According to a November 10, 2015 Yale/Gallup/Clear Vision poll, 62% of Americans now believe that “global warming is an urgent threat requiring immediate and drastic action.” If you, along with the rest of the 62%, were to make the energy saving changes you could afford to make in 2016 – taking what steps you can towards a Zero Energy/Zero Carbon lifestyle – it will significantly help reduce the carbon footprint of the U.S.
Whether you are a home-owner, renter, or student, you can take simple steps to reduce your carbon footprint. You can walk, bike or take transit instead of driving. You can replace existing lights with LEDs. You can seek out and disable “vampire loads” in your home. You can dry clothes on a line or rack instead of using a gas or electric clothes drier.
If you own your home, you can have an energy audit, which is incentivized in many states. Based on the energy audit, you can begin by tackling the most cost-effective energy saving changes first. If you are planning on major remodel this year, you can take even more ambitious steps on the path to zero energy living, such as replacing worn out inefficient appliances, leaky windows, and/or inefficient heating and cooling systems. See the “healthy home healthy planet” video for more suggestions.
If you plan to buy or build a new home in 2016, you can make the effort to seek out and purchase or build a highly energy-efficient home, or even a zero net energy home. (See our directory of zero energy home builders and designers). You may even be able to purchase or build a positive energy home and use its surplus power to charge an electric vehicle.
If even one-third of the 62% make some of these changes in 2016, it will have a huge impact in the market-place. As we increase demand for energy-efficient technologies, the cost of these technologies will come down, bringing them into the mainstream. It is time for us in the 62% to put our money where our mouths are and move deliberately towards a zero carbon lifestyle.