Author Topic: Reduce carbon footprint by 20% in 2016 and save money!  (Read 1999 times)

annod

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Reduce carbon footprint by 20% in 2016 and save money!
« on: December 01, 2015, 10:17:19 PM »
Hearing all talk at Climate Change Summit in Paris, it is apparent that if we wait for the government leaders to really lead the way to cut down carbon dioxide emission, it would be "too little too late". We all need to take individual actions as well, and it would take much more than changing all light bulbs to CFL or LEDs.

I have been concious about my carbon footprint for the last 10 years, but despite having lower than the U.S. average carbon footprint, it is still ridiculously high by the world's standard. Here is the calculator I used.
http://www.terrapass.com/carbon-footprint-calculator/

I live in California and this past few years, having the drought, we have been doing what Gov. Jerry Brown urged us to do last year, to cut down water usage by 20%.
We suffered no loss in quality of life, just changing a few things, and being mindful is all it takes.
So next year, I am trying to apply the same idea to my carbon footprint (or ecological footprint in general)--trying to reduce my carbon footprint by 20% next year. Then the more I think about it, by being mustachian, we are reducing our carbon footprint at the same time.
The other way to look at it, many of the things we do to reduce CO2 emission and ecological footprint will also save us money, and help us to be more connected to others and the planet Earth.

Please join me in this challenge!




Hadilly

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Re: Reduce carbon footprint by 20% in 2016 and save money!
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 10:33:47 PM »
I think it is a great idea. What are some concrete things you will do?

I have been:
riding my bike primarily
Washing clothes in cold water
Using LEDs
Not buying a lot of stuff beyond food
Eating local produce
Making my family ride bikes or walk

Things I am considering in 2016: donating money to NRDC and buying carbon credits to offset plane flights. Will switch to green power if it becomes available next year.

I should hang my clothes out to dry more though.

annod

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Re: Reduce carbon footprint by 20% in 2016 and save money!
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2015, 12:38:07 AM »
Some concrete actions:
-Turn down the temperature on the thermostat this winter by 3-4 degrees F. Use the program function so it is automatically lower in certain times. For example, from 11p to 6am, it is set to 62 F. We just dress more warmly. Fleece pants helps A LOT!
(By turning down your central heating thermostat by just 1 C you could reduce the energy you use for heating by 10%.)

-We have 2 cars. DH drives his 2005 Lexus (approx 19mpg, 6000 miles a year).  DH is planning to sell his Lexus and looking to lease a Fiat 500e electric car. Most trips we take are 16-50 miles round trip.
Other car is a 2006 Prius (approx.44 mpg, 8000 miles a year) and I drive that car 4 out of 5 days a week to work (17 miles round trip), and we use it for weekend trips I currently ride my bike average 1-2 days a week (plus train) to work depending on weather. I will increase my biking to 2 days a week in winter, and 3 days in summer.

We will also use the electric car whenever possible, and that would cut our gasoline use a lot. And by using the cars less, we will save a few hundred dollars by switching to a pay-by-mile insurance plan that is geared towards low-mileage drivers.

-Walk/ bike most trips that is under 2 miles. I just need to convince DH to do that with me more. Hadilly, how do you get your family to ride/walk more? (A 2001 National Household Travel Survey revealed that 41 percent of all trips in 2001 were shorter than two miles and 28 percent were shorter than one mile.)

-Buy at least 20% less foods in packages. By cutting my work days from 5 to 4, I am freeing up some time and I will be making more of my own foods instead of buying them pre-made in containers (e.g. Kombucha, sauerkraut.

-Waste less foods. Cut wasted food by 50%.

-We already buy local/ organic/ pasture-raised most of the time. But I will reduce red meat consumption by 20%, and eat more meals that is lower in the food chain.

-Increase production in our garden by 20% next year. We just installed the edible garden this year, and it is nowhere at its capacity yet.  It is a learning process. I will grow more seeds instead of buying seedlings. We started a plant/ seed/ produce exchange group in the neighborhood. Next year, I will spend less money on these things.

-Take vacation that is closer to home.

-I just started a local bike/ walk advocacy group and hopefully can help make our city easier to walk/ bike, and promote the use of active transportation more in our area.

-Look into installing solar panels.

Cut down water usage even more:

-Take my water bottle everywhere so I won't need to buy bottled water or get water at restaurants (every glass of water you get at a restaurant takes 2 glasses of water to wash it)
-Install a 1.5 gallon per minute showerhead such as this : http://www.highsierrashowerheads.com
Estimated water savings:6 gallons a day.

 I find that these things will either save me money (not all of them will), or they will help me to be healthier.

annod

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Heckler

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Re: Reduce carbon footprint by 20% in 2016 and save money!
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 11:45:29 PM »
Interesting site annod!

Did you give them your email for the full results?   I'd be curious to see what more they report, but don't need more junk mail....


Here's my back of the napkin calculation, lying in bed.  I suspect I'm low on air milage, and high on car milage.

Heckler

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Re: Reduce carbon footprint by 20% in 2016 and save money!
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2015, 11:50:38 PM »
Buying carbon offsets - what a capitalistic solution (scam) to a problem with a much easier solution. 

Drive less, fly less, insulate your home and turn down the heat, turn off the lights and TV.