Summer is here and it is a great time to be outside and make the most of the natural environment to visit the beach; to swim in the sea or just enjoy a cool drink on the terrace. Summer time means more hours of sun also and in previous articles we have reviewed the return on investment for renewable energy solutions and how using the sun to heat your water or generate your electricity can help save you money. However renewable energy solutions such as solar also help you reduce your carbon footprint and protect the environment.
The term carbon footprint is used to describe the estimated impact of something (an activity, a product, a company etc) on climate change. This is often measured by CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions since the main greenhouse gas contributing to man-made climate change is CO2.
There are various tools available for you to calculate your own carbon footprint. For example, you can consider each of the following adds 1kg of CO2 to your personal carbon footprint:
- Drive with your car a distance of 6km (assuming 7.3 litres of petrol per 100 km)
- Fly with a plane a distance of 2.2km
- Production of 5 plastic bags
- Production of 2 plastic bottles
Many of the steps you can take to help reduce your carbon footprint also come with the benefit of helping you save money and one of the biggest steps you can take is to save energy. The cleanest and cheapest energy is that which you don’t use so here are a few simple things you can do this Summer to benefit both the planet and your wallet.
- Make use of natural light. There are more daylight hours during the Summer so switch off the lights when you don’t need them.
- Don’t abuse the air conditioning. Using awnings and keeping blinds or curtains closed helps keep the house cooler in Summer.
- Don’t waste water. Using less water means using less energy.
- Buy local and in-season produce. As well as not having to have travelled thousands of kilometres to arrive on your plate, produce grown naturally and locally is often cheaper.
- Reduce, recycle and reuse, especially when it comes to plastic bags. We have probably all seen examples or read about the harmful effects of plastic bags that end up in the sea and get eaten by marine life.
These longer days mean more sun hours so it is a great time to also make the switch to solar, which has less impact on the environment than other conventional energy sources. Enjoy the Summer and for more information on renewable energy solutions, please contact us at Free-Sol Solar firstname.lastname@example.org.