How Can You Reduce Your Environmental Footprint?
(THIS CAN ALSO HELP YOU SAVE MONEY.)
Reduce, re-use and recycle is a good rule to prevent waste. A few easy ways to reduce your own footprint, as listed by http://cotap.org/reducecarbon-footprint/ include:
• Turn off the lights and electronics in a room when you aren’t using them.
• Lower your thermostat in winter. Wear warmer clothes. Raise your thermostat in summer. Wear lighter clothing. Install a programmable model to turn off the heat/air conditioning when you’re not home.
• Hang your clothes on a drying rack rather than using an automatic dryer. This is also less wear and tear on your clothes.
Appliances. Make energy efficiency a primary consideration when choosing a new furnace, air conditioning unit, dishwasher or refrigerator. roducts bearing the ENERGY STAR label are recognized for having superior efficiency.
Water usage. Lower the amount of energy used to pump, treat, and heat water by washing your car less often, using climate-appropriate plants in your garden, installing drip irrigation so that plants receive only what they need, and making water-efficient choices when purchasing shower heads, faucet heads, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.
• Buy products that are grown locally. Local products travel a shorter distance to get to your plate, so they will be fresher by the time you eat them. Also, they use less fuel and handling to get from the farm to your plate.
• Bring your own tote rather than use the plastic or paper bags.
• Alternatives to driving. When possible, walk or ride your bike in order to avoid carbon emissions completely.
• Carpooling drastically reduce CO2 emissions by spreading them out over many riders.
• Driving style. Speeding and unnecessary acceleration reduce mileage by up to 33%, waste gas and money, and increase your carbon footprint.
• Tire inflation and other tuning. Properly inflated tires improve your gas mileage by up to 3%. It also helps to use the correct grade of motor oil, and to keep your engine tuned, because some maintenance fixes, like fixing faulty oxygen sensors, can increase fuel efficiency by up to 40%.
• Avoid traffic.
• Insulate and seal your home. Reduce drafts and air leaks with caulk, insulation, and weather stripping. Many states offer programs and incentives to facilitate this, and a great example is Energy Upgrade California.
QUICK TIPS for Small Businesses
Build environmentally conscious practices into your work flow. Small steps in the right direction are better than doing nothing at all.
Turn off and unplug
Get the members of your team into the habit of switching everything off at the end of the day and implement energy saving modes on everyone’s computers and monitors. Before you head home, make sure all of your office lights, equipment, kettles and microwaves are turned off fully – by this, we mean switching off the plug sockets. More often than not, electrical equipment siphons power when in it’s in standby mode – so to ensure there is none wasted, switch them off and unplug at the wall. This will not only reduce your consumption, but also your electricity bills. Throughout the work day, make sure that all computers are set to “energy saver” mode.
Paper makes up approximately 35% of a small company’s waste stream and is easy to re-use and recycle. First, reduce waste by using as little paper as possible. Do not print e-mail, rather organize it in your inbox. (Back-up copies of important files on an external drive rather than storing boxes of paper files.) Use electronic signatures whenever possible on contracts. Place paper recycling bins in convenient locations to make it easier for all employees. Locate these near copiers.