Tips for Cutting Your Home Carbon Emissions
Want to be a better steward to the environment but really love your gas stove and your all-wheel drive and your long hot showers? I get it. Personal habits are hard to change.
Imagine this: you light a fire inside your home to keep warm. As a result, CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere pushing us deeper into the abyss of an environmental apocalypse. Okay, this might sound a bit dramatic but you know what? You’re probably going to ignite a fire in your home tonight. The fire you light in your gas furnace and water heater that, yes, both emit greenhouse gases.
The problem is that using gas to heat our home is so “invisible” to us and ingrained in our upbringing and our culture that we don’t really think of it as a big deal. We hardly even consider it part of the problem. After all we can’t see it, smell it or feel it, so it doesn’t really exist, right?
Here lies the dilemma. We are struggling to find emissions-free solutions to keep us warm and mobile and connected and “happy” while simultaneously hoping that the problem will simply go away. Not to bum you out, but it won’t.
So what can you do?
Here are some simple ideas. You can switch your water heater from gas to electric, your stove from gas to an induction top, your car from a combustion engine to an electric motor AND you can make your own clean electricity by installing solar panels and storing the electricity in a battery to use at nighttime. So suddenly you not only reduce the greenhouse gasses from your appliances but your also reduce your portion of emissions from the utility’s power plant. Amazing! All this positive change in the course of one short paragraph.
Sound complicated? It’s not.
A plumber and electrician can upgrade your electrical system and water heater in the course of a day. A dozen car dealers will lease or sell you an electric vehicle in a matter of hours. And a solar and battery storage company will get you setup before the summer sun beat down on your bare roof.
Scared of the price tag? Don’t be.
Unlike most things you buy, solar is such a great investment that it will actually pay for everything, not just the solar. It acts sort of like your rich uncle who keeps paying your bills. Let’s say you presently pay your utility company $300/month for electricity. You then install solar and your new bill drops to $10. Over the next five years you place the money you were sending to the utility in a coffee can. After counting the money you find out that you just paid for the entire cost of the solar installation.
Now keep filling that can. In a few more years you will pay for the battery. A few more years and your electric water heater is covered and then your induction stove. Your solar installation is acting as a sort of annuity. Amazing! You just keep saving money AND saving the environment.
So there you have it. Your path to healthy living and an even more modern lifestyle all in one fell swoop. Now thank your house for being such a great partner.
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