What changes will help the most?
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something! The best climate actions are the ones that will bring additional benefits to you and your community. Adding insulation to your home will make it more comfortable. Hopping on your biking to enjoy a healthy activity will improve the air quality in your neighbourhood.
Discover where you'll have the most impact by looking at your dashboard results. Where do you see the most colour in YOUR results, especially when compared to the average household? Now, check the legend for its corresponding impact activity to see where a small change in your choices could have the most benefit.
Here are some easy ideas to get you started:
Simple and inexpensive options
- Install LED lightbulbs
- Install low-flow shower heads
- Close your blinds on hot days
- Lower your water heater's temperature
- Install a smart thermostat to avoid heating/cooling your home when no one is there
- Keep heated/cooled air inside by sealing air leaks, insulating your walls, attic and foundation, and/or replacing old doors and windows
- Upgrade to a high efficiency furnace
- Switch to ENERGY STAR® rated appliances including water heaters, air conditioners, kitchen appliances, washers and dryers
Daily Transportation and Travel
- Walk or bike whenever possible!
- Take transit whenever you can avoid being in a private vehicle
- Carpool, or use ride sharing and bike sharing programs
- Check the air pressure in your vehicle's tires and inflate them as recommended by the manufacturer for better fuel efficiency
- Reduce driving time on individual trips by grouping your errands together
- Reduce the number of airline flights you take
- For flights you must take, consider buying high-quality carbon offsets
- Carbon emissions from livestock are similar to transportation carbon emissions: they are very large. Eating less meat and dairy by adopting a more plant-based diet can reduce your carbon impact from food, often quite significantly.
- Choose local food that has travelled fewer kilometres to your plate. Canadian food isn't always the most local option: produce grown in some U.S. states might have shipped closer to home than produce shipped from across the country.
- Recent studies show that the type of food and how it's produced are more important factors in determining its GHG emissions than the distance it traveled. This Worldwatch Institute article, Is Local Food Better? provides a good summary of research on, and reviews the connection between, GHG emissions and food.
- Freeze last night's leftovers for a great lunch later in the week and avoid throwing out spoiled food
- Compost food waste to keep it out of landfill, where it turns into highly-polluting methane gas
- Know where it goes: use your municipality's online search tool to identify whether items can be composted, recycled or trashed
- Donate gently used items to so they can be re-used, and you'll reduce demand for newly manufactured items as well
These ideas are just a start. You can also take advantage of rebates, incentives and local climate action programs. Don't be shy! Share your favourite low-carbon action and why it works for you on your preferred social forum. Be sure to tag @ProjectNeutral on Facebook, or Twitter when you do!