Already doing everything on the beginner list? Up your efforts by taking these ten intermediate actions to further reduce your carbon footprint!
1. Commit to riding the bus to work at least one day a week.
2. Replace your light bulbs with LEDs.
LEDs use up to 90% less energy and last 10 to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs (and five times longer than compact florescent bulbs). Save money on your energy bill and receive an Austin Energy rebate for your LED purchases – that’s a win-win!
3. Start composting at home.
Let nature recycle your coffee grounds, food scraps, and yard waste into fertilizer for your garden, lawn, or flower beds. Austin Resource Recovery offers classes and rebates to get you started.
4. Sign up for the GreenChoice program.
Be a wind fan. Choosing Austin Energy’s GreenChoice for your electricity adds clean energy to the grid every day with 100% renewable Texas wind.
5. Choose a greener car.
If it’s time to trade in that clunker, look for a car that’s electric or a hybrid, uses alternative fuel, or is highly fuel efficient. AAA Texas offers a free guide to help you choose the car that will work best for you AND reduce your carbon footprint.
6. Weatherize your home.
Work with a qualified Energy Professional to inspect and test attic insulation, ductwork, heating and cooling equipment, weather stripping, plumbing penetrations, and windows. Identifying and fixing any problems will lower your monthly energy expenses, and rebates and loans can help with making the improvements.
7. Organize a neighborhood sharing / swapping pool.
Your trash might be someone else’s treasure. Give the things you no longer use a new home instead of sending them to the landfill.
8. Use less water.
Energy is needed to treat and process the water we use everyday. Saving water uses less energy, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Track your water usage and be WaterWise – Austin Water offers rebates to help.
9. Take the slow road.
Why drive to Dallas, Houston, or San Antonio when you can take the bus or train instead? Free wifi, dining and lounge options, and seats with ample leg room are available on Amtrak, Megabus or Greyhound for what you’d pay for gas to drive – and with none of the traffic headaches.
10. Upcycle + Reuse
Get creative. Make something new from something old that is functional or beautiful or BOTH! Need inspiration or some quick how-to’s? Check out the Upcycle That web site for tips and tricks to give used items new life, and then visit Austin Creative Reuse to stock up on crafting supplies.