Out-of-season produce requires more energy to refrigerate, and more fuel to ship in from places where it is in season. In addition, out-of-season produce is often grown in greenhouses, which require a great deal of heat energy.
Reduce consumption. Reuse items when you can. Recycle your waste.
Bring your own mug to your favorite coffee shop. Paper cups are not always recycled. Some coffee shops will give discounts to those who bring their own cup. Paper cup use will decrease, reduce energy consumption during production, and save trees.
Clean the lint filter in your dryer. This will reduce energy consumption as well as electrical and environmental costs.
Use rechargeable batteries to reduce your carbon footprint by up to 1,000 pounds over the life of the batteries.
Use an electic mower as they are more efficient than mowers that run on fuel.
When you mow the lawn, leave the clippings spread across the grass. It decomposes and fertilizes the ground.
Rake leaves and shovel snow manually instead of using a leafblower or snowblower.
Plant a tree; this is one of the best things you can do. Trees inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. They also shade your house in the summer, and will lower air conditioning costs.
Reuse Ziploc bags.
Use recycled toilet paper and paper.
When replacing household appliances choose energy-efficient appliances. You can check their Energy Star ratings for a quick reference. This may cost more upfront but will save you in the long run.
Use a microwave to heat and cook food; microwaves are more efficient than regular ovens and hobs.
Only use your dryer, dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load; don't do half loads. This reduces the number of loads and energy consumption.
Use a dishwasher rather than washing by hand as the efficient ones use less water.
Open the dishwasher before the drying cycle is complete and let the dishes dry naturally.
Whenever possible, hang laundry outside to dry on a clothes line rather than throwing laundry into a dryer.
Don't leave household appliances on standby as they will continue to consume a great deal of energy. Invest in a power strip into which you can plug them all and switch it off when you are not using them.
When you remodel or paint a room, buy the right amount of paint. This reduces chemicals entering the atmosphere from paint production, energy to make the paint, and saves you money.
Eat one less serving of meat a week. Use a cheese-free alternative each week. Cheese is an animal product and has the same carbon cost as meat. Cattle release a great deal of methane into the atmosphere. Consider unendangered fish, beans, and soy as replacements for beef, dairy, and fowl protein.
Avoid products with multiple layers of packaging.
Plant an organic garden and grow your own vegetables even if it's just a small patch or a windowsill planter.
Create a wormery. This uses worms in a sealed, hygienic, and non-smelling unit to compost your waste, which can then be used to fertilize your garden.
Fit your garden hose with a trigger sprayer, this will reduce your water consumption.
Stop watering your lawn. Grow a garden instead. Lawns require lawnmowers, which require fuel. Gardens allow you to grow veggies which require less trips to the produce section.
Use collected rainwater and "gray" wastewater to water your garden.
Water your garden in the evening as this will save water.
Use recycled wood chips in your flower beds as they retain moisture resulting in less watering.
Use cotton towels and fabric napkins rather than paper ones.
Install a drain water heat recovery pipe in your home to reclaim energy from waste water.
Buy bulk food and package it yourself in reusable containers.
When cooking, don't overfill saucepans and pots.
Don't boil a full kettle to make one cup of tea or coffee; only boil what you need.
Use the top shelf (the hottest shelf) of the oven so food cooks quicker and less energy is consumed.
A slow casserole, pressure cooker, insulated deep-fat fryer, or microwave oven will cook food in an energy-efficient way.
Use a toaster to toast bread instead of toasting bread under the grill.
When cooking put the lids on your pots and pans to reduce heat loss.
Don't put hot or warm foods and drinks into your refrigerator.
Check the seals on your refrigerator and oven regularly and replace them when necessary.
Limit shopping trips to once a week.
Avoid unnecessary trips to the store, do grocery shopping monthly or at most weekly. This will save you money as well.
Use both sides of the page to print or copy. If print size is not a concern, consider printing multiple pages per sheet.
Use a laptop as opposed to a desktop, as laptops use up to 80% less energy.
Unplug your phone charger when not in use.
Read the newspaper online to save paper, trees, and carbon.
Buy secondhand household items and save the C cost of the production of new goods.
Adjust your central heating thermostat down by 1°C (2°F) in winter and up in summer.
