Ecoedge’s top ten tips for reducing your carbon footprint and saving yourself money!<br /><ul><li>Switch to energy-saving globes.
This is a given these days, we know, but it really does help. Consider that if most old-style globes were 75 watts and you had 5 of them on for 4 hours every day, and you swapped them for the equivalent 15 watt energy saving globes, you’ll save $92.50 a year based on 20c per kilowatt hour. Doesn’t sound like much but for that, you could go out for coffee once a fortnight for a year or use an automatic carwash
Not only will you benefit from the extra veggies in your diet, you’ll save greenhouse emissions too! It’s all a matter of eating lower down the food chain – the less inputs that go into the food you eat, the less carbon that’s been emitted in its production. Even replacing two meat-based meals with vegetarian ones each week will make a difference.
Use your legs or public transport to get around
You’re right – it’s not always convenient to walk or cycle, bus or train it to your destination, especially when you have to carry groceries or other things with you.
Pelmets? What are pelmets? They’re the old-fashioned-now-hot-again box frames that sit above your curtain tops. They stop the cold air currents that form around windows and that result in cold air being drawn in to your home. They’re easy to make and install if you’re handy. You could sand and varnish them for a sleek look, paint them to match your current décor or go all out and cover them in fancy fabric and tasseled edging – either way, you’ll save energy and money.
Checking around windows and under doors and skirting boards (if your house is on stumps) for gaps has got to be the first thing to do when trying to cut down on energy. Whether it’s summer or winter, these gaps will quietly sabotage your efforts to maintain a comfortable temperature. Check for draughts with your hands or carefully with a flame (the flame will waver in the breeze) and if you find any, get sealing!
Keep doors and windows closed when your heater or air conditioner is on
No further explanation necessary… (unless your air conditioner is evaporative, in which case you’ll need to leave a window open for it to work at its optimum)
Swap your electric kettle for a stove top one if you have a gas stove.
Did you know that the standard kettle runs at approximately 2200 watts to boil water for our cups of tea? That’s a lot of 75 watt globes… If you can’t or don’t want to use your stove, at the very least, only boil the water that you need – twice-boiled water has much less oxygen than water that’s only been boiled once anyway, so it’ll be better for you too.
In your roof and under your floors, if your house is raised. You’ll be amazed at the difference. Not only will your house (or office, restaurant, holiday home, or what have you) heat / cool faster, but it will retain that warmth / chill for much longer, too.
In pots, in polystyrene broccoli boxes, in garden beds amongst your other plants or in dedicated veggie patches – it doesn’t matter how you do it. The humble lettuce can have a big carbon footprint if it was grown 300 kilometres from you, which is often the case these days as our cities expand and the veggie gardens move further out.
Have a sun trap or skylight installed in that dark kitchen, bathroom or hallway
You’ll never need to use the lights there during the day again!