As Thomas Friedman pointed out
recently, reducing the world's dependence on fossil fuels is one of
the most important things we can do to increase our security, as
well as the 'right thing to do' as we pass on our world to our
children and grandchildren! Thus we would like to do our part
by acting responsibly and passing on whatever information we can to
anyone who is interested.
Reducing Carbon Footprint -
For most of 14 years when we were living
onboard our sailboat we have been living a
lifestyle that forced us to conserve resources -
water, electricity, and fuel. We will probably
not tread that lightly in the future but we plan to
keep our carbon footprint low.
typical American home, with a full
complement of appliances uses 10 to 15
Tons of carbon dioxide/year to sustain
an ever larger home, drive a typical SUV and
uses minimal renewable energy resources.
on board Long Passages allowed us to
live on approximately 2 Tons of
carbon dioxide/year by using small lights,
natural ventilation, a lot of walking and
the occasional car rental. It would have
been even lower if we hadn't used the
opportunity to travel by air as much as we
Our plan was to acquire a smallish house (1200-1500
sq ft); insulate very well, use renewable resources
as wherever possible and drive modest-sized cars.
Our current use of an RV is NOT energy efficient to
drive, and is a short-term violation of our
We did not meet that goal as we obtained a 2000 sq
ft house with lots of windows. Those windows
do provide LOTS of passive solar heating on sunny
We are doing as
much as we can to reduce our carbon footprint and
make our home as energy efficient as possible.
NOT enough just to
we must start emphasizing the other 2 "R's"
Reduce & Reuse.
What does this mean?
What can I do? Here are just a few small things that can
- Store foods in covered containers
instead of using plastic wrap or
- Use half-size paper towels
- Tear paper napkins in half to use
or use cloth napkins
- Use paper products made from
- Don't run water when brushing
- Use a dishpan to wash dishes
instead of filling up the whole sink.
- Turn off lights when not using
- Unplug computers, TVs, radios
when not in use.
- Turn down thermostats to 65-68F
and put on a sweater.
- Use programmable thermostats to
turn temperature down to 50-55F while asleep.
- Install on-demand instant hot
- Stop using plastic grocery bags
and use cloth bags
- Buy a used car instead of a new
- Buy an existing house instead of
building or buying a new house.
- Look for used small electrical
items and appliances at Charity shops, Classified
ads, eBay, etc.
Hybrid Cars, Energy efficient cars