I know that Earth Day has passed and I really wish that I’d come across this great article about lowering your homes carbon emissions earlier as I would have written about it for Earth Day.
The article discusses 20 different ways in which you can reduce your use of energy and thus the amount of carbon emissions that your produce in your home. I’m happy to say that Chris and I already do almost every single item on the list and in fact I could probably add to that list too.
I would hope that almost everyone is participating in a recycling program in their area. It’s so easy to do once you get used to it. Here in Toronto recycling is the law. Every second week the city picks up all of our recycled items such as cans, plastic containers, bottles and paper products. From April through to December the city also picks up yard waste – such as plant trimmings, leaves and items like that. Depending on the exact time of year this happens weekly or biweekly. They also pick up Green garbage weekly.
Green garbage is everything from table scraps, to napkins of serviettes that we perhaps use while we are eating, tissues and things like that. Now, we do have a composter in our backyard so we don’t give the city all of our scraps, but we do have something to put out weekly.
The article that I read says that by participating in a recycling program and by purchasing items made with recycled content, just an increase of 10% alone, will save the average household 91 kg C02 over a years time. Considering that recycling programs are mandatory in many municipalities, and that many stores sell products made of recycled content I would think that just about everyone is doing this to some extent.
You know what’s really strange. I was going to talk about this anyway before I found this article because something happened earlier this week that made me think about writing a post about saving energy. Finding this article just reminded me to get that post done.
You see, earlier this week we had a nice young girl knock on our door. She was working with our city in a program called TAPS TORONTO that’s being provided by the Toronto Hydro Electric System and Enbridge (a natural gas company). Absolutely free of charge she gave us a new shower head for our shower that would reduce water usage, a kitchen facet aerator, a bathroom faucet aerator, foam pipe insulation (to wrap around a hot water pipe and prevent heat loss), and four 14 watt Compact fluorescent light bulbs. Well probably save more than $100 a year just by using all of those items.
It’s funny too because we always seem to manage to get free compact fluorescent bulbs each year. We started using them about four years ago, and every light in our home that can be fitted with one of these energy saving light bulbs has one in it. They last forever too – much longer than regular incandescent bulbs. I think each year we manage to get 4 to 8 free.
Along with discussing the use of low flow shower heads which we were given the other day, and which we already use in our home, the article states that by using energy efficient light bulbs such as the compact fluorescent light bulbs that we just got for free you can cut C02 emissions.
If you aren’t already using the compact fluorescent bulbs think about trying them. The light they provide is very similar to that of the incandescent bulbs that you are likely still using, but considering that most of these compact fluorescent bulbs are 12 -15 watts compared to the normal incandescent bulbs 60 to 75 watts you’ll save both energy, money and C02 emissions by using them.
Just replace your incandescent bulbs as they burn out with the new fluorescent bulbs. If you only change three of them over the next year you’ll save 136 KG of CO2 and €44 (£30 or $60 USD). Wow, I didn’t even realize you could save that much just by switching three bulbs over. Chris and I must be saving hundreds of dollars with at least 90% of our lighting now being compact fluorescent lighting.
Go have a look at the article and then let me know how many of those tips you are already doing. We are doing all but #19 (update insulation in home), but we’re working on that one.