As part of our commitment to Earth via our Laudato Si’ Action Plan, we are inviting everyone who shares in our charism to take a monthly Eco-Challenge with us.
Reduce your CO2 emissions
Carbon dioxide emissions are one of the most detrimental human-caused factors impacting our climate crisis. The average U.S. household creates 55,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. This month’s eco-challenge asks you to develop a CO2 diet plan. How many pounds of CO2 can you drop this month? Decide what changes you can make and add up the pounds you will choose to lose.
A few simple changes can add up fast
- Change your bulbs. For each frequently used incandescent lightbulb (three or more hours a day) you change to a compact fluorescent lightbulb you save 9.58 lbs. of CO2 per month; for each one you change to an LED bulb, you save 11.25 lbs. of CO2 per month.
- Use a power strip with a switch for appliances like TVs, computers, DVD players and for any devices and chargers that have a block-shaped transformer on the plug. Plugging them into a power strip and turning the power strip off saves an average of 50 lbs. of CO2 per month per power strip.
- Turn your thermostat down one degree in the winter to save 41.67 lbs. of CO2 per month.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees to save 12.5 lbs. of CO2 per month.
- Switch one laundry load a week from hot to cold water to save 7.69 lbs. of CO2 per month.
- Eliminate one dryer load a week by hang-drying your clothes on a line or rack to save 20 lbs. of CO2 per month.
- Reduce your shower time to five minutes or less to save 25 lbs. of CO2 per month.
- Install a low-flow showerhead to save 20.83 lbs. of CO2 per month.
Information from Low Carbon Diet: A 30 Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds by David Gershon
Take the Challenge
- Choose the changes you can make to reduce your carbon consumption.
- Share your commitment in the comments section below.
- Claim your February Eco-Challenge badge by sharing our post on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.
I commit to buy carbon offsets whenever I travel by airplane this year.
That’s a great way to address the carbon you have to use!
All the bulbs in my apartment are LED
I try to reduce dryer use by air drying as many clothes as can fit on racks
I use power strips on almost all electrical devices
Short showers are my goal. Collecting water, when letting it heat up, to water plants is a habit.
I need to get a new shower head.
Thanks! Great format!
Those small changes really add up!
We will turn down our water heater. We were just saying the other day that the water was too hot, but we weren’t sure what the right number was. Now we know. Thank you. I can also regularly turn off the power strip in my office. We’ll have to figure out a way to turn off the TV without turning off the WiFi. Right now it’s all on the same power strip. We can figure that out, though!! Most of the rest of these ideas, we already do. Another thought. If you don’t have a place to hang your blouses/shirts to dry, but have just a little extra room in your closet, you can dry the clothes part of the way in the dryer, put them on hangers and spread them out a bit in your closet — doesn’t need a lot of space. Leave the door open and they will dry overnight.
That’s a great tip about hanging clothes!
I am going to go meatless two days a week!
Here is a good site that talks about this a a carbon reduction goal https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/07/which-matters-more-reducing-meat-consumption-or-eating-local/
That’s a great change to make! Sister Patty Johnson wrote about this topic a few weeks ago. Plant-based eating doesn’t have to be all or nothing! https://csjcarondelet.org/vegan-choices-to-help-the-earth/
I have incandescent bulbs in all lights. I have an LED bulb to use when one of the lights burns out and plan to buy more. I use power strips on all appliances that I can move and reach the outlets. I wash with cold water. Can’t dry much on a rack in my small apt. Hot water heater is at 120 degrees. I plan to time my next shower. I only do one load of laundry most weeks and put in drier.
Those are great choices! Thanks for taking our challenge!
I plan to lose 116.67 pounds of carbon this month by making 3 changes. I appreciate the additional suggestions and links added by comments on this blog.
My family and I will start reducing the amount of water we use when we shower. We will also make sure to turn off any lights in our house that don’t need to be on.
I will use cold water when I wash clothes
I will keep thermostat 1 degree lower 70
I use led bulbs in my living space
I use the power strips wherever I can.
and try is as many ways as possible to cut down on carbon foot print.
I will turn down the thermostat one degree in the winter.
I use cold water in the washing machine .
We will turn our water heater down to 120 degrees.
I changed my kitchen light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. I subscribed to a food waste reduction program, I’ve incorporated a vegetarian friendly menu for my family of 7. I know water waste is a problem for me, so I have reduced it by rotating though all my plants in a bucket so they gain their water upwards. I learned that using cold water makes a big impact!
I’m impressed with all that is already being done, what is promised, and the added ideas offered! Thanks! I’ll continue keeping my space a bit cooler in winter and warmer in summer, cold water washes, and 5 minute showers. I commit to replacing bulbs with LED ones, getting one more power strip (for a lamp that has a rectangular transformer), and putting socks and unders on a rack for drying. I don’t need to iron other clothing if it’s been through the dryer!
I have reduced plastics from my personal supply product. In our house we have switched to earth breeze for our laundry detergent. We like it.
I love the comments you have already received/provided. Way to go everyone for reducing that carbon footprint. I already have LED lights in my home; I have done my weekly laundry in cold water for many years and do line dry some items of wash but will attend to doing some more – with a basement and laundry lines there it provides an invitation. My water heater is down to 110 degrees; I generally turn down my thermostat in the winter time (64 at nighttime) but snuggled under covers and way up in summer time especially if I’m not at home over a 3 hour or longer period of time. I’m good about turning off lights when I’m not going to be in a room. I will have to check out power strips. My computer and printer are on a power strip – had never thought of turning that off. I generally turn off the computer and printer each evening. I plan to do better in cutting down on eating red meat – I’m getting use to turkey slices, cheese, tuna, some chicken and fish along with more fruits and vegetables in my diet. Also more endeavors to increase my activity for longer walks outside and enjoy the lovely parks that are close to my home. We all can make a difference for our planet Earth! Judy, FSM
As part of this month’s eco-challege, I’m going to use a power strip with a switch for my appliances and/or devices whenever I can and I will turn my thermostat down one degree. By doing this, I will be saving around 92lbs of CO2.
For the February eco-challenge, I turned down my thermostat one degree. I already had it low, but lowered it one degree to 67 degrees during the day and 61 degrees at night. I always wear a sweater at home now.
– I have turned down my thermostat this month and have been washing my clothing in cold water for years. Finding ways to ententional reduce my energy usage this month by turning off unneeded lights and turning down my water heater.