Easy Ways to Lower Your Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Home

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Don't do this at home! It is NOT COOL!

Lowering greenhouse gas emissions means conserving energy. There are quite a few things that you can do in your home to reduce your energy use and lower your emissions. Here are some ideas and suggestions.

1. Eat Local Food

Food that is grown in far-away states or countries requires a lot of fossil fuel to make it to you. This food shipment distance is known as “food miles,” and the more miles on your food, the more emissions produced from the fuels used. In contrast, local foods have not had to travel as far to get to your local grocery or farmer’s market. Buying local food contributes to your local community, resulting in less long-distance commerce in general.

2. Transportation

Your personal vehicle use is an area where you can cut back. Here are some ideas.

* Use public transportation. It is well-known that public transportation reduces greenhouse gas emissions; more people are transported for the same amount of gasoline, or without gasoline at all (as in electric street cars and trains).

* Carpooling is another way to consolidate your transportation needs. Get together with co-workers, neighbors, and so forth and adjust your schedules so that you are traveling together on errands, to work, and so forth.

* Biking is wonderful exercise, and produces no emissions at all. Sidecars make biking even more practical.

3. Appliances

If you are buying new ones, look for the Energy Star. This means that the appliance lives up to the government’s standards for energy efficiency. If you are not buying new appliances, be wise with the ones you have. Don’t hold the refrigerator door open for long periods, only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they have full loads, and make use of a pressure cooker or crockpot to reduce oven use. These appliance tips will save you money, too.

4. Sustainable Products

When you buy products that are sustainable, you are investing in earth-friendly practices and businesses that are committed to as few greenhouse gas emissions as possible. Clothing, food, shoes, and cosmetics are some of the personal products that are produced in a sustainable manner, made with materials that are derived from natural sources. You can also purchase sustainable flooring, paint, furniture, bedding, and so forth for your home.

5. Insulate Your Home

Choose a sustainable insulation such as wool, newspaper, and other eco-friendly materials and make sure you fill in the cracks. Check the attic to make sure there are no cracks under the eaves, and seal them before adding more insulation. Use weather stripping around doors and windows. Your utility bills will go down after you take these measures, too.

6. Practice the Three R’s

Reduce, reuse, and recycle are the three R’s that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Reuse containers and bottles; recycle household waste such as glass, paper and cardboard; and reduce your usage of disposable items in general.

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