How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

With the threat of climate change looming closer every day, millions of families across the U.S. are looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprints and offset their CO2 emissions. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to reduce your footprint while remaining practical! You don’t need to throw your life into disarray or spend a fortune to have a positive impact on the planet.

Whether you are looking to go green for yourself, your loved ones or strictly to help defend our planet’s future, here are a few ways you can reduce your impact:

Rethink the Way You Drive

When you ask someone about CO2 emissions or their carbon footprint, they probably think about their car – letting it warm up or cool down in the driveway, jamming in the parking lot before exiting or leaving the engine running when you run into the store for a quick second. While those simple errors can have a lasting effect on the environment, there are other small actions you can do to lower your car’s impact as well.

Instead of driving everywhere, see if you can walk, bike or hitch a ride with a friend. Carpooling and public transportation drastically reduce CO2 emissions by spreading them out over many riders. Some public transportation buses can hold 40 to 80 people – that’s 40 to 80 new opportunities to make a friend. Wow![1]

Tips to Reduce Your Footprint at Home

Carbon emissions don’t stop after you park your car and walk into your home! For those looking to go green, there are handfuls of small changes you can make at home that will, in turn, have a huge impact.

Here are a few to try out!

  • Insulate and Seal Your Home: By reducing drafts with proper insulation and caulk, you can reduce energy usage within your home. For example, AC or heat escaping your home means you must spend more money regulating your home’s temperature and shelling out extra money to run the electricity longer.[1]
  • Energy Efficient Appliances: Purchasing energy-efficient appliances are a great way to reduce your footprint. Look out for appliances with an ENERGY STAR rating![1]
  • Think About Lighting: Always remember to turn off any lights you are not using when you leave a room or your home. Take things one step further by replacing any incandescent or fluorescent lights with LED bulbs to help save on energy usage.[1]
  • Use Your Thermostat Wisely: Avoid setting your thermostat too low or too high. Choose a programmable model that will automatically turn off the AC or heat when you’re not home.[1]
  • Use Less Water: Every time you shower, flush a toilet, cook or wash your hands it takes energy and resources to provide water to your home. By using less water, you can help the environment and lower your carbon footprint. Try turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, shorter showers and baths and only boil water when you need to.[2]
  • Change Your Diet: Meat and dairy products require a lot of land, water and energy to produce. By eating fewer animal products, you can make a big difference in lowering your carbon footprint.[2]
  • Go Digital: It’s easier than ever to collaborate with others online, making it even easier to reduce the amount of paper products we use. Share documents through cloud storage, video conference instead of traveling and move away from printing unneeded documents when possible.[2]
  • Say No to Single-use Plastic: Things like disposable coffee cups and plastic utensils pollute our waters and require a ton of energy to produce. By cutting these out of your day to day, you can help reduce the amount that gets dumped into our environment and help save on the energy to produce them.[2]

Not only do these practices help reduce your carbon footprint, but they can also help save you money. We all love extra cash in our wallets at the end of the month!

Take a Look Around the Table

One of the best practices you can start in your home is sourcing your food locally. With thousands farmer’s markets available to us in the U.S., you can feed your family from farms nearby and cut your CO2 emissions at the same time. Check out this link from the USDA that has a local food directory for farmer’s markets in your area!

In fact, “it has been estimated that 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food.”[3] The transportation of food alone requires petroleum-based fuels and a significant amount of fertilizers that are also fossil fuel-based.

Next, consider cutting beef and dairy from your diet. We’re not saying to eliminate them completely but reducing the amount you eat can help slow down deforestation in areas that land is cleared for agricultural use.[1]

Take a peek at these fun ideas- they’ll help you implement more vegetarian options into your diet easily!

  • Meatless Mondays: Start small by cutting meat out of your diet on each Monday of the week. This small step is just one conscious effort to eat less meat and help reduce the amount of energy needed to produce it.
  • One New Recipe a Week: Try one new recipe a week that is considered vegetarian! After a few weeks you will have five to 10 new recipes you’ll enjoy, and it will help reduce the amount of meat and dairy you consume on a regular basis.[4]
  • Find Easy Substitutions: Try your regular recipes that you love, but instead of using meat, try a meat substitute. For example, if you love spaghetti and meat sauce, look for a beef alternative in your local supermarket and use that instead. You would be surprised at how similar they taste![4]

These simple, easy steps are great ways to start small and to help lower your carbon footprint. Whether you are a vegetarian or a meat eater, reducing the amount of meat and dairy products you consume helps your overall health and our environment’s!

Go Green with Solar Energy

One of the many options millions of families across the United States are taking advantage of is switching to solar! Adding solar panels to the roof of your home can help you dramatically reduce your CO2 emissions, save money on monthly utility bills, receive potential tax benefits and, with the help of Solar + Storage, be completely independent of the grid! To learn more about battery storage and your home, check out our blog, “Battery Storage and Your Home,” for more information.

