Reducing Your Carbon Footprints

Carbon footprints indicate the amount of CO2 emissions generated through the actions of people. Carbon footprints can either be contributed by direct emissions such as travel and transportation, electricity usage; or indirect emissions from the products and services that we choose to produce and consume.

Going Green at home is a fabulous way to offset one of the largest sources of excessive energy and resource consumption. You can play your part for the environment beginning at home:

  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle – furniture, electronics, clothings etc is a great place to start. Hold on to usable items for as long as you can and give away or get hold of things for free to reuse via Freecycling (having networks worldwide).
  • Reduce energy waste in your daily electricity consumption by turning off all unneccessary electronics (even standby modes should be turned off).
  • Adjust your air conditioners to 25 – 26 degrees to be energy efficient. Close doors and windows properly to trap cooling.
  • Switch off your electronics when you leave home. Many appliances have a standby function that uses energy even when they are turned off.
  • Consider switching to energy-saving bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs use much lesser energy than incandescent bulbs (CFL’s are around 5 times more efficient than traditional ones you might have).
  • Clean your air conditioner filters regularly, making sure they are dust free. Energy is lost when the air-cons have to work harder to draw air through dirty filters. Ensuring that your air conditioner filter is clean can save 5 percent of the energy used.
  • There’s no reason to have lights on during the day time. Natural light is abundant, clean, and brings out color beautifully.
  • Make it a habit to recycle glass, metals, plastics and paper etc.
  • Plant trees or have indoor plants to offset your carbon footprint. Greenery are lovely decorations for your home and good for your soul. Besides turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, some plants also leach nasty chemicals out of the air. Both aloe vera and ficus plants take formaldehyde out of the air, and the spider plant helps remove carbon monoxide.
  • Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances. Look for the Energy Star Label – your assurance that the product saves energy and prevents pollution.
  • Instead of watching another TV show or playing another computer game, why not get together with your family/ friends and play a game? Give your expensive gadgets a break by turning them off (turn off even the standby mode). Do activities not centered around electronics. You’ll save energy and bond closer with people around you. If you are alone most of the time or enjoying some solitude time, cuddle up with a good book or go meditate on the nearest green patch.
  • Harvest rainwater! Simply put out a bucket out during a rainy day, and you have free water that is great for watering plants, flushing toilets and washing floors etc. Be creative and work out a funnel-cum-pipe gadget to install by your windows if you live in a highrise. It worked for my 60 year old dad.
  • Be conscientious and turn off a dripping tap.
  • About 10% of our energy bills come from heating water for activities like showering, and we waste many gallons while we wait for the water to heat up. Shower with cold water instead. You can save the environment, save on your utility bills, boost your immune function, decrease inflammation, increase blood circulation, and have healthier hair and skin.
  • Bring your own lunchboxes/ metal food containers when you head to your neighbourhood hawkerstall to buy mouth-watering hawker cooked meals.
  • Bring your own shopping bags when you head over to your neighbourhood supermarkets and grocery shops.