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Cheap Electricity: Is it Always the Best Choice?

Jul 19 2022

With inflation and the cost of living on the rise this year, many Texans are looking at any and every way to cut back on spending. That includes finding cheap electricity to help lower monthly utility bills — especially in Texas’s hot summer. But is cheap electricity always the best choice for powering your home? Let’s take a closer look at the issue.

Should I be looking for the cheapest electricity rates?

Cheap electricity is the same as more expensive electricity, right? In essence, yes. So, cheap energy plans are very appealing in that respect. By simply choosing the energy plan with the lowest rate, you might assume you’ve found the best plan. But price is just the beginning. You’ll want to consider much more when choosing how to power your home.

Besides cheap electricity, what else should I look for in a Texas energy provider?

Before narrowing it down to the plans with the cheapest energy rates, look at other related factors including:

  • What perks or credits do other, higher-priced electricity plans offer? Are these worth the difference in the energy rate to you?
  • How long has the electricity provider been in business? 
  • Does the electricity provider have a good reputation online and among your family and friends?
  • Does the provider offer tips and tools to help you reduce your electricity usage? (This can potentially help lower your utility bill.)
  • What other “extras” can you get from another provider, such as a mobile app, detailed usage information, energy-efficiency comparison emails, etc.?

Some Texas electricity providers add more value to an electricity plan than others. Along with price, all of these things should be considered when you make your decision. At the end of the day, you want an electricity company you can trust that offers what’s most important to you.

What is the cheapest energy company?

Some Texas energy companies offer a no-frills approach to electricity. This can (but doesn’t always) equate to cheap electricity. Really, there’s no single energy company in Texas that consistently provides the cheapest energy. Plans and pricing change often. So, a low-priced plan you see today may not be the least expensive option tomorrow. 

What else should I know about electricity rates?

Before you choose a cheap electric company or plan based on price alone, take a step back. Do you understand the details related to rates? For example, you may see a great electricity rate online, but on closer look, it turns out to be a month-to-month plan. This means your rate could spike the following month with no warning. Term length matters, and it can affect your average monthly bill.

Also, you’ll want to know how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you use, on average, each month. That way, you can make accurately compare rates of plans. Comparing rates for a monthly usage of 500 kWh to rates for 2,000 kWh can be like comparing apples to oranges.

How do I find cheap electricity plans?

The easiest way to find an electricity plan that fits your budget, lifestyle and needs? Shop and compare electricity plans with Everything Energy. You can even use your Smart Meter Texas usage data to see personalized pricing and monthly bill estimates!

What are the best electricity companies in Texas?

Now you know that there’s no single cheapest energy company in Texas. You also know that many electric companies provide added value to consumers. You can find this value in many forms, like excellent customer service, perks, credits and energy-efficiency guidance. So, now it’s time to combine this knowledge to find electricity companies and plans that best fit you and your family.

When you use an advanced online energy shopping tool, you can look at plans and features side by side. That means you can make apples-to-apples comparisons to find your perfect match.

Are there other ways to lower my electricity bill? 

Getting cheap electricity is not the only way to save money on your electric bill. More ways to help lower your electricity costs include:

  • Earn bill credits: Some electricity providers in Texas will offer a credit on your monthly bill for enrolling in paperless billing, automatic payments or other options. You may even find energy companies that reward you for referrals.
  • Lower your usage: Using less can help lower your bill. It doesn’t have to be drastic. Simple things like changing your AC’s air filter or unplugging devices when charged can make a difference.
  • Make home improvements: Sealing drafty windows and doors or adding insulation can help your home become more energy efficient.
  • Consider upgrades: If you’re in the market for new appliances, check out Energy Star-rated machines. They’re more energy-efficient than most standard appliances. So, they can help you use less and save money over time. 
  • Embrace smart tech: Smart thermostats, plugs, lighting and more can help you save more and use less. 

Find an affordable energy plan today.

As you can see, getting the cheapest electricity that’s out there may not always be the best option for your situation, home energy goals and preferences. But no matter what your top priority is when it comes to electricity, we can help. To get started, just enter your ZIP code at EverythingEnergy.com. We’ll guide you from there.

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Minimize Electricity Costs for a Festive July 4th

Jun 28 2022

If there’s one holiday that’s made even better through energy efficiency, it’s Independence Day. This July 4th, unplug, get out of the house and enjoy some festive activities with family and friends that won’t any additional electricity costs to your monthly bill.

Sidestep high energy prices by grilling

Fire up the barbie! It wouldn’t be a Texas 4th without a grilled meal (or two). Will you go with classic American burgers and hotdogs? Or will you get fancy with lobster tails—the most searched-for grilling recipe in Texas? Either way, you’ll save some kilowatt hours (kWh) by not using your oven or stovetop, potentially lowering your electricity costs.

Ride a bike instead of surfing the Internet

It’s easy to head inside to the air-conditioned comfort of your home and chill with a mobile device. But with electricity prices up across the nation, it’s worth breaking a sweat to help lower your average electricity bill. So, turn the AC off for a bit and take that bike ride, hike or stroll. In the company of friends and family of all ages, you can celebrate your freedom in the great outdoors.

Cool off with some water fun

While having a swimming pool can be refreshing, it can also make you say, “My electricity bill is how much?!” So, if you don’t have a pool, you’re already saving a lot of kWhs over your pool-owning neighbors. Plus, you can still make a splash by turning on a sprinkler, visiting a public pool or having a good old-fashioned water balloon fight. And if you do have a pool? Use it to cool off instead of the AC when you can!

Enjoy a parade for $0 in electricity costs

A Fourth of July parade is a hallmark of the holiday, whether you’re in a large city or a small town. Take in the music, floats and community spirit while celebrating the nation’s independence. Firstly, it costs absolutely nothing, using none of your own electricity. Secondly, it’s sure to put you in a patriotic mood. Find July 4th celebrations in Texas here. Or, check with your city’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau to locate a parade near you.

Let the night sky inspire you

While many people think of fireworks displays as the ultimate Fourth of July event, a night of stargazing can be just as thrilling. Regardless, neither activity will have you thinking twice about your electric bill or kwh cost. But staring up into the sky with wonder will make for a magical holiday evening.

Extend the day with a backyard campout

You may not want your energy-efficient July 4th to end. So, why not keep the AC off overnight and set up a tent outdoors to continue the festivities until dawn? From s’mores to chatting around the firepit, you can totally forget about your electricity-consuming devices and modern appliances. Instead, enjoy making lasting memories with loved ones.

Celebrate Independence Day all year 

The deregulated Texas energy market gives you independence from your utility company, letting you choose your preferred retail electricity provider. If your electricity contract expires soon, it’s time to exercise your power to choose. Check out Everything Energy’s electricity price comparison tools. You can see your estimated average electricity costs, compare plan offers and choose the energy plan that best fits your usage habits and preferences. Happy 4th!

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Average Electricity Costs? Try Energy-Saving Tips

May 31 2022

Summer heat can raise your average utility bill

It’s summertime in Texas, and you know what that means … the air conditioners run 24/7 and can single-handedly cause your monthly average electricity costs to spike. True, summer doesn’t technically start until June 21. But, the weather in the Lone Star State tells a different story. Average June highs across the state are:

Amarillo, TX 80° 
Austin 93° 
Bryan – College Station 95° 
Corpus Christi 92° 
Dallas-Fort Worth 92° 
El Paso 89° 
Galveston 88° 
San Antonio 93° 
Houston 91° 
Waco 93° 

In many other cities across the country, these temperatures would be considered extreme. But for Texans, it’s only the beginning of the summertime heat.

For this reason, you might be asking yourself, “How can I save on electric bills this summer?” or “How can I cut energy costs around the home?” Luckily, there are many things you can do to cut down your usage and help lower your energy bill without melting in the sun.

Energy-saving tips to lower your average electricity costs

Conserving energy is one of the top ways to save money on your electric bill. Since much of your bill depends on how many kilowatt hours (kWh) you use each month, reducing your usage in small ways can add up to significant savings. Follow these tips to become more energy efficient. 

Show some filter love.

Your AC works hard for you, honey, so you’d better treat it right. Clean or change its air filter every month for greater efficiency. It’s one of the best ways to use less energy, since the more dust and debris stuck in the filter, the harder your AC has to work to cool your home.

Although the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors recommends swapping filters at least every 90 days, doing so more often is even better, especially during Texas summers. With all the work your AC does in the summer months, a monthly air filter change will keep it running efficiently and keep the air you breathe cleaner. Buying your filters in bulk can help lessen the cost of frequent replacement.

Take an energy break.

Why cool an empty home? Save some kWhs by making it a habit to adjust your thermostat before you leave home. 

If the house will be empty for more than a few hours, raise the temperature. While you may or may not agree with Energy Star’s recommendation of 85° while away, every degree helps conserve energy. Plus, if you have a smart thermostat, even better! You can lower the temperature from your mobile device before you head home. Then, you’ll be greeted by a comfortable climate.

Avoid thirst traps. 

When not in use, unplug computers, game consoles, mobile devices and other electronics. After all, nobody likes energy vampires. That is, electronics that use power even when in standby mode or turned off but still plugged into the wall. This type of energy usage is also called phantom load. It can cost consumers an average of $165 per year, according to one study. And while the savings you’ll achieve for each item you unplug may only come out to cents per month, it all adds up. Plus, every bit of electricity not used helps the environment by not emitting harmful CO2greenhouse gasses.

Shake & (don’t) bake.

If your home feels like an oven on hot days, don’t turn another one on! Instead, choose more energy-efficient options like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, microwave or outdoor grill. They’ll help you cut down on your electricity usage and avoid adding a lot of heat to your kitchen.

And if you do use the oven, make use of the oven light to check on the status of your food. Opening the door lets hot air escape and requires more energy to heat back up to your original temperature.

Tennis, anyone?

Throw some clean tennis balls into your dryer to speed up the drying process (and reduce wrinkles and static). You can also use wool dryer balls. Either way, their presence causes more movement and space, letting more heat circulate between items. This is an especially helpful energy-saving trick for bulky items like towels, pillows and blankets.

For an even more energy-efficient way to dry your laundry, try hanging wet items on a clothesline outside. Imagine how quickly they’ll dry in the Texas summer sun!

Cut down on shower hour.

It takes energy to heat all that H2O, so aim for a quick scrub to conserve electricity (and water). A 2016 study lists showers as the second-largest use of water in a household (tied with faucets). The study reports that the average shower lasts around 8 minutes. Can you cut yours down by one minute? By four minutes? Make it a household challenge to see who is the speediest scrubber.

Another way to conserve water is to install low-flow showerheads that contain the Water Sense label. This indicates they use less than 2 gallons of water per minute (gpm). Low-flow showerheads use 20% less water than a standard showerhead, which uses about 2.5 gpm. 

Smarten up your home.

Get connected and stay in control of everyday energy usage with smart thermostats, smart plugs and smart light bulbs. These modern products offer ways to control them from afar. For example, you can control them by remote, mobile app or through platforms like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. 

Imagine being on vacation and using your phone to adjust the temperature to an efficient setting. Or, turning certain appliances off and switching on outdoor lighting at specified times. Some smart plugs can even show you how much energy a device is using. Meanwhile, others can be connected to your smart doorbell or smart security cameras.

The more, the merrier.

Make energy efficiency a game and let your children get involved by turning off lights, going screen-free and monitoring the thermostat. The benefits are threefold:

  1. It helps you use less electricity, which can help lower your average electric bill. 
  2. It reminds everyone to be energy aware throughout the day.
  3. It models positive behaviors that become habits as children grow older.

Too hot to handle?

Did you know that water heater manufacturers typically set the default water temperature to 140°? Your water doesn’t need to be that hot. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend a setting of 120°. This will get the job done but also save energy (and prevent scalding). 

Note: This is one energy-saving area you don’t want to go overboard with by dropping the temperature below 120°. That’s because lower temperatures can promote microbial growth. 

How much can you save by reducing electricity use?

While the tips above probably won’t help you slash your average electricity costs in half, they can have a significant impact. By being more energy efficient in your day-to-day life, you can expect to see your usage decline. Not only will you be helping to tame those summer electric bills, you’ll also be doing something positive for the environment. And there’s no downside to that!

Why has my electricity bill suddenly increased?

Even the most energy-efficient household has probably seen their average electric bill go up in recent months. That’s due in part to current world events, inflation and high demand. The increased price of electricity further shows how important it is to take steps to save energy in your own home.

How can I lower my electricity bill?

In addition to following these energy-saving tips and making small lifestyle choices, you can also look at the big picture to reduce your average electricity costs. Summer is the perfect time to shop and compare electricity plans. Find one that fits your lifestyle and can help you lower your average electric bill. Check out how simple it is to find your perfect energy match with Everything Energy’s free search tools.

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Moving? 4 Things That Impact Your Cost of Electricity

May 17 2022

Peak moving season has arrived. College students are on the move, families use the months off of school to get situated and better weather means smoother loading and unloading. Are you one of the many planning to change your location in the upcoming months? If so, you’ll want to consider a few things that could impact your monthly cost of electricity before you sign that apartment lease or home purchase contract.

1. Home size affects your monthly electricity price.

We all know everything is bigger in Texas. But that’s not always a good thing when it comes to where you hang your hat. The size of your living space can affect your electricity bill more than you may think. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average size of a new house built in 2020 was 2,261 square feet. That’s nearly 1,000 square feet larger than the average home size in 1960. More square footage means more space you’ll need to cool during the long, hot Texas summer. And while high ceilings may appeal to you, the bill for cooling all that air might not.

The key question to ask is not, “How much house or apartment can I afford?” It’s, “How much room do I actually need?” After that, you can estimate your average electricity bill for that amount of space. (And compare it to where you currently live.) A Goldilocks approach will help narrow it down to something not too big, not too small, but just right!

2. Appliances can impact your monthly cost of electricity.

If your new pad comes stocked with appliances like a refrigerator, dishwasher and washer/dryer, take note. Older models tend to be less efficient. Meanwhile, Energy Star-rated models can help you save on your electricity bill with their efficiency — and help you lessen your carbon footprint. For example, Energy Star dryers use about 20% less energy than similar models without the Energy Star certification. 

Factoring in the energy efficiency of the large appliances that come with your new space will help give you a better idea of your monthly cost of electricity.

3. Good insulation can help you save energy every day.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that better insulation could save the typical U.S. home 15% on heating and cooling costs. That includes sealing air gaps and adding insulation in attics, floors over basements and accessible basement rim joists. 

For homebuyers, have your home inspector measure the R-value of insulation in these areas. That way, you know whether this is an improvement you need to consider making. 

If you’ll be renting, check for air gaps around windows and doors. If you find any issues, request that maintenance personnel seal those areas prior to your move-in date.

Whether you own or rent, take the necessary steps to ensure you’ve minimized these air escape routes to the best of your ability, so you can have the best electricity bill possible.

4. High or low, location matters.

If you’re looking at, say, a third-floor apartment, don’t forget — heat rises! It will take more energy to cool off from the sweltering Texas heat. On the flip side, if you’re renting a basement apartment or have significant living space below ground level, you can expect a cooler area. That’s great for summer, but it also may require extra heating to remain comfortable in cooler weather. Consider where you’ll be doing most of your “living” as you look for a new place, and how this might affect your energy bill.

It’s easier than ever to estimate your cost of electricity.

To find electricity for your new place, including monthly bill estimates based on your typical usage and home size, make sure to shop around to find the best plan for your lifestyle.

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16 Easy DIY Projects to Reduce Your Summer (& Winter) Electricity Bills

Aug 05 2021

Man uses silicone to caulk window.

The Texas summer heat waves are rising up from the pavement while the sun beats down on your rooftop. It’s no wonder your power bill jumps as the AC struggles to keep up. Even a powerful home AC still uses more power in the heat of summer than any other time of the year. Here in Texas, even the winter heating bill can’t rival the cost of summer cooling. So, let’s look at some ways to save money on your summer electricity bill.

There are a ton of ways to lower your power bill, some big, some small. You can take on big home improvement projects, like installing new double-paned windows or smaller efforts, such as the addition of a smart thermostat that adapts to the ebb and flow of your cooling needs. But for those looking at more approachable DIY solutions, you can still significantly lower that seasonal power bill with just a few smart projects around the house.

Let’s dive into our favorite do-it-yourself ways to reduce your electricity use in the summer.

Four ways to save money on your electricity bill

1. Trap the AC Inside Your House

Re-Caulk Your Windows

A lot of heat can get lost out rattling window panes, something common especially in dry Texas houses where heat, rains, and droughts cause regular swelling and contracting of your window frames. This breaks seals, causes window rattle, and allows precious AC to slip out your window cracks. Re-seal those windows with a new round of caulk around the window pane, but without sealing your opening windows closed.

Install New Weather Stripping on Doors & Windows

Help your doors and opening windows keep the cold in by reinstalling the weather stripping. Most weather stripping is only made to last between two and five years. If you don’t know when the weather stripping was last replaced, a new round could significantly improve your AC-based power costs.

Improve Your Attic Insulation & Airflow

Improve your attic. Houses can lose air through an under-insulated attic. If you’re familiar with attic work, add a new layer of insulation and seal up any obvious areas for drafts. Make sure the vents are clear (especially of fluffy insulation) so that your attic airflow is also healthy and insulating. You’ll be surprised how much this can help reduce your electricity bill.

Close or Insulate Closets

Many closets are not properly insulated. You’ll notice added heat when you open the closet door. Keep your closet doors closed to trap that insulation through the door or insulate the interior of each closet by papering the walls in foil insulator wrap.

Weather-Seal the Pet Doors

If you have a pet door or two, adding weather stripping or otherwise find ways to seal that door when it’s supposed to be closed. Pet doors are often a notorious source of lost AC and unsuspected summer power bill costs.

Cast Shade on the House

Keep your house shady. Encourage tall branching trees or build awnings around the house. The less sun hits your roof, siding, and windows, the less heat you’ll be fighting against with the AC’s power.

2. Stay Cool for Less

Set the Thermostat a Few Degrees “Less”

In the summer, set your thermostat just a few degrees warmer than normal and you could save hundreds over the summer. Central air conditioning uses, on average, 1 kWh per ton per hour. A 5-ton air-conditioner will use approximately 5 kWh per hour, which