Watching Live Earth today was brilliant seeing all those wonderful influential people talking out about saving the environment and how much our climate is in Crisis. It makes everyone of us think about doing our part to help too. If these wonderful singers can do their part surely we can too.
I wonder, do any of those influential people who stood up on stage turn their lights out in their giant mansions or change a lightbulb? Did any of the stars on stage calculate their own carbon footprint?
I wanted to share with you the initiatives we personally are doing in our own home to help reduce our carbon emissions, some of them go as far back as 1998.
We have been using Florescent light bulbs since 1999, when the bulbs were big and chunky and expensive called the GE Compax FLB15/TL 15W. Infact we still to this day have some of the original bulbs in the house and they have been through 3 houses! We have now replaced approx. 90% of our light bulbs with florescent.
We have Toilets that are 1.6 gallon flush and since the drought that we had here in the front range in 2003 we have been flushing the toilet about once every 2nd time. In New Zealand and Australia we have a brand of toilet called Caroma that is a half flush. I noticed last time we were in The Kitchen they also had these toilets so I know they are available in the US now.
We have all new appliances since 2000 and they are all energy efficient. We have a high spin washer so that we don’t have to use additional energy drying clothes.
We always turn down our hot water heater in the summer by 10 degrees or so. We have kids too so it is usually turned down under 120F to avoid scalding.
Leaving the Room
We always only have lights on the rooms we are in and turn lights off when we leave.
We use Ceiling fans in all living areas and bedrooms so that we can avoid having the AC on most of the time. We also use the AC fan so that the cooler air from our basement circulates thereby again avoiding the AC being on unnecessarily.
Live in a Bat Cave
We draw the blinds on hot days during the summer to make sure that the heat stays out as long as possible. Also when we built this house we used 3ft overhangs to make use of natural shade. On cold days we draw the blinds to keep the heat in to avoid unnecessary heating. Our friends always complain about how cold our house is but I think that comes from living in NZ where we don’t have central heat and air. I always tell them to put on a jersey!
Heating and Cooling
In the summer we turn the AC up one degree and in the winter we avoid using the heat at night (we use more blankets) and turn the heat down about 2 degrees in the winter.
Boulder Built Green
In Boulder when you build a house the city has guidelines in order for you to be Built Green and we hold a certificate to represent this. In order for your house to qualify you have to accumlate green points.
Stopping Postal Junk Mail
We have been stopping our own personal junk mail since 1999 and now only receive bills and catalogs we love to shop from.
Freiker Bike to School
Our oldest son bikes to school every day, he managed over 150 days last school year. This is the initiative of another local Boulder non-profit Company called www.Freiker.org. The kids are labeled with RFID tags on their helmets and each day they ride under a scanner which records their personal ride history. They then win prizes at each different level of achievement.
Don’t throw it away
We recycle as much paper and plastic as we can through a local Waste management program in our immediate area.
What are you doing in your own home, I would love to hear if your town has any great initiiatives such as the Built Green or Freiker Programs.