15 Simple Ways to Start Reducing Your Carbon Footprint at Home

In Singapore, like the rest of the world, there has been a lot of talk about the global climate crisis, and an even louder voice calling for greater efforts to combat climate change. As individuals, it’s important that we don’t think this issue is too big for us. We can make a difference by adapting our behaviours and reducing our carbon footprint, and there’s no better place to start than at our home. Start slow, and gradually ease into these habits so that they eventually become second nature to you.1. Use energy-efficient appliances to cut down on reliance of fossil fuels. When getting appliances such as refrigerators or air-conditioners, get the ones that have a higher number of ticks in the NEA Energy Efficiency Label.

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2. Similarly, for washers and water fittings, make sure you opt for water-efficient ones that have a higher number of ticks. For washing machines, front-loaders rather than top-load washers are more energy-efficient.

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3. When washing your clothes in the washer, consolidate your laundry and run fuller loads to save water. But avoid overloading as it will use more energy. Use a lower temperature to reduce the electricity needed to heat up the water. Plus, washing in a cooler temperature will avoid your clothes shrinking in the wash.
4. Where possible, hang your clothes out to dry rather than throw them in the dryer.

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5. According to PUB, showering takes up the largest percentage of water consumption in Singapore’s households. To reduce water consumption, cut down your shower times and switch off the tap when shampooing and lathering up.
6. Regularly check for leaking pipes and taps.
7. If you have yet to do so, switch to LED bulbs when your incandescent ones blow. LED bulbs are more energy efficient and they last longer. They are also available in a variety of colour temperatures so you can recreate the warmth and feel of traditional incandescent bulbs.

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8. Rather than always relying on cooling devices, make use of window furnishings like curtains, blinds and shades to help lower the temperature at home. Installing solar window films will also help to reduce the amount of heat entering indoors.
9. Growing your own edible garden in your own home can help to reduce the carbon footprint required for transporting food. But if you don’t have the space (or the green fingers!) to do up a full-fledged garden, incorporating a mini herb garden in the kitchen can also help reduce the carbon footprint at home.

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10. Use plants as part of your décor as they can help to cool your interiors. Some plants like Calatheas can also help to purify toxins in the air, giving you a cleaner and fresher environment, reducing the need to make use of air purifiers.
11. Organise your fridge and pantry on a regular basis to see what you have and buy only what you need. Not only does this help to cut down on food waste, it also helps to cut down on the energy and water needed to grow, transport and package these foods.
12. While it may be cheaper to buy foods in bulk, avoid doing so if you have a small household or you don’t often eat meals at home. This will reduce potential food wastage.
13. When it comes to locating your refrigerator, make sure there’s enough space around it so that air can circulate (around 5-10cm). This will help it to run more efficiently. Also, don’t overfill your fridge as it will hinder air circulation.

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14. Check also to see if the rubber seal around the door of your refrigerator is in good condition. A broken seal will make it harder to keep the insides of a fridge cool, thus wasting more energy.
15. Practice proper recycling at home. In Singapore, items that can be recycled are commonly deposited into the blue commingled recycling bins we find in our housing estates. But not everything should be thrown in the bin. Check this list by NEA to see what can or cannot be deposited in the bins. It’s also good practice to empty and rinse food containers, drink cans or bottles before giving them to be recycled to prevent contamination of other recyclables.
What are other ways are you cutting your carbon footprint at home? Share with us in the comments!

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