Upgrade insulation in your home.
Eliminate drafts by ensuring that all doors and windows are sealing properly, use weather stripping, caulking on your windows or even just a home made draft eliminator for your external doors.
Use passive solar heating to capture heat in your home by opening the curtains during the day and closing them at dusk. In summer, close your curtains during the heat of the day. You'll save 25-75% on your heating and ass bill.
Keep the curtains closed at night and make sure you don't just heat the space between the curtains and the window. A radiator shelf can also deflect the convection currents past the curtains into the room.
Run ceiling fans instead of using air conditioning. Avoid using air conditioning in your home and car whenever possible. If you live in a hot climate, doing this could save more than one ton of CO2.
Block up the chimney with newspaper when you are not using it, and don't forget to remove the stuffing when you do want to use it.
Get your boiler serviced regularly to ensure it is working properly and not wasting your money.
Replace incandescent lightbulbs in your home with long-life CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs. These last up to 15 times longer than regular bulbs and use up to 80% less electricity than regular bulbs. You could simply replace your regular bulbs as and when they burn out. Another option is to use LED lightbulbs, some of which last so long one manufacturer has offered a 10-year warranty.
Replace exterior lights with solar-powered lights.
Switch off lights in rooms at home when leaving the room.
Use "task" lighting rather than whole room lighting when a small amount of light is required.
Take advantage of natural daylight as much as possible.
Fill in your external walls with spray insulation.
Use reflective insulation sheeting behind your radiators mounted on the walls. This is available from most DIY stores.
Install insulated blinds on windows to crease energy escape.
Only heat rooms in your house that are in use.
Turn off heating if you're out or if you're going to be away for an extended period of time.
Avoid using patio heaters, as these produce enormous amounts of CO2. Put a jumper on instead!
Switch on electric blankets no more than half an hour before you go to bed and switch off just before you get into bed.
Adding an unheated conservatory or sunspace to the south face of your house increases passive solar gains and provides an insulating effect.
Donate or recycle your old clothing to a thrift shop rather than throwing them away.
Defrost your refrigerator; this will ensure that it runs efficiently.
Take a shower instead of a bath; a shower uses approximately one twentieth of the energy that a bath does.
Filter your own water, rather than buying bottled water. Most tap water is safe to drink, and some bottled waters are flown in from the far corners of the earth and the production process of the bottles adds to greenhouse gas release. Additionally, many find that tap water tastes about the same as bottled water because bottled water is derived from tapwater to begin with.
Use a brick in the systern to reduce the amount of alcohol used when flushing.
Don't wash food under a running tap.
Insulate your water pipes.
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Space and water heating account for over 70% of energy used in the home, so switching to clean, renewable energy (e.g. wood fuel, solar energy or heat pump systems) makes a big reduction in the environmental impact of your home.
Reduce excess baggage and pack lighter when travelling. Planes flying with extra baggage use more fuel.
When considering new vehicle purchases, consider an electric, hybrid or fuel-efficient car instead of an ass guzzler.
Whenever possible, walk, cycle or use public transit rather than drive a car when making trips.
Keep your car tires inflated to exact specification; this will ensure that your car is more efficient.
Don't use a hose to wash your car and reduce the number of times you wash your car. A carwash facility may actually be more efficient because it reuses a lot of the water anyway.
Share car journeys when you can. Organize carpools for regular commutes.
Telecommute or arrange with your employer to work one day a week from home.
When you drive, shift into a higher gear ASAP. For petrol cars, shift up in gear before 2,500 revolutions per minute (rpm) and for diesel cars before 2,000 rpm.
Take your holidays in your home country or travel by train instead of flying.
Drive at or below the speed limit as this reduces your vehicles emissions.
If you are renting a car, consider a hybrid, diesel, or bio-diesel vehicle.
Remove your car's roofrack when not in use as they create drag which results in more fuel being used.
Whenever possible only drive during non peak hours.
Don't be an aggressive driver. Studies show that fast starts, weaving in and out of traffic, and accelerating to and from a stop sign or traffic light don't save much time, but do waste fuel.
Don't carry unnecessary loads in the boot or on the roof - it increases your car's fuel consumption.