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Family footprint

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Family footprint

Moderated by I2I Admin
This is a discussion forum associated with the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge (ISCFC).

Many students using our footprint calculator said that they couldn't pledge to reduce their home footprints because they weren't making the decisions for the household. Here's your chance to design your own sustainable virtual household!

If you had your own home, what would you do to make it more energy efficient? …where would you get your electricity from? …where would your house be? …would you live near to your school or work or local transit options? …where would you get your food from?
 
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Discussions Discussion Family footprint
Mary C-USA, Oct. 10, 2013

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:

http://www.whatsmycarbonfootprint.com/reduce_home.htm
Mary C-USA
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Discussions Discussion Family footprint
Mary C-USA, Oct. 10, 2013

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:

http://www.whatsmycarbonfootprint.com/reduce_home.htm
Mary C-USA
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Discussions Discussion Family footprint
Marisa R- usa, Oct. 10, 2013

When researching for my carbon footprint i was informed that my house has over 150 incandescent light bulbs.I was shocked by this news and when my carbon footprint was high because of this i wasn’t surprised. Changing to energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs, the bulbs with the curly shape, can save you up to 75% of the energy that the incandescent light bulbs use. The bulbs also last at LEAST ten times longer than incandescent light bulbs. I understand as a student living in a house with your family you cannot make the decisions alone.Tell your parents or guardians about this. Not only would they be helping the environment, they would be saving money as well.

http://voices.yahoo.com/how-easily-reduce-carbon-footprint-energy-7886992.html
Marisa R- usa
Comments (3)
  • Ally E- USA Ally E- USA Oct. 10, 2013
    I think this is a great way to save energy! I have around 100 incandescent light bulbs, and I talked to my parents about changing them to fluorescent light bulbs. My mom says our bill was a lot lower after we switched them out! Switching to fluorescent light bulbs not only saves the environment, but also money!
  • Jean H-USA Jean H-USA Oct. 10, 2013
    My house has approximately 200 incandescent light bulb if you count outside, and I talked to my dad and he said he was slowly switching to florescent bulbs and he also said that our bill has a higher percent of decrease compared to his family.
  • Isabella S-US Isabella S-US Oct. 10, 2013
    Yes! These bulbs are so much better. The fluorescent bulbs help minimize the amount of energy spent. They can lower it by up to 75%.

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Anna H-USA, Oct. 10, 2013

When I was calculating my carbon footprint i was shocked to see how many light bulbs I had in my house and how much they contributed to my carbon footprint. When I was reading about how to lower my carbon footprint i came across and article about low energy light bulbs and was shocked by what I found. I found that these light bulbs use less than 20% of the energy that is needed for regular light bulbs and can last up to 15 times longer! Just by changing out your high energy light bulbs with these low energy light bulbs you can cut your energy wastage by three quarters. Even though these light bulbs do contain a small amount of mercury, it is very minute and harmless, so these light bulbs can be recycled normally. Just from changing to these low energy light bulbs you can save energy, therefore lowering your electricity bill, have light bulbs that last longer, and lower your carbon footprint.

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/lightbulbs.html
Anna H-USA
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Isabella S-US, Oct. 9, 2013

Though I found my carbon footprint to be average for a Texan, I was not satisfied with how high my home section was. If I were to have my own home, I would want it to be more energy efficient. Living in Texas, the air conditioning is seemingly on 24/7, so it is even more important to find another way to use that electricity without putting out a very large carbon footprint. One way of preventing this carbon footprint is by using solar panels for energy. There is plenty of land in Texas to put these fields of solar panels. If I had the choice, I would prefer to stay close to work/school because it is obvious that you add a lot onto your carbon footprint when driving a long distance. Another thing that I would add to my house would be more CFL light bulbs. In my house now, we use a lot of incandescent lights that don’t help the environment a lot. I think that using some of these ideas would make for a much smaller carbon footprint.

http://theenergycollective.com/whirlwindsteel/247416/how-solar-power-benefits-society
Isabella S-US
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Jordyn VUSA, Oct. 9, 2013

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.

Jordyn VUSA
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Laura H-U.S.A, Oct. 9, 2013

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.

http://greenfamily.about.com/od/Green-Family-Basics/tp/10-Ways-To-Reduce-Your-Familys-Carbon-Footprint.htm
Laura H-U.S.A
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Alexandra G-USA, Oct. 9, 2013

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.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/154162/article.html
Alexandra G-USA
Comments (1)
  • Isabella S-US Isabella S-US Oct. 9, 2013
    I chose a topic similar to this when thinking of what I could do to make my carbon footprint smaller and found that, even if there is nothing plugged into the charger, energy is still transmitted which is a waste of money and energy.

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Sarah G-USA, Oct. 9, 2013

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.

http://www.carbonfootprint.com/athome.html

https://www.climatecare.org/climate/low-carbon-living/#home
Sarah G-USA
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Mary W- USA, Oct. 9, 2013

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.

http://greenblizzard.com/carbon-footprint/2010/09/30/what-is-vampire-energy/
Mary W- USA
Comments (2)
  • Reece V, USA Reece V, USA Oct. 10, 2013
    I never realized how leaving something as simple as a phone charger plugged in could waste so much electricity. Thank you for this helpful information. I will now unplug my phone charger and other electronics when I do not need to use them.
  • Anna H-USA Anna H-USA Oct. 10, 2013
    Wow i didn't know that all this “vampire electricity” costs the US 4 billion dollars! I agree and definitely think that more people should make habit of unplugging their electronics when we are not charging them or are not in use.

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