How To Cut Your Carbon Footprint And Save MoneyMarch 1, 2016
Sure, the easiest way to react to our world’s slowly escalating environmental problems is to ignore them. After all, we won’t feel the worst effects in our lifetime. But this Greek proverb captures beautifully how we should be reacting: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Here are some ‘trees’ you can plant today:
Be A Conscientious Traveler
Whether you’re going across town or overseas, your method of transport will have an impact on the environment. There are the commonly touted axioms of carpooling and alternative traveling, but there’s more you can do. Did you know that properly inflating your tires and accelerating slowly can substantially increase your mileage? This benefits both your wallet and your world. If you’re flying somewhere, get tickets for economy class. By taking up less space, you’re traveling more efficiently.
Digital Over Paper
American adults consume an average of 700 pounds of paper apiece each year. This malady to the environment is the topic of much research and debate, but the general consensus is that the less paper you use, the better. Luckily for us, digital mediums are largely prevalent in this day and age. You can access your bank, read the news, and send your mail through the internet, allowing us to eschew the overuse of paper products. Be conscious of the paper you consume on a daily basis and look for places you can transfer to a digital alternative.
Stop Junk Mail
While we’re on the topic of wasted paper, let’s talk about junk mail. It turns out that junk mail isn’t just harmful to your sanity — it also threatens the well-being of our Earth. The average American adult receives 41 pounds of junk mail per year. That’s a lot of paper and plastic wasted on things we mostly ignore. The prospect of contacting the various companies that send you junk is a daunting one. Luckily, there are a number of free internet services that will do the brunt of the work for you!
Conscientious Electricity Use
West Broad is proud to offer planet-friendly ENERGYSTAR® appliances in all of our LEED certified units. That said, having the proper tools is only half the battle — one still has to use these appliances responsibly. Turning off lights and unplugging unused electrical accessories is a simple place to start cutting energy usage. In addition, you can replace old filament/incandescent bulbs with efficient fluorescent ones. Every little step you take will save you money in the short run while aiding the environment.
Choose your Consumables (Banish paper towels, water bottles, etc.)
We are a nation of consumers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t consume selectively. Try to cut out products that are fleeting in use but long in decomposing. Paper towels, for example, are often used for mere seconds before being discarded to clog up landfills. Replacing them with dish towels is an easy and impactful step.
Disposable water bottles are another strain on the environment that can be avoided. Buy a reusable water bottle and a water filter to cut down on plastic waste. Don’t just stop at these two consumables — consider each one that you may have become complacent about.
Eat Less Meat and Don’t Waste Food
It makes sense that wasting food is detrimental to the environment, but did you know that abstaining from meat can be a huge boon to it? Not that you have to become a vegan — who can say no to the occasional plate of bacon? That said, cutting down on the amount of meat you consume creates a reduction in demand. Because the process of raising livestock for meat has such a high carbon output, any slowing of the market has a positive effect on the environment. It might seem like you alone won’t make an impact, that’s not true. You can cut your carbon footprint in half just by adjusting your diet.
Buy Local Produce
As tasty as tropical fruits are, it’s not a great idea to eat them all year long. A lot of carbon is created in the transportation of faraway produce, making it environmentally unfriendly. Local produce, on the other hand, is always in season and doesn’t have to travel far to reach the table. Farmer’s markets (like our local Falls Church one) are an easy source of local produce that will make both your stomach and the planet happy.
The battle against climate change is one that every single person can take part in. We at West Broad do our part through our LEED certification and supplying our units with ENERGYSTAR® appliances. You can start helping the environment just by living here. Contact us today to learn more!