This month we have broken the halfway mark on the New Year’s resolutions. Are they long forgotten or have you settled into a new routine? As a part of our 2015 Resolve campaign to reduce your carbon footprint this year we wanted to share some resources, tips and tricks to help keep you on track for the rest of the year. For those of you just tuning in for the first time, here is a review of the resolutions we posted and encouraged our followers to do to help lower their carbon footprint:
- Choose renewables! Participate in your utility’s green power program, if they have one, or purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to balance your home energy use.
- Go meatless! Try sticking to vegetarian meals two days a week.
- Drive less, ride more! Cut the car from your commute by taking public transportation.
- Cut down on paper waste! Lower the amount of junk mail you receive and go paperless.
- Go brown! Save water with drought-tolerant plants or by replacing thirsty lawns.
To get started, we will tackle our first 3 resolutions: Choosing renewables, going meatless, and driving less. Check back next week for tips on cutting back on paper waste and going brown.
You may have invested time and money into making your house more efficient. From replacing light bulbs, installing a programmable thermostat, to purchasing some bigger ticket items like double- paned windows or energy star appliances, you are the master of your energy efficient home. Even if you have done all of the above, you are still using energy to power you home so what’s the next step? Mastering your energy choices.
The good news in the US is that the renewable energy that is being added to the grid is increasing, but it can still be tricky to access. The simplest way to power your home by renewable energy is by contacting your local utility to see if they offer a green energy program. While these programs are still relatively new they are growing in number.
If you do not have access to a green electricity program through your utility, you can still support renewable energy by purchasing RECs. RECs allow you to fund renewable energy that is put onto the grid. Since all electricity is mixed during delivery, RECs function in the same way as a renewable energy program. Click here to find out more about RECs today.
Did you heat your home with gas this winter and are you cooling it with the A/C now? Both have a large carbon footprint. This is the part of our footprint most of us can’t eliminate. After all, we need to keep to avoid extreme temperatures to stay safe. Instead, we encourage you to measure and offset your remaining carbon footprint. If you want to do more to reduce your carbon footprint, you can start small: pledge to increase your thermostat by 2 degrees with our Summer Carbon Slimdown Challange.
Another option to adding renewable energy to your electricity mix is by installing solar on your rooftop. Solar is becoming more affordable and in California, JE Solar allows you to start making a difference in just about 3-6 month after installation. Even if you live in an apartment or if you are a renter, there are programs coming into place to help you build and access solar electricity. Community solar programs are popping up around the country and make solar more accessible for all living situations.
Check out the TerraPass projects, supported by your RECs purchases.
Eating less meat is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Agriculture accounts for 14% to 18% global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to the Environmental Working Group, if everyone in the US skipped one day of meat and cheese it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles! That is a lot of emissions avoided! You may not need convincing to give up meat one day a week, but you probably need recipes. Here are a few of our favorite places to find great meatless recipes that are full of flavor.
Thug Kitchen: No one said you had to be a hippie to like vegetarian cuisine.
Naturally Ella: A blog from a recovering fast food addict. A good place to start for your hard to convince friends.
The Post Punk Kitchen: Straight forward and delicious recipes, don’t forget to check out their amazing desserts.
Yotam Ottolenghi in The Guardian: While there have been some meat based recipes popping up here recently, the man has a way with vegetables. Spend some time here or with his cookbook Plenty and you won’t be disappointed.
The Sprouted Kitchen: Food has never looked this delicious. You will want to move right into this kitchen.
Drive less, ride more
If you were in a deep freeze in the East this winter, we understand if you didn’t tackle this challenge more whole-heartedly until you begin to thaw out. If you are closer to the West coast, we hope you can make all of your Facebook and Instagram friends back East a little jealous with your progress. Here are a few tips for solving some transportation concerns.
Bike Link: Still mostly on the West Coast, bike link offers secure bike storage at transportation hubs, big and small. Your bike will be there when you get back, even if it is a few days later.
From bike to desk: Don’t want to show-up to work in the latest spandex fashions, Betabrands Bike to Work collection will keep you stylish and safe.
Protecting your dome: If you are trying to up your bike style, don’t miss out on a helmet that is fashionable and safe. The Yakkay brand has a helmet to go with all of your looks.
With these tips and summer in full swing, taking our challenge to keep your car out of the commute for one day should be a breeze!
Don’t forget to check back in next week when we will give you some tips for cutting down on your paper waste and embracing brown as the new green. If you have not committed to a goal yet, it’s not too late!
Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure! Find out the size of your carbon footprint with the TerraPass carbon footprint calculator. For more tips visit our website, like us on Facebook, tweet us @Terrapass and take a look at our Pinterest boards!