Carbon Reduction Checklist

See what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. 

See what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. 

Appliances

  •        Buy energy star appliances
  •        Use a solar dryer (clothesline.)
  •        Know what you want and where it is before you open the refrigerator.
  •        Use a carafe coffee system rather a burner system (better coffee and less energy.)
  •        Better yet make your own cold brew coffee.

Electronics

Lighting

  •        Use daylighting as much as possible.
  •        Use LEDs – use about 75% less energy than incandescent and last about 25 time longer.
  •        Consider installing solar power (it may not be a good idea.)
  •        Buy Energy Star lighting.

Heating

  •        Live layered.
  •        Reduce your winter temperature by 1 degree a month until you are at 68 degrees.
  •        Open and close windows to take advantage of daytime heating.
  •        Have your system serviced in October.
  •        Change your air filter a few times during the heating season.

AC

  •        Live naked, it improves the efficacy of ceiling fans.
  •        Use ceiling fans but only when you are in the room.
  •        Set your thermostat at 78 or 80 (you will acclimate.)
  •        If you can, avoid being in cold buildings during the work day.
  •        Change your air filters with every month’s worth of use (not necessarily every month.)
  •        Have your system serviced in the spring before cooling season starts.
  •        Check your ducts for leakage and fix them.
  •        Seal air leaks in your house.
  •        Make sure you have more low vents than high venting your attic.
  •        Consider going to an unvented attic
  •        If you cannot add insulation in your attic being careful not to block soffit vents.

Water heating

  •        Turn the temp on your water heater down.
  •        Wash clothes, when possible, in cold water
  •     Turn your water heater to “vacation” or “pilot” when you are away. You are not going to remember to do this unless you have a “leaving checklist” of all the things you need to do when you are going to be away for a few days or more.
  •        Insulate your hot water tank.

Water

  •        Reduce turf in your yard.
  •        Irrigate wisely.
  •        Only when necessary
  •        Use a moisture sensor to avoid watering when it is not necessary.
  •        Water deeply and infrequently
  •        Consider rainwater collection.
  •        Use low flow fixtures
  •        Turn water off while brushing teeth, washing hands and even when lathering up in the shower.

Energy Audit

  •        Reducing air leaks without an energy audit
  •        Foam electrical and plumbing penetrations into the attic
  •        Keep winter cover on spigots all year
  •        Caulk windows
  •        Caulk baseboards
  •        Seal and insulate attic accesses that are in conditioned space
  •        Use a chimney balloon
  •        Visually inspect your insulation
  •        Run the fan on your CA system and feel for leak in your ducts.
  •        Get an energy audit.

Transportation

  •        Don’t travel and if you do commit to carbon offsets
  •        Walk or ride a bike where possible.
  •        Combine trips
  •        Plan errands for once a week
  •        Procrastinate - put all errands off until this day or at least as late as possible.
  •        Drive a fuel-efficient car
  •        Learn to drive for fuel efficiency

Consumerism

  • Reduce the inflow of stuff
  •        Don’t expose yourself to commercial advertising it drives consumerism in EVERYONE.
  •        Encourage friends and family to relax the gift giving obligation, with non-stuff rituals.
  •        Create algorithms that help make buying decisions,
  •        Create a wardrobe list by category and how many is reasonable to keep in each category. 
  •        Define the amount of space your wardrobe should take up and stick to it.
  •        Decide how often you must use something to make it worth keeping.
  •        If you get something new that is larger than a match box, commit to getting rid of at least        twice its volume.
  •        Get rid of the excess that you have
  •        Start with the junk drawer.
  •        Do you use it more than four times a year?
  •        Is there something else that could do the job almost as well?
  •        I will get rid of ___ things each month.
  •        Maintain a box for things of sentimental value and do not let them overflow the box.  
  •        Digitize

Waste

  •        Don’t buy over packaged items
  •        Use fabric grocery bags.
  •        Avoid over packaged food.
  •        Reuse where possible.
  •        Recycles where you cannot reuse.
  •        Compost
  •        Recycle
  •        Glass
  •        Cans
  •        Newspaper (better to read online)
  •        Magazines
  •        Cardboard
  •        Batteries
  •        Stop Junk mail

The Table

  •        Shipping
  •        Grow your own.
  •        Support local farmers through CSAs and Framers markets.
  •        Buy seasonal foods.
  •        Opt for California wine.
  •        Buy western hemisphere coffee.
  •        Reduce chemicals
  •        Buy organic or near organic and drug free.
  •        Become a vegetarian or at least more vegetarious.
  •        Limit or eliminate lamb and beef.
  •        Eat only grass fed and finished beef and lamb.
  •        Buy wild fish.

 

EPA Carbon Footprint Calculator (under estimates by a good deal) 

Nature Conservancy Carbon Offsets

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