There are many ways we can help contribute to a better world for our future generations. We don’t need to embark on extreme projects or pure ideals for a utopian society, but we can start with focusing on our direct environmental impact. We all have a carbon footprint. In fact, there are plenty of applications and calculators online that can predict your specific carbon footprint that is being left behind. Many suggest planting more trees to offset our carbon footprints, but this is not the only solution. Instead of looking to offset our emissions, we can look for easy ways to reduce the amount of carbon we are producing. In this article we will explore ways to reduce the amount of energy our home consumes, thus reducing our carbon emissions.
Our homes consume a lot of energy to maintain a comfortable living temperature, where we have grown accustomed to having our homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. To put things in perspective, a middle class family of four living in Houston, Texas can produce more than a metric ton of carbon emissions annually. This number could be even higher with poor insulation, since much of our carbon emissions are from cooling our homes to around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes insulating our homes crucial. Proper insulation will reduce the amount of energy needed to cool or warm our homes, thus reducing the amount of carbon emissions. Insulation material has come a long way from its first use, and with new material technology we have more efficient materials that are also less expensive. Investing in new insulation for our homes is definitely worth the effort, but we need to also make sure to insulate your pipes to prevent energy loss.
Studies have shown that a leaky faucet or showerhead can waste more than three thousand gallons of water a year. You may say that water does not harm the environment, but wasting treated water does harm the environment. In order for water to be ready for our households, our city municipalities need to filter and treat the water in water-treatment facilities. These facilities consume energy to operate, thus creating more carbon emissions. Checking for leaky faucets, shower heads, or even toilets can prevent wasting water.
Taking our family from Houston as an example again, we can expect the water heater to consume natural gas. A gas leak in Houston is possible…no one is immune to this problem. However, if a gas leak is suspected, then it is imperative to use professionals to check and repair the leak. Leaving a leak unattended can cause significant damage to our house, not to mention the environment. Maintenance of our appliances and pipes leading to them is always a good practice to keep our homes energy efficient.
Having an energy efficient home is not as difficult as it would seem, but starting the project is sometimes harder than the task itself. We should always keep in mind that by reducing our energy consumption we are leaving the environment in a better condition for our future generations.