If I where to have my own house i would try to make as many things in my house as energy efficient as possible. One it would cut down on how much i speed each year and it would improve the environment around me. I would have a lot more freedom on what I choose to do because it is my house. I would be able to choose certain appliances and light bulbs i use to help make my carbon footprint lower also. I do not think I would choose to live on the middle of a city which would help me with my carbon footprint and energy costs. But i would choose a place where it would be easy to get groceries that are fresh and places I could go to that are in walking distance.
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If i had my own house i would do a lot to make sure that it is a lot more energy efficient. I would start off by having solar panels installed on my roof and i would use the sunlight as my source of energy and i would have a generator just in case. I would use energy efficient light bulbs all over my house and that would also lower it. and i would live in a urban place on the outskirts of a city but definitely not in the country. I hate the country. And i would probably get my food from the same places but i would just go to the farmers market more often.
If I were to create my own house and family and live on any place, I would live on a lot of land and have a big garden. I would grow fruits and vegetables and herbs but i would have the same electricity that i use today. I would leave in the city with grocery stores and what not (metropolitan area) so that I can WALK to the places needed, but I would still have a car just in case but I would not use it as much because I would walk to the locations needed. I would drive my kids to school because I don’t think it would be safe for them to walk but when they get older then they could possibly walk to school. I would get my food from my garden that I would grow with all my fruits and veggies and herbs and I would also go to the local grocery store to buy organic foods. I would also go to a farmers market to try and get organic foods.
After finding out what my carbon footprint was my family and I became more conscience of our actions. We started to recycle plastic, glass, and paper. We also expanded our garden at home and are more aware when we go shopping to look for local or organic foods. We are also buying more biodegradable paper plates and such.
My family has quite an issue with our carbon emissions. After evaluating my own carbon usage, I was quite shocked when I noticed how much carbon I use for transportation, home energy, food, and purchases. My transportation carbon emissions came to be above 10000 kg of carbon. Sports and activities that I participate in play a severe role in my unnaturally high carbon emissions through transportation. As well as 2 round trips to the East Coast and back. I think those factors made a great influence on the amount.
Home energy can be improved a lot. My total of home carbon usage came to about 4500 kg. My family doesn’t use any energy efficient machines or fluorescent light bulbs. We turn off lights as much as possible and try to conserve water. I’d like to find a way to improve my family’s home carbon energy emissions.
Carbon emissions form food came to about 2700. This surprises me because my family safe leftovers and we don’t consume very much food.
As far as purchases, I was surprised that carbon emissions were so much lower than the other categories because I buy all of my clothes new and never get hand-me-downs. The result of 560 kg is relatively high for purchases but not as high as I expected.
Carbon has a very big effect on my daily life and influences just about everything I do.
Ah yes, the family footprint. While I was indeed under the average for my area, the home energy portion of my carbon footprint was still my highest category, totaling to 2978 kg a year. I know exactly why this is: my family has a LOT of light bulbs. A quick tour of our house reveals that there are 22 incandescent light bulbs in the interior of our home. We have many of them on for hours at a time; my mum is always in the kitchen cleaning or cooking, my brother is always in the study doing homework, and I am always in my room working on various projects. Then there is the issue of not turning off the light bulbs when we leave rooms. I am typically very diligent about this, however, my brother…not so much. Numerous times I have walked past an unoccupied bathroom, still illuminated with lights that must have been turned on hours beforehand.
While we do have three fluorescent light bulbs on the exterior of our home, we could greatly improve our carbon footprint if we switched over completely to fluorescent lighting. Fluorescent light bulbs can save you up to 75% on your electricity in comparison with incandescent light bulbs. They also have an average life span of six times longer than incandescent bulbs. Because they use less energy and last longer, there is far less waste. A large portion of electricity that is directed to the light fixtures in your home comes from coal-fired power plants. If you’re saving energy by using fluorescent lighting, then you’re pulling less electricity from the power grid. This reduces the amount of coal that must be burned, which reduces emissions of greenhouse gases.
Fluorescent light bulbs do have their downsides. The biggest concern by most consumers is that they can cost up to three times more than the average light bulb. Because of this, many people see them to be far too expensive. In reality, however, this is quite the opposite, since they last longer and save money in the long run. An investment in fluorescent lighting now is the equivalent of an investment in our environment’s future.
Completing the carbon footprint challenge surprised me. I was unaware of all of the things that could cause us to leave a negative mark on the Earth. When I was completing the scavenger hunt around my house for lightbulbs, I was astounded by the amount of incandescent lightbulbs that my family used on a daily basis. Even though my dad buys mostly fluorescent lightbulbs, the unused lights, and even most of our day-to-day lights were incandescent. This skyrocketed the house section of my overall carbon footprint. I also never thought that my shower times could affect my carbon footprint, as I take longer showers, and also my dietary habits. I am mostly vegetarian, but I do eat some meat, but I was still surprised by the amount of carbon dioxide that was emitted just because I wanted a certain food.
These things that were affecting my carbon footprint started to eat away at me. I started to take shorter showers, and now I have tried to eat food that keep my carbon footprint lower. Most of the things that made my carbon footprint so high were a simple fix, but one that would take getting used to. I am happy that I did this challenge because I care about the environment and my impact on it. Now I can change what I do so that I can protect the environment.
I had no idea that eating meat would contribute to your carbon footprint. My family is made of 4 boys and 1 girl being my mom and we’ve always eaten a lot of meant because we all play sports and are always on the move. When I was little i always left my lights on in my room and that probably didn’t help anything. My brothers are 5 and are scared of the dark so we have to leave a light on in their room and that made our carbon footprint increase more than i thought when i used the carbon footprint calculator.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I have always been confused as to how wasting water contributes to your carbon footprint. I used water respectfully because it is expensive, but I finally found out how it affects the amount of carbon put into the environment! It takes a lot of energy to run a water plant, distilling and purifying and pumping water all the time. The energy that runs these factories is what emits carbon.
Also, a small tip on how to conserve water- turn off the water while you shave, especially if your shower isn’t made to conserve water.
It is a common misconception that reducing your carbon footprint at home is expensive. Sure, there’s things like installing solar panels or buying new energy star appliances that ring up bills in the hundreds or thousands, but there are definitely easy things to ask your parents to help you with.
One such action is keeping clean air filters. This is a quick thing to do that your mom or dad can teach you how to do once, and then leave it up to you.
Another thing is to replace leaky faucets. This sends money and energy down the drain, no pun intended. ;)
If you’re looking for more really quick and/ or basic ideas, visit this link: