Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the New Year
Tackling climate change seems like a daunting task. It’s a complex global issue. The United States has one of the world’s largest carbon footprints. Each of us has an impact on the environment.
Your personal carbon footprint is made up of the greenhouse gas emissions you cause through the actions you take. For most of us, it has to do with how and what we consume. This includes things like fuel, energy, clothes and food.
With more than 39 million people in California, our combined actions add up. And, there are simple ways we can reduce our impact. Here are a few things we can all do and some will even save you some money.
Fuel Your Body
- Plan your meals ahead of time, eat leftovers or freeze for later to reduce the amount of food you waste.
- Join the Meatless Monday movement. Eating less meat is healthier and helps the environment at the same time.Stop using straws and bring your own utensils to places that provide plastic utensils. Less plastic will need to be produced and won’t end up in landfills or the ocean.
Around the House
- Buy less and don’t buy things you don’t need. When you do buy something, consider shopping at a consignment store or thrift shop. If you buy a new item, buy a quality item that will last.
- Adjust your thermostat. When it is cold out, turn it down at night and when you aren’t at home. When it is hot out, turn it up. You’ll use less energy this way.
- Wash your clothes using cold water and dry them on a clothesline.
- When you need to replace an appliance, purchase an energy-efficient model. If you need to replace a gas appliance, consider replacing it with an electric model. SCE customers can find energy-efficient and electric models, as well as available rebates, on the SCE Marketplace.
- Consider using more renewable energy by signing up for SCE’s Green Rate or a community solar program. These two programs support SCE’s vision, outlined in Pathway 2045, for achieving a clean energy future.
Out and About
- Use whatever bag you have when you shop, then use it until it falls apart.
- Walk instead of driving. If you can’t walk, take public transportation or carpool. Transportation is a main contributor to overall GHG emissions.
- When it comes time to replace your vehicle, think electric. SCE customers who go electric can receive a $1,000 Clean Fuel Reward for new and used cars. This saving is on top of any available state and federal incentives.
Have a Voice
- Be informed. The more you know about how your choices contribute to your carbon footprint, the easier it is to see how you make changes. There are several online calculators you can use, including The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Vote at the polls and with your wallet. Support polices and companies that are committed to clean energy and sustainability practices.
- Share what you learn. Small changes have a bigger impact when more people adopt them.