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10 tips to reduce your carbon footprint at home

 

According to a Moorish proverb, “The burden borne by a group is a feather.” So here are 10 tips to help you achieve carbon neutrality at home.

Every little bit helps! This is the way to protect both the environment and our health.

1. A tool to calculate your greenhouse gas emissions

Do you know what your annual ecological footprint is?

To find out and take concrete action on a daily basis, there is nothing like an Ecological Footprint Calculator. This will allow you to focus on the areas of your life where you are more energy intensive.

2. A green home

More and more buildings are being built with a real concern for reducing the carbon footprint.

A new or renovated building is considered green if it has the LEED® Home – Ecohome certification.

When it’s time to renovate, give a second life to what’s still good and choose materials that preserve the environment.

In the garden, add a touch of biodiversity by increasing green spaces instead of asphalt.

3. The RRR rule

Apply the RRR rule: Reduce, reuse, recycle.

You can reduce your energy consumption in the following ways:

  • Ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” before making a purchase
  • Limit the purchase of single-use items
  • Avoid waste in all its forms (repair water leaks, turn off appliances on standby, use low-energy light bulbs, etc.)
  • Refuse advertising... to avoid the temptation to consume

This reduction is all the more essential for products that cannot be reused or recycled.

Encourage the reuse of items as much as possible. Thrift stores, zero waste shops and furniture restoration businesses will become your preferred locations.

4. Buying local

There are many benefits to buying local.

Transportation costs are reduced, as are greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, by encouraging local people, you promote the local economy.

5. No more over-packaging

Online shopping has led to an explosion in the use of packaging, which is often oversized, non-recyclable and requires raw materials and energy to manufacture.

Rethink the way you consume by taking several measures:

  • Buy in bulk using your own containers
  • Refuse individual packaging for products such as juice or yogurt
  • Bring your own reusable bags when you shop
  • Consolidate your online purchases instead of ordering piecemeal

6. A new menu

According to the journal Nature, food production accounts for 1/3 of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Here are a few things you can do to rethink what’s on your plate:

  • Reduce consumption of red meat, eggs and dairy products
  • Eat seasonal and local foods
  • Reduce food waste
  • Prepare your own meals rather than eating processed foods
  • Avoid greenhouse fruits and vegetables, as their production requires heating and lighting

7. Composting

Give your table scraps and green waste (lawn, dead leaves, dead flowers, etc.) a second life by composting them.

Your green plants and your garden will thank you.

8. Biodegradable household products

Choose biodegradable household products. They must be safe for your respiratory tract, your skin, the surfaces to be cleaned and the water.

Beware of good intentions on labels and look for the Environmental Choice/EcoLogo (Canada) and Design for the Environment (U.S.) certifications, which are a guarantee of quality.

If you’re a DIY person, make your household cleaning products with readily available ingredients like white vinegar and rubbing alcohol.

9. More energy-efficient appliances

Choose Energy Star® certified electrical appliances for better energy efficiency... and to save electricity.

Why not?

10. Good use of appliances

In addition to Energy Star® certification, making better use of your appliances can reduce your carbon footprint.

Refrigerator

  • Set the temperature between 0°C and 4°C.
  • Close the door properly.
  • Avoid placing it near a heat source such as the stove.

Washer

  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Start a load only when the tub is full.

Dryer

  • Don’t use it. Hang your clothes up to dry, especially in summer.

Dishwasher

  • Run it only when it’s full.
  • Choose the air-dry option.
  • Use the short cycle.
  • Don’t rinse your dishes. While this habit persists, the washing is not as efficient.

On your marks, get set, go!

You now have all the tools in hand to practise the art of zero waste.

Good luck reducing your carbon footprint!