Five Things You Can Do TODAY to Reduce or Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Bike or Carpool Instead of Drive

Vehicles are among the top contributors to carbon emissions. When you drive, your car releases carbon dioxide into the air. A typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, though that number can vary depending on a vehicle’s fuel type, fuel economy, and the number of miles driven per year. 

The less you drive, the less harmful gases your car will emit. Here are a few alternatives to driving if you are working on reducing your carbon footprint:

  • Bike or walk! If you are relatively close to your destination, these are the healthiest options for you and the environment. Win, win!
  • Carpool. If you can, travel with people who are headed somewhere near where you are headed. Adding just a bit of time either direction for pick-ups and drop-off will keep another car off the road!
  • Take public transportation. Think of this like the ultimate carpool! It can take a little more time, but public transportation keeps more vehicles off the road and congestion down. Plus, you can read a book or relax instead of worrying about driving.


Upgrade Appliances, HVAC, and/or Insulation 

The energy efficiency of your house makes a huge difference when it comes to your home’s carbon footprint. The more energy your home uses, the more you draw from the local power plant, and the more carbon emissions released. 

Here are our top suggestions for decreasing your home’s toll on the environment (and reducing your energy bills!). 

  • Upgrade to energy efficient appliances which use less gas, water, or electricity. Most of them are even marked with “he” for high efficiency so they’re easy to find!
  • The newer and cleaner your HVAC system, the better. Look into upgrades or adjustments if your system is older or hasn’t been cleaned in a while.
  • Look at upgrading or adding insulation. The EPA’s Energy Star Association has shown that monthly energy bills can be cut by up to 20% when air leaks are sealed and efficient insulation is installed. 

Not sure where to get started? Energy Resource Center can do a home energy audit and let you know exactly what upgrades will help you lower your energy usage. Contact us today to get started. You may even qualify for financial assistance.


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

You’ve certainly heard this advice before: the less new you buy and the less old you waste, the better. Check with your city to see what your options are for recycling various materials, buy used items and materials when you can, and try to cut back on consumption in general. 


Use Less Water

There are many, many ways you can use less water, but here are a few we recommend:

  • Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
  • Only run your dishwasher and laundry machines when you have a full load. 
  • Water your lawn and plants in the evening or early morning and plant according to your climate.
  • Keep your time in the shower limited. 
  • Get a smart flushing or water efficient toilet. 


Donate to ERC! 

Did you know that when you donate to ERC, you support the work of reducing carbon emissions? Our primary goal is to help people make their utility bills more affordable and decrease their carbon footprint by providing them with resources and services that save them money and reduce harm to the environment. When you donate to ERC, you aren’t just helping your neighbors, you’re helping your community and your planet. 

To donate or to learn more about what we do and how we might be able to help you or someone you know, visit