As stewards of the blue planet, each of us bears a personal responsibility to be mindful of how our actions affect the Earth.
As the polar ice shelves melt, land-based glaciers send ice plummeting into the Arctic Ocean, causing sea levels to rise at an alarming rate. The vast majority of the scientific community agrees that if we do not end our dependence on fossil fuels and make drastic changes to the way in which we conduct industry, climate change will put the human race on a collision course with catastrophe by century’s end.
We owe it to ourselves, and to future generations, not to ignore the proverbial canary in the coal mine. You may not be able to eliminate your carbon footprint, but there are steps you can take to mitigate the damage caused by a century of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and industry.
Sealing gaps around windows and doors, using foil tape to seal the joints of your home’s ductwork, and adding insulation to your home’s attic will keep your home warmer, reduce strain on the energy grid, and could cut your energy costs in half.
Upgrade to Energy-efficient HVAC Systems
An underperforming furnace or air-conditioning system can send your energy costs through the roof. On average, any furnace manufactured prior to 1992 that operates on a standing pilot light wastes 35% of the gas it uses and is probably in need of replacement. Additionally, if you don’t have your home’s air-conditioning unit serviced annually to keep it running at peak performance, there is an excellent chance that your AC unit is a vampire on your electric bill.
Having an energy audit performed will give you a better idea of your home’s points of deficiency so you can address them directly.
Use Sustainable Building Materials
Carpet companies have taken great strides towards improving sustainability within the industry during the past decade; improved manufacturing processes, utilization of post-consumer recycled plastic, and recycling initiatives by Carpet America Recovery Effort have all played a role in decreasing the industry’s carbon footprint.
Last year, Mohawk kept more than 6 billion plastic bottles from going to the landfill by using them to create stain-resistant PET carpet fibers. If you plan to upgrade your home’s flooring at some point in the near future, tell your retailer that you’re interested in products that are in full compliance with the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus Program.
One of the best ways that you can reduce your draw on America’s aging energy grid is by utilizing the sun’s rays to charge solar panels attached to your roof. Although local and state initiatives vary, the federal government offers a 30% tax credit to any homeowner or business owner who invests in a solar energy system for his or her home or business.
For more information about how you can make your home or business more energy efficient, visit https://www.epa.gov/environmental-topics/greener-living