My carbon footprint was much smaller than that of the average Texan but I can still do many things to reduce that within my family. For one air travel just this year alone has contributed 1918 kg to my footprint. We usually don’t take as many flights as we did this year but we could still cut down on the traveling. Also showering for just myself contributes 1525 kg. I could help that by taking five minute showers instead of 15 minute showers which would then reduce it to 352 kg. Also, my family’s gas heater adds 1174 kg. We could convert it to a solar heater which wouldn’t add anything to my carbon footprint. Also, living in Texas we use our air conditioner a lot. Raising our thermostat a few degrees could decrease my carbon footprint by a little bit. Lastly we use incandescent bulbs in our house. This adds 3305 kg to my carbon footprint. We could, however, change out all our incandescent light bulbs with CFL’s which would then reduce it to 760 kg. Out of these categories I am willing to take quicker showers and convince my two siblings of doing the same. This would help reduce my whole family’s carbon footprint as a whole.
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I have 6 people living in my house so reducing my family footprint won’t be easy. I can reduce my family footprint by taking shorter showers. I can also unplug all my chargers from the wall when I’m not using them. Another thing I could do to reduce my family footprint is to use a lamp instead of turning on all the lights in my room. I could also encourage my family to change the light-bulbs in the house, eat more organic food, and try to cut back on traveling.
I can help reduce my family footprint by charging my devices, especially my phone and laptop, less. I can also reduce my family footprint by taking the plugs out of the socket. I have a habit of leaving my chargers in the socket after I have used them. Sometimes I’m too lazy to just bend down and take it out. I believe that if I remove all the chargers in the house from the sockets, our family’s carbon footprint would greatly decrease. The chargers that are left plugged in use standby energy, which can increase electricity bills.
Students do not have their own homes and therefore they cannot make the executive decisions that would reduce carbon emissions. When calculating my carbon footprint I found that the category for my home was the largest by far. I figured that it would be the highest because of air conditioning use, electricity, and the many electronics found in my home, but I was not expecting it to be as high as it was. In order to make my home more energy efficient I would install solar panels to generate electricity. Many people say skylights can be used in the day instead of light bulbs but, especially in Texas, that would cause the rooms to be warmer and more air conditioning would be necessary. In my roof I would install loft insulation. 25% of the heat generated in your home could be going through the roof. Installing loft insulation would keep that heat in and make less work for your heater. Living closer to school would decrease my carbon emission because I would spend less time in the car everyday traveling to and from school. An often unknown way to decrease your carbon footprint is changing the location of your fridge. Keeping your fridge out of direct sunlight, not close to the oven, against and outside wall, and with a few inches around it on every side can make a difference in how energy-efficient it is because it can allow the heat it generate to escape and air circulation around it. Buying locally grown food or even growing your own garden in your backyard will reduce your carbon emission. Installing motion activated lights outside your home will decrease the amount of time the lights are on. Also, LED lights emit half the amount of carbon as CFL and they don’t produce as much heat.
A thing that raising our carbon footprint by a lot is commonly know as standby energy, but it has a nickname which is “vampire electricity.” It gets this nickname name because it causes the most harm at night. Many people leave electronics and appliances plugged in all day. Some may think that if the electronic device is not actually plugged in or if the device is off it will not drain energy. These people are incorrect. Small amounts at a time are drained throughout the day. Main examples of drainers include plasma TVs, home computers and printers, DVRs, cell phone chargers, and coffeemakers. Leaving things plugged in wastes money and increases your family footprint. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save between 5-10% a year of your electric bills. The United States burns 4 billion dollars worth of standby energy every year. Everyone should unplug devices when they are not in use because it is a simple action that takes a few seconds and affects a lot.
I realized that one thing that may help to reduce the home carbon footprint is to reuse gift bags. By gift bags, I mean the plastic ones with handles that people usually use around Christmas time or other celebratory occasions. Instead of throwing the bags away, my family keeps them in our attic for later use. If we use it for a gift to another intermediate family member, we’ll even sometimes get the bag back!
I’m sure a lot of people do this, but if you don’t, it could help lower your carbon footprint. Even if it’s just a little, every little bit counts, right? :)
At my house we generate a huge amount of carbon emissions, especially through heating and air conditioning. My father is very picky about the temperature in the house, and this isn’t something I am able to control. In addition, he likes to travel often, which only continues to increase our carbon footprint.
Personally, when I am in my room, I try to keep the temperature at a level where it is bearable for me, yet does not emit much carbon. I live in Texas, however, so there is a great need for air conditioning. I found out that an air conditioning unit can emit 1.34 pounds of carbon dioxide for every hour it is used.
If it were under my control, I would try to travel using airplane and car as little as possible. In addition, I wouldn’t keep the AC or heating on extreme amounts, as my father sometimes does. Electricity is another big thing; I would replace all of the bulbs in the house with ones that are better for the environment.
My carbon footprint for the home is actually very large. It was 11024 kg. I have found that the lights in my home are what is the main contributing factor. I’m not exactly surprised, considering how large my house is. I have the lights turned on nearly all the time.
Making a home more energy efficient is actually not that hard. If there’s sunlight out, then light bulbs aren’t needed if the windows are open. That’s plenty of light already. During the night, maybe using energy efficient light bulbs. You could also install solar panels or tiles as well. I know for a fact that sometimes I leave the lights on when they’re not in use or leave my phone at the charger when it clearly doesn’t need to be charged any longer so turning off those lights and unplugging the charger would help. Actually, unplugging a lot of things that don’t need to be plugged in will reduce carbon emission around the house. Also, when using a washing machine, to reduce the energy being used, make sure that it is fully loaded so you only have to do one load of wash instead of several, which would waste a lot of energy. When brushing teeth, turn off the faucet when you’re not using the water to save water. Another possible thing to do is take showers instead of baths, although I’m sure not many people take baths nowadays. The thing is that it’s easy to lower the carbon footprint of our homes, but when we’re doing our daily activities, we don’t realize how much we’re using up energy. For example, we charge our laptops and phones overnight. If we just put a little effort, our carbon footprint for the home can lower drastically.
Below is a link on some more ways to reduce energy around the home as well as in the office, with driving, transportation, etc.
My carbon footprint calculation results didn’t really surprise me. Most everything was below average except for one category- home. It ended up reaching 8303 kg, which is only 1082 kg less than the US home average. After reading other peoples’ posts, I found that this was true for most other people regarding that home was the largest contributor to their carbon footprint. Why is this? What would be the best way to reduce carbon emissions at home apart from changing the light bulbs?
Hi! I’m Lilli from Texas. I found it very interesting when calculating my carbon footprint, that my family actually had a significantly lower carbon footprint than the average Texan. That got me wondering about what the differences were between what I do in everyday life and what others do. Reading through some other posts I realized transportation was a big factor in why others had very large carbon footprints. For one, I have not flown in an airplane in over two years. That I believe, is one of the biggest reasons that my carbon footprint was lower than others. Secondly, my mom is very adamant on helping the environment in simple ways For example, we always bring our own bags to the grocery store, and if we do end up getting plastic bags, we take them back to the grocery store where they recycle them! I also am always conscientious about unplugging things when I am not using them, turning of running water, using refillable
containers for drinking, and recycling whenever possible. I think this proves that simple things like this actually do help! It’s thanks to my mom that I am so aware of being green and I think all families are capable of making small changes in their homes to make them more environmentally friendly.
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