Quantify it, when trying to reduce your carbon footprint (read save money and save resources), you need to be able to quantify it, “what gets measured gets done.” So, get a sense of how many kilowatt hours, how many gallons of gas, how many gallons of water, etc you use and a month and the dollar amount per unit. So, when you cut out, say, 10 gallons of gas a week, you are saving about $10 a month cutting your carbon footprint at the same time.
For example, I recently learned that a plasma TV, left in standby mode otherwise known as ‘off,’ consumes 1452.4 kilowatt hours. That stat alone doesn’t mean much to me, but when you tell me that 1452.4 kilowatt hours is the equivalent of $159.76 a year, now that is something I can understand! So, if instead of just shutting off my TV when I go to bed or work, if I actually unplugged it, I would see a huge energy savings. Now think of households that have 2 or 3 flat screen tv’s and the savings really adds up. (To find out the cost of other standby appliances check out this chart)
Insulate your electrical outlets – it never occurred to me that heat could be lost through the outlets in your walls. Now all of my outlets are insulated with foam outlet insulators. I got them 5 for $1 at the show, but you can find them at any home improvement store.
Remove your air conditioning window units in the winter months, otherwise it is the equivalent of leaving window open all winter long. I know it is a complete pain, but it is worth it.
Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees If you can turn you water on and it scalds you, then water is too high!!!!!
Sign up for a free energy audit from your utility company, or better yet get a professional audit for a more complete diagnosis (runs $300-600) using a blower door test and infrared technology. They often seal some your leaks as part of the audit, typically , saving you 10% on energy costs on the spot.
Test your toilet for leaks an easy way to test for leaks, drop a few drops of food dye into your tank, if the dye leaks into the bowl, then you have got a leak and should reseal your toilet.
Put a lid on it and only heat what you need, often times people heat up way more water than necessary to boil pasta and they boil the water without the lid on it. Heating up water in the smallest pot possible, with the least amount of water and with a lid will cut down on energy use.
These are just a few examples of steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and save money.