If you care about CO2 emissions and want to comply with the Carbon Tax as much as possible, it’s not enough to just drive an electric car or a hybrid vehicle, you ought to implement a whole lifestyle change. You can buy local produce and carry a reusable (cloth) bag, wear clothes for a few seasons and buy new appliances, insulate your home and shift to environment-friendly heating sources, etc. read our new blog post to find all the ways you can make your habits and actions matter.
1) Try to eat low on the food chain – mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and the like. Livestock – meat and dairy – is responsible for 15% of man-made global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from feed production and processing and the methane coming from the animals. Every day that you forgo meat and dairy, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 4 pounds – that’s almost a ton and a half a year.
2) Choose organic and local foods that are in season. Transporting food from far away, whether by truck, ship, rail or plane, uses fossil fuels for fuel and for cooling to keep foods in transit from spoiling.
3) Reduce or eliminate the use of bottled water as much as you can. Bottled water also often travels long distances before coming to your store, so shift to drinking tap water if it is sanitary or using a filter to clean it.
4) Use your own reusable container when buying foods whenever possible.
5) Reduce your food waste by planning meals ahead of time, freezing the excess and reusing leftovers.
6) Compost your food waste if possible.
7) Don’t buy fast fashion. Trendy, cheap items that go out of style quickly get dumped in landfills where they produce methane as they decompose. Instead, buy quality clothing that will last or buy vintage or recycled clothing at consignment shops.
8) Wash your clothing in cold water. The enzymes in cold water detergent are designed to clean better in cold water. Doing two loads of laundry weekly in cold water instead of hot or warm water can save up to 500 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.
9) Support and buy from companies that are environmentally responsible and sustainable.
10) Properly insulate your home, make sure all the windows and doors close properly and seal any drafty areas.
11) Do an energy audit of your home. This will show how you use or waste energy and help identify ways to be more energy-efficient.
12) Maintain your heating and cooling systems – the better the shape they are in, the lower the amount of electricity is that they will use and waste.
13) Change incandescent light bulbs (which waste 90% of their energy as heat) to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Though LEDs cost more, they use a quarter of the energy and last up to 25 times longer. They are also preferable to compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs, which emit 80% of their energy as heat and contain mercury.
14) Switch lights off when you leave the room and unplug your electronic devices when they are not in use.
15) Add solar panels to the roof of your home. This costs a little more than the above options, but many providers offer financing options that minimize upfront costs.
16) Sign up to get your electricity from clean energy through your local utility or a certified renewable energy provider.
17) Drive less. Walk, take public transportation, carpool or bike to your destination when possible. This not only reduces CO2 emissions, but it also lessens traffic congestion and idling of engines that accompanies it.
19) On longer trips, turn on the cruise control, which can save gas.
20) Try to use less air conditioning while you drive, even when the weather is hot.
According to the Carbon Tax, each household has the right to a certain amount of money they gave towards the tax to be returned to them. That is called carbon offset and is an amount of money you can pay for a project that reduces greenhouse gases somewhere else. If you offset one ton of carbon, the offset will help capture or destroy one ton of greenhouse gases that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere. Offsets also promote sustainable development and increase the use of renewable energy.
So, don’t be lazy, people. Do your part for the environment.
To take care of your car, and make it more energy-efficient, come to CRS Automotive. We are expecting you in Hamilton and Stoney Creek.