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Green Your Home

Art08_GreenYourHomeCarbon Footprint

There has been a lot written about your "carbon footprint" of late. The term carbon footprint is a measure of the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted directly or indirectly to support human activity. It is usually expressed in equivalent tons of either carbon or carbon dioxide.

Direct greenhouse gas emissions can include such things as the CO2 coming out of the tailpipe of your car as you commute to work, hydrofluorocarbons coming from your leaking refrigerator or air conditioning equipment. Indirect greenhouse gas emissions arise from coal or fossil fuel-based energy generated to power residential, commercial, and industrial activities. This includes fossil fuel combustion generated in the manufacture, transport, storage, disposal, and recycling of commodities and manufactured products.

It has been reported that buildings account for 35% of all carbon dioxide emissions world-wide and are thus the main culprit contributing to global warming.

Reducing Carbon Footprint at Home

The following are a few tips on ways you can reduce the carbon footprint generated from your own home:

  • Turn down the thermostat. Lowering it by just one degree can reduce heating energy costs by about four percent per year.
  • Repair leaky fixtures: One drop per second from a leaky faucet can waste as much as 10 gallons of water each week.
  • Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. Start by changing your five most frequently used incandescent bulbs with the compact flourescent light bulbs. This will reduce the energy you use and can reduce your electric bill by up to $100 per year.
  • Plug air leaks. This simple step goes a LONG ways towards keeping your home at a comfortable temperature while reducing the energy required to keep it there. Common sources of leaks occur around doors, windows and wall penetrations. Replace worn weather stripping arounds doors and windows, caulk up the wall penetrations and consider changing our your single pane windows with double pane windows.
  • When replacing your flooring, consider using recycled or rapidly renewable wood products. Bamboo is the most frequently mentioned rapidly renewable product used in flooring.
  • If updating your cabinetry, again consider using recycled cabinets or cabinets made from sustainably-managed forests.

Photo: Footprint by G =]

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Architects; Building Consultants; Buildling Contractors; Building Materials; Energy Efficient Solutions; Paints, Stains & Finishes; Real Estate

Related Reading:

Rightsize Your Home; Leeding the Way; Eco-building Trend; Get Green @HomeWhat is a Green Home; Green Home Improvements; Green Building Makes Good Cents; How To Choose a Green Architect & Contractor