In an article, How to Get Carbon-Free in Ten Years, written by Brooke Jarvis and Doug Pibel from the Summer edition of the Green Living Journal, they give real ways to eliminate the CO2 emissions that our homes and transportation create. I was impressed with the ideas they gave and how they broke it down into years at a time, making it feel doable over a ten year period.
Year One: Small Changes Make a Big Difference
Wash clothes in cold water and air dry them in the summer. Replace Incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, and turn off the computer when not in use. Those small changes add up to an instant, virtually free savings of 6,200 pounds of CO2. Make one simple transportation change: commute by bus three days a week and that’s worth another 2,200 pounds.
Year Two: Home Improvement
Insulate the attic and basement, seal the heating ducts and patch up any large air leaks and that will save 7,100 pounds of CO2.
Year Three: House and Car
Start busing to work every day and consolidate trips outside of work and that will save 5,900 pounds. Weatherproof the house, beef up the wall insulation, weatherizing doors and windows and upgrading to high performance windows and another 1,800 pounds disappear.
Year Four: Shed Carbon on Vacation
Instead of flying for your annual vacation, take the train and save 7,200 pounds every year. If you take the bus you would save even more.
Year Five: Replace the Car
Buy an electric car and save 9,000 pounds. Electriccars.com
Year Six: Hot and Cold
Improve your water system, including insulating your hot water heater, pipes and also lower the temperature of the water heater and save 1,000 pounds. Buy an energy-efficient refrigerator and unplug the extra one in the garage. That will save another 1,300 pounds.
Year Seven: Close to Home
Vacation closer to home, driving your electric car on vacations. This will save 3,300 pounds of CO2 each year.
Year Eight: More things around the House
An efficient clothes washer saves carbon on its own and saves dryer time. Invest in a solar hot water system, saving 2,000 pounds.
Year Nine: Electric Bikes
Most cities have bike paths and bike lanes, making it easy to ride to work. Buy electric bikes to help with the hills, for use in those warmer dryer months. This will save 3,500 pounds. Electric-Bikes.com
Year Ten: Green Power
Replace the old furnace with an electric heat pump and buy certified green, renewable power from your electric company. This will eliminate 8,300 pounds.