For many of us, “carbon footprint” is a vague term that can make us feel guilty about our energy use, even while feeling that it isn’t controllable in any tangible way. In fact, though, there are lots of things you can do right now to make your footprint smaller and help the planet stay green and beautiful for generations to come.
- What’s my carbon footprint?Any time you consume energy from fossil fuels, you contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon (CO2). The total sum of those emissions is the size of your carbon footprint. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to energy savings. The average American is responsible for 15.3 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. That’s three times the global carbon footprint average of 4.9 metric tons. To calculate your own personal carbon footprint, you’ll want to gather current home utility bills and vehicle maintenance records, then use this calculator. Calculate your carbon footprint here.
- Is it possible to reduce my carbon footprint?
Whether your number is higher than the average, or even if it’s significantly lower, there are still practical steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. Your own individual carbon footprint is a combination of all those negative impacts from activities or consumption and their estimated harm to the environment. The good news is that we all can do something to reduce the size and impact of your consumption.
- What can I do now?
Plan (and limit) your fossil fuel use
Does this sound familiar? First, a drive to the grocery store, then back home. Next, a drive to pick up the kids after school (passing by the grocery store), then back home. Finally, a trip with the kids to run errands (driving past … you guessed it, the grocery store and the school). Instead, try to combine all your automobile trips as much as possible. Better yet, use public transportation, or do your heart a favor by walking or biking to errands, instead.
Consider solar power
Installing a solar power system for your home or business is one of the biggest most effective ways you can make a carbon footprint reduction. Solar is the ultimate in clean energy—carbon free, pollution free, and incredibly abundant. If you’d like to know more, contact your local solar installer for a free quote and to learn more about which type of solar installation is right for you.
Download our eBook, Reducing Your Carbon Footprint, to learn more about how your solar panels are making the earth cleaner and safer for future generations.