Our Carbon Footprint - How Green Are Our Homes?
Going Green at home without spending extra money is easier than you think. One person or one family can make a huge difference with small steps! Find out how you can go green at home and reduce your carbon footprint without the need for expensive gadgets or huge investments. Look for the environment icon to see the potential cost and energy savings in numbers for the green living tips below.
- 40% of our energy consumption and carbon emissions come from our buildings - not cars. Buildings produce the most CO2 in the US (1).
- The US contributes almost 1/3 to the world's CO2 output while only having 4% of the world's population! We produce 8 billion metric tons of carbon emissions, which has shockingly and radically surpassed the original forecasts based on popuation growth and energy usage..
- The average US person has burnt more than 16 metric tons CO2 in 2014, and these figures have grown since. We love big cars, big homes and constantly blasting air conditioners as a "way of life" that is anything but environmentally friendly. That's more than twice the European average and almost five times the global average(1).
To avoid a critical tipping point in global warming effects, we have to reduce our carbon emissions by 80% (2)
- Paper takes up about 40% of all landfill space. Going green at home means that every ton of recycled paper can save 17 forty-feet tall fir trees.
- The average consumer uses over 700 pounds (317 kilos) of paper products every year. This is almost twice the per capita consumption since the 1970s.
Going Green At Home - Reduce Reuse Recycle
You can create a Green Home with the Magical Three "Rs" - Reduce Reuse Recycle
- You may already recycle your paper and plastic, but for going green at home, also consider buying recycled products to support the process. You can save 2,400 pounds (1088 kilos) of CO2 a year by going green and recycling half of your household waste.
- How do you recycle specific items like cooking oils, batteries, printer cartridges, etc?
- Reuse your plastic bottles and glass containers. Going green at home with recycling a single bottle compared to creating a new one saves enough energy to power one 60-watt bulb for six hours.
- Reduce your carbon footprint and reuse your plastic water bottles! Fill tap water in used plastic bottles and refrigerate them to remove the remaining chlorine taste.
- Cut a large plastic bottle in half and fill it with water to freeze into a large ice pack - you will always have ice on hand when you need it.
- Glass vessels can be washed for green living and reused for storing spices, pickles, leftover food, etc.
- Compost Your Food Scraps for going green at home. Food waste stored in landfills without oxygen releases massive amounts of methane gas, which is 21 times more heat-trapping than CO2 and responsible for half of our carbon footprint. Around 3% of methane is released by decomposing bio-degradable waste. By going green and recycling organic waste or composting it you can help eliminate this problem! If every US household would compost their kitchen scraps, the organic waste diverted from trash landfills would cover the entire city of San Francisco within one year.
A million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the number will jump another 20% by 2021, creating an environmental crisis some campaigners predict will be as serious as climate change..
- Use leftover paper or plastic bags in your trash can for greener living, rather than buying specific trash bags. With reusing one ton of plastic bags, the energy equal to 11 barrels of oil is saved and 17 trees are spared(1).
- Check out this resource for going green at home with home-made cleaners and other tips: These green cleaning products are inexpensive, made easily from available ingredients and really work!
Get our latest 5 go green at home ideas
These are not your everyday going green tips! Get inspired with some new green living ideas that you may not have thought of before.
Find out how you can save energy at home
You can do more than using fluorescent light bulbs, which is of course a great start. Find out how much energy is wasted in an average household and what you can do to save energy cost and waste.
Reduce and save water at home to go green
Did you know that an average shower uses 4 gallons of water per minute? That makes long showers even more water-wasteful than bubble baths! Find out more interesting water usage facts and how you can reduce your water use efficiently.
Cut down on paper waste for a greener home
While paper is the most recycable waste we produce, this should not be a thumbs-up for continuing our paper habits unchecked. The average US household receives 1.5 trees worth of junk mail every year. Find out how you can reduce your paper waste and live with less clutter in your green home.
Green driving increases your fuel efficiency, saves emissions
While keeping your car at home is still the best carbon cutting measure, there are a few very effective steps you can take for the planet while you drive your car!
(1) - National Geographic
(2) - Based on Tim Flannery's book "the weather makers: how man is changing the climate and what it means for life on earth".
(3) - The study, by Javelin Strategy &; Research, is called "2007 Online Banking and Bill Payment: Trends, Forecasts, and Strategies for Reinvigorating