A Carbon Footprint is the total of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, product, person, or event. Commonly, it is measured as the total amount of carbon dioxide and methane. Anything, really, can emit GHG (greenhouse gas). Indirect sources are gases coming from plants or other facilities that produce goods or supplies for us such as electricity or the oil burned in a production line. Direct sources are from us directly, like the gas we burn in our car.
The calculator says that my family creates 69 tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is less than the US average. The major GHG producers for us are our home energy. I would say that about half of our lights are flourescent, but when the bulbs we have now start going out we'll be replacing them with flourescent bulbs. Incandescent bulbs of 60 watts produce between 500-600 lumens. Flourescent bulbs of 10 watts produce the same brightness. This alone can cut down on wasted energy by using less wattage to achieve the same level of brightness. At the moment (during most of the summer, spring, and fall) I use natural light until it's dark which helps keep power usage down. On the topic of light bulbs, 10-20% of our energy can be saved just by turning off lights we aren't using. If I bought energy star appliances I could really cut down on my GHG, we probably will since our washer and fridge are going out. Checking to make sure that your house is adequately insulated and making sure your windows aren't leaking is a good way to save energy (check faucets too). Using window mounted air conditioners can save energy because of all the wasted energy used to cool empty rooms or closets. The units themselves aren't as efficient, usually with an EER of 10 or 11 versus the 14 or 15 of central cooling, but the energy savings stacks up when you're only cooling what you need to cool. On cool days we just leave windows open and skip the AC. When I drive, I rarely use my AC or heater. I usually...
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