If you live in an area with net metering, you could even earn credits by selling excess electricity back to the grid that you don’t use.[1]

Make the Switch with Momentum

Going solar is a major leap toward a greener future, one that future generations will hopefully get to enjoy due to our diligence and determination to protect our planet. At Momentum Solar, we’re here to make your transition to clean energy as easy and as seamless as possible.

Our team of experts will be with you every step of the way – from custom-designed blueprints to the activation of your system and the years of green energy production after. You can even track the energy your panels generate with our complimentary, worry-free maintenance and monitoring system.

Help build a brighter future with us today and see why so many have already made the switch to solar energy. For more information about going solar with Momentum, please call 1-888-MOMENTUM today.

 

 

 

 

[1] https://cotap.org/reduce-carbon-footprint/

[2] https://www.futurelearn.com/info/blog/how-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint-tips

[3] https://www.epa.gov/climate-change

[4] https://zenhabits.net/how-to-become-a-vegetarian-the-easy-way/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The History of Electricity

What do you think of when you hear the word “electricity”? Do you picture Benjamin Franklin with a key and a kite? Or Thomas Edison and the invention of the light bulb? There are so many great inventors who played a huge role in what we know as electricity today – and they, in turn, helped push civilization forward.

Let’s take a quick peek at the history of electricity. Who knows? You may learn something new!

A Few Notable Moments in History

 

  • 1752: Benjamin Franklin discovered lighting and electricity were the same by tying a key to a kite string during a storm and conducting electricity.[1]
  • 1800: Alessandra Volt, invented the first electric battery.[1]
  • 1844: Samuel Morse, invented the first electric telegraph, which made it possible to send messages over a long distance across wires.[1]
  • 1882: Thomas Edison opened the first central electric power plant, Pearl Street Power Station in New York City, which could power 5,000 lights.[1]
  • 1920: The Federal Power Commission (FPC) is born.[1]
  • 1977: The U.S. established the Department of Energy for regulation purposes.[1]
  • 1997: First handheld electronic game (Auto Race) is invented.[2]
  • 1985: 300,000 simultaneous telephone conversations over single optical fiber.[1]
  • 1993: Weather Control Device / HAARP.[3]

When looking at the history of electricity in such a linear fashion, it’s easy to see that there have been significant advancements in its technology, acceptance and implementation. Between these milestones are other great inventions, such as Nikola Tesla inventing the first electric alternator in 1886. Followed by, electric air conditioning being introduced by W. Carrier in 1911. All of these small puzzle pieces fit together into one big picture and have helped modernize our world.[1]

How Does Electricity Work

Many utility companies use methods that involve combustion and fossil fuels. By burning fossil fuels, the power plants create pressure that moves giant turbines. The moving turbines then create friction. Friction is one of the main ways to produce electricity, and you’ve probably generated some at home without even knowing it!

Have you ever shuffled your feet across the carpet and reached for a person or an object and felt a small jolt? This is electricity that you have just built-up. Pretty cool, right? The giant turbines work similarly by using electromagnets in a copper coil to create that same effect.[4]

Unfortunately, this old-school method has some nasty side effects for our planet and environment. With each transfer of energy, blowing up the fuel, moving the turbines and harnessing the electricity, you lose some energy. Essentially, it takes a lot of fossil fuels to generate a moderate level of electricity… and fossil fuels are a limited resource. On top of harvesting a nonrenewable resource, fossil fuels generate harmful gasses that are released into our atmosphere, making this an inefficient way to produce energy.[2]

Cleaner, Greener Energy with Solar Panels

The process solar panels use to create electricity is vastly different from that of turbines, fossil fuels and copper coils. Solar panels harness the photons produced by the sun to generate direct current, or DC, electricity. When the photons hit the panel, they are absorbed by the panel’s semiconducting material.

Electrons then separate from the atoms and move around the solar cell. This movement of the electrons is what generates DC electricity. This electricity flows to the system’s inverter and is converted into alternating current, or AC, electricity. AC electricity is what is needed and used to supply power to your home or property.[5]

Momentum Solar is Here to Help!

Going solar with Momentum means choosing the best in the business! Although we haven’t been around since the day Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity, we have over a decade in the industry and take pride in our hard work and expertise. With a team of dedicated solar experts, we handle the process from start to finish to ensure a seamless transition to cleaner, price-protected energy.

Call us today to get started! 1-888-MOMENTUM.

 

 

[1] https://www.aepenergy.com/blog/the-history-of-electricity/

[2] https://gamicus.fandom.com/wiki/History_of_handheld_game_consoles

[3] https://www.britannica.com/topic/HAARP

[4] https://www.vivintsolar.com/blog/how-do-we-get-electricity

[5] https://www.paradisesolarenergy.com/blog/solar-panels-what-makes-them-tick#:~:text=Solar%20panels%20use%20the%20photons,the%20panel’s%20semiconducting%20silicon%20material.&text=This%20movement%20of%20the%20electrons,Direct%20Current%20(DC)%20electricity.