As the leaves put on their spectacular autumnal color show changing from green to red and yellow, it is now time for some seasonal tips to help each of us reduce our ‘carbon footprint’ during the fall season. So, let’s get started with some ideas on how you can help the environment and save money, at the same time, during this time of year.
Let’s start with lightbulbs – LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are the most energy efficient lightbulb available, as they use up to 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs. A 10-watt LED delivers as much light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb and can last up to 25 years. Replacing incandescent and halogen lamps with LEDs across the U.S. would save millions of metric tons of carbon emissions every year. So, the next time you head to the hardware store, make sure LEDs are on your list.
Let’s talk about your thermostat – to save energy, you can set your thermostat to 68 degrees when awake and lower when you are asleep or away from the house. Invest in a ‘smart’ thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature of your home from a smartphone. This can keep you comfortable when you’re home and save you money when you’re not. To warm your house during the day, make sure you keep shades and curtains open to let in the sunshine that will help heat your house throughout the day. Also, remember to set ceilings fans to turn clockwise, as this will push warmer air downward.
If you want other ways to efficiently heat your house and save energy, then try these green tips – keep radiators and heating ducts free of obstructions. Use ‘thermal’ curtains as they can help prevent 10% of a room’s heat loss. Make sure doors and windows are shut tightly and place a ‘draft’ stopper under the door to help keep the heat in. Seal your home’s ductwork using sealant or metal tape around any gaps you find. Caulk and weather strip any cracks around your windows.
Water heating accounts for about 20% of the average electricity bill. Turning down your water heater to the warm setting of 120 degrees will help reduce your energy consumption. Also, turn off the ‘heated’ drying setting on your dishwater to save a large amount of energy too.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and now you can have fun and go greener at the same time. Try to reuse customs or make them from home. Have a Halloween costume swap in your neighborhood or within one of your organizations. Put your creativity to the test and make decorations from home objects. Go on the Internet to find DIY ideas.
These are just a few ideas to help you go greener this autumn. Let’s put them into practice to reduce our carbon footprint and make for a cleaner and safer planet, in the years to come.