Pooja Khanna Tyagi
A carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gases that our homes are responsible for creating. A large carbon footprint means that our household activities release more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which can have a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the carbon footprint of our house by making clever choices in terms of what we buy, consume, and also make some basic changes in our daily lives.
Turn off the lights and fans when not in use and switch to energy-efficient LED lights, which last longer than CFL and incandescent lights. Open the windows to bring in maximum natural light to illuminate the indoors during the day. Additionally, turn off the power outlet of all electrical appliances when not in use.
When you go out to buy electrical appliances like TVs, computers, air conditioners or microwave, go for energy efficient models with a good star rating. Invest in renewable energy sources like solar panels, solar heaters and solar-powered lights.
An energy-efficient house will reduce carbon emissions and help in saving electricity costs. Conserve energy in summers by drawing the curtains to prevent indoor heat gain during the peak hours of the day. If there are any gaps around the frames of the doors and windows, then use caulk insulation or weather stripping to prevent the leakage of cool air.
Use the leftovers
Check and organise the fridge regularly. Consider setting up a compost bin for handling the leftovers. Compost is rich in nutrients, and once it decomposes, it can be used to fertilise the garden.
Plant trees around the house
Grow plants indoors or outdoors as they absorb carbon dioxide and are a great way to reduce the carbon emissions from our house. Plant trees around the building because they help in reducing the recurring air-conditioning costs by providing shade and preventing indoor heat gain.
Green’s the word
Go for furniture made in green materials like wood from sustainable forests, bamboo, glass or metal. Fabric for the curtains, upholstery, bed linen and towels should be manufactured with organic cotton or renewable natural fibres.
Prevent water wastage
Another way to reduce the carbon footprint of our houses is by preventing the wastage of water. Some of the simple steps include fixing of all the leaky faucets and fixtures. Don’t forget to close the faucet in between rinses while brushing your teeth or washing dishes.
REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE
The process of reducing, reusing, and recycling conserves energy and reduces the greenhouse gas emissions from various activities like resource extraction, manufacturing and transportation. Avoid single-use plastic items, buy less plastic-packaged food and take reusable bags for grocery shopping. Invest in non-disposable household goods and replace items like plastic water bottles and containers with green materials like aluminium, glass or steel. Before selling household junk, segregate the waste into plastic, glass, newspapers, aluminium, steel and electronic waste so that these can be recycled efficiently.
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