Pittsburgh homeowners can take action and do their part to protect the environment as the effects of climate change become more apparent. There are simple steps each of us can take to contribute to a greener, more sustainable future.
In February 2022, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report that recorded some serious issues. One of the most hopeful findings that stood out was that there is still time to do what we can to help improve the situation.
Carbon footprint is a term you often hear concerning climate change issues. Carbon footprint encompasses all greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, produced from our activities. To minimize this footprint, we need to decrease the consumption of the primary culprits responsible for high greenhouse gas emissions: coal, oil, and natural gas.
We each create our own carbon footprint. You can calculate your carbon footprint at The Nature Conservancy: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator/.
Pittsburgh homeowners can make small changes that will make a difference in many ways. Here are a few:
Light Fixtures and Light Bulbs
The EPA recommends replacing your home’s five most used light fixtures or light bulbs with Energy Star-rated products. According to the EPA, replacing just one incandescent bulb with an energy-efficient alternative can save up to $75 in electricity costs over its lifetime.
Energy Star Seal
Look for the Energy Star Seal when purchasing appliances, heating/cooling equipment, electronics, and office equipment. These products reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on your energy bills.
Heating and Cooling Routines
Maintaining your HVAC system regularly by changing air filters and regular servicing can help your systems run more efficiently. In addition, a programmable thermostat will allow you to create a heating or cooling routine that keeps you comfortable when you are home but does not run at the same levels when you are regularly out of the house or sleeping.
Insulation and Sealing
Reducing the number of air leaks throughout your home with caulking, weather stripping, and insulation will help Pittsburgh homeowners save up to 20% on their heating and cooling bills.
Conserving water helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions because it takes energy to pump, treat, and heat water. Not running the water while brushing your teeth or shaving, checking for leaky toilets and faucets, or running your dishwasher only when full can help.
Some simple ways to reduce home water use are installing aerators on your faucets and low-flow showerheads. In addition, choosing native vegetation for your landscaping can help as these plants generally require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Another simple change is to wash your clothes in cold water and air dry whenever possible.
Find a recycling program to recycle newspapers, beverage containers, paper, and other goods in your area. Composting your food and yard waste reduces the garbage you send to landfills reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Recycling helps reduce the carbon footprint by conserving energy, reducing the need for raw material extraction, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing processes, and diverting waste from landfills.
Making some small changes to help our environment doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, and as a bonus, you may also experience economic and health benefits for Pittsburgh homeowners.
Let’s do our part to create a greener Pittsburgh! Contact me here, by phone at 412-848-3907, or by email Kim.Esposito1@pittsburghmoves.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your real estate needs.