From the fashion industry to the car industry, large corporations and businesses continue to scramble to facilitate major shifts in the ways they operate. This is all in an effort to protect the planet. The major headlines on various news channels showcase the desperate need for immediate action. However, on the ground level, it might seem like there’s nothing you can do to impact long-lasting change. Truthfully, the most important thing you can do is reduce your carbon footprint. Consider the ways you can help in the conversation surrounding climate change right where you are.
1. Be Mindful of Your Thermostat
One of the first ways you can help in addressing climate change in your home is by developing a plan for your thermostat. Your thermostat serves as the director of your HVAC system. Whether you’d like cold air or hot air, your heating and cooling needs make up a significant portion of the energy usage in your home. By using a programmable thermostat, you can bring your energy usage down.
Enlist the help of HVAC professionals in order to ensure that your system works well. Don’t skip over routine maintenance checks as they can catch issues before they worsen. Since air filter changes happen at least once every three months, consider investing in a reusable option to decrease extra consumption.
2. Travel Strategically: Vacations, Local Driving
Living in a society that’s highly influenced by social media, it’s clear that a lot of people prioritize traveling more than ever. For many people, traveling is heralded as more important than material goods. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying national and international travel experiences, it’s important to be mindful of the way you travel. One of the main reasons to be mindful is because fuel is a major contributor to the degradation of the planet.
Knowing this, the next time you’re ready to purchase a car, consider getting an electric vehicle. If you need to travel to the local grocery store, consider walking or using a bike to reduce your use of fuel. Even though it’s fun to travel on a plane, be methodical about how often you travel by plane because of how this method negatively impacts the planet. While it’s easy to call out celebrities and politicians for their use of private planes, be mindful of how many frequent flier miles and vacations you take.
3. Reduce Consumption of Fast Fashion
Studies suggest that the average American wears a garment no more than seven times. Especially with the way that denim jeans are constructed, there’s no reason why they can’t be worn multiple times throughout the year. Before you purchase the next few items on sale, look through your closet to see what you actually have, and wear the same clothes more often.
If your clothes tend to fall apart quickly, this is an indication that you need to invest in better-quality clothing. Because of the excessive waste, Americans are shipping their unmanageable trash to other countries. There are countries with landfills that are overflowing with items from Americans who don’t wear garments more than a few times. Instead of purchasing and getting rid of items quickly, be intentional about what you purchase and make sure that you can wear it multiple times throughout the seasons to reduce your carbon footprint.
Purchase items through second-hand sites like eBay and Poshmark. Visit local thrift stores to purchase brand-new or gently used items at a fraction of the cost. Instead of throwing gently used items away, steam-clean them and give them to friends and family members who could use them. When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint in the context of fashion, circulation, and repeat wear are some of the main solutions.
4. Decrease Water Usage
Consider the various ways you use water in your home. If you’re used to allowing the water to run while you’re brushing your teeth, this is a simple starting point for a way to reduce your water usage. Whether you’re washing your face, brushing your teeth, or even flossing, you don’t need to run the water while you complete these tasks. The same concept applies to taking a bath or shower. All you need to do is wet your body, the soap, and your washcloth. Then, clean your body with the water turned off. After you’ve cleansed, shaved, and exfoliated your body, turn on the water and rinse yourself off.
Invest in a low-flow shower head in order to monitor how much water you’re using in a regular shower. Install a timer in your shower so that you know how much time is passing. Sometimes, people waste a lot of water because they don’t realize how much time is passing. Consequently, they don’t realize how much water they’re using.
Another great way to monitor your water usage is by investing in low-flow toilets. Toilets use gallons of water per flush. By investing in a low-flow toilet, you can make sure that you’re thoroughly getting the waste out of the toilet bowl without using more water than necessary.
5. Use Less Plastic
Pay attention to the companies that offer plastic-free packaging or other alternatives that reduce the amount of waste you’ll collect in your purchasing experience. When you’re looking to refill items such as vitamins or beauty products, some companies host sustainable efforts that encourage you to ship your packaging back to the company. They’ll refill it for you, incentivize the process, and ship new items back in eco-friendly packaging. As more companies adopt eco-friendly ways of reducing the use of plastic, take advantage of those options.
At home, try your best to use less plastic. This comes in the form of using fewer plastic utensils, water bottles, and food containers. Instead, invest in reusable utensils, water filtration systems, and glass containers.
If you love making coffee at home, do your best to avoid using the K-Cup pods as they don’t recycle well. Look for ground or whole-bean options instead. It’s also important to be mindful that many companies like popular coffee brands allow customers to bring their reusable cups to the shops. When it’s time to prepare your drink, they’ll place it in your reusable cup. These adjustments make a difference over time.
6. Use Electricity Intentionally
When you’re illuminating the various rooms in your home, use LED bulbs that use less energy. Turn off the lights when you exit a room. Be mindful of how many appliances get plugged into the various sockets. Plug them all into a power strip, and unplug the entire strip after use. This helps reduce your energy use over time and saves money as well.
As you work towards reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to the conversation surrounding climate change, partner with a company like Friar's Heating and Air to stay on top of the efficiency of your San Diego home. For your appliances and systems to work efficiently, regular maintenance and repairs are important. Contact us today to learn how we can assist in your fight against climate change in your home. We provide heating, cooling, and solar services to San Diego residents.