As someone who used to work in the corporate social responsibility arena, I was struck to learn that women are 2x more likely to consider energy efficiency important for electronics after becoming a mom, according to BabyCenter.com’s 2011 Shopping Rituals of the American Mom. And with more moms and MOMMs using smart phones, tablets and computers for managing finances and filling pantries, I thought y’all might be interested in some other “sensible” things you can do, beyond buying eco-efficient tech gadgets, to reduce your carbon footprint and potentially save you “cents”:
- Invest in smart energy strips, which can sense when your electronics are actively in use, and cut off electricity to the equipment when it is in the “off mode” so the technology will not continue to draw energy while idle.
- Pick up some weather stripping at your local hardware store and line the edges of your doors and windows to improve the seal. This will help keep your heat and air conditioning in, reducing the electricity required to maintain your indoor temperatures.
- CFLs and LEDs are great ways to reduce the electricity required to light your home. While some have a higher initial cost than their incandescent alternatives, many repay the extra cost within just a few months.
- Depending on your lifestyle and location, biking to work, the store, or to do errands not only saves on carbon but can help you burn calories. Consider buying a second-hand bike, rather than a new one, for added environmental benefit (the “reuse” in the 3Rs) and lower out-of-pocket cost.
- When possible, buy locally sourced food, which not only supports your local agricultural community but also may save tons of emissions associated with the transportation of food. In fact, in the U.S., produce, on average, travels an average of 1,500 miles before reaching our table. Wow!
- When traveling to far-off places and even those closer to home, donations to a carbon offset program are another way to net out the carbon emissions associated with your travel.
Linda Descano, CFA®, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Women & Co., Citibank’s complimentary online resource that provides expert content and commentary for women who want to enhance their financial acumen. Linda is a noted authority on wealth management and personal finance.