG) capturing process, which is then used as a renewable energy resource.
2) Turn off those taps!
Sure, your twenty minute shower is a luxury that you deserve every now and then. But on a daily basis, you can greatly improve your carbon footprint just by taking a shorter shower, shutting off the tap while you brush your teeth or shutting off the sprinkler because you know there’s rain on the way.
You may ask, how does water usage impact CO2 emissions?
Your local water treatment plant uses a significant amount of energy and chemicals to supply the city with clean, drinkable water. So the equation is simple: a reduction in the amount of water being consumed means a reduction in energy usage, and thus a reduction in harmful greenhouse gases being produced in the process.
3) Put the sun to work with a solar system
For each kilowatt hour of electricity generated in the U.S., 1.1 pounds of carbon dioxide are released at a power plant. While taking advantage of natural light and unplugging your appliances are a few easy ways you can be more eco-friendly, there’s an alternative that allows you to use all the electricity you want to use with zero environmental impact. That alternative is solar energy.
Solar energy uses the light from our sun to produce electricity. Regardless of rain or shine, the sun’s light is an efficient, eco-friendly and renewable energy resource that is consistently becoming less expensive to install, and more sophisticated.
With a solar panel system installed on your roof or in your yard, you could see 100 percent energy savings, tax credits from the federal government, reductions in your carbon footprint and more great benefits.
Lucky for you, we’re experts on solar energy and transforming homes into environmentally friendly havens. Contact us for a quote today, and we’ll discuss your options for going solar. Happy recycling! 😊