Reducing your carbon impact can be easier than you think. Here are some easy steps you can take that will save you money and reduce your impact:
- Winter Heating – Turn your thermostats down to 65 degrees while you are home and set to 58 degrees at night or while you are gone. Wear sweaters and thermal underwear during the day and use an electric blanket or mattress cover at night.
- Summer Cooling – Turn your thermostats up to 82 degrees while you are home and set to 90 degrees while you are away. Keep drapes closed during the day and open the windows for evening cooling. Wear shorts, light shirts, & sandals wherever possible.
- Clothes Washing – Use cold water for clothes washing (full loads only ) & air dry. In winter indoor racks to increase humidity in gas-heated homes.
- Dish Washing – Wait until the dishwasher is full and run on low heat cycle
Potential savings: Changing your thermostat could save you up to 1400 pounds of carbon a year. Each reduced hot clothes washing load or dishwasher load saves 100 pounds a time. Each reduction in dryer loads saves 260 pounds..
- Eat Vegetarian Meals – Try going meatless a few days a week. Your digestive tract will thank you and most of us can stand to lose a few extra pounds.
- Buy Local or Regional Food and Beverages – The Farmers Market and Davis Coop are great sources that actively support local farmers.
- Start a Backyard Garden – Try growing tomatoes, carrots, greens, and herbs in pots if space is limited.
Potential savings:Each additional meatless day is equivalent to losing 700 pounds. Eating a diet with less meat, sugar, packaged and processed food saves 3500 pounds.
- Walk or Bike – Get out of your car as much as possible. Every gallon of gas you use puts 10 lbs of CO2 into the air. And we can all become a little fitter too.
- Use Public Transportation – Eliminate the stress of driving.
- Take Regional Vacations – California is a great, giant playground.
- Use Your Car Wisely – Keep your tires inflated and go easy on the gas pedal.
Potential savings: Riding a bike 20 miles per week instead of driving a car saves 1280 pounds. Using public transit five days a week instead of car would save 4800 pounds over a year. Reducing air travel by 1000 miles/year by telecommuting or taking vacations locally could save 900 pounds.
- Add low-flow heads to your faucets and shower heads
- Strive for a 5-Minute Shower
- Set your water heater thermostats to 120 degrees.
- Landscaping – Water lawns in late evening and on every 2nd or 3rd day. Grow a tall lawn and mulch your lawn mowing clippings
Potential savings: Reducing your shower from ten to five minutes saves 300 pounds a year. Adding low flow fittings to your faucets saves 738 pounds.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Buy Wisely – Consciously think about everything you buy. Do you really need it or just want it? Try to buy US-made goods with minimal packaging.
- Use Reusable Cloth Bags and Plastic Containers – Eliminate use of single use bags and restaurant leftover containers. Keep extras in all your vehicles.
- Recycle Everything Possible – Store up those things that can’t be curbside recycled & take to the 2nd St. or landfill recycling centers.
- Start a Backyard Compost Bin – The City offers free composting bins & classes.
Potential savings: Using only 100% recycled paper saves 1200 pounds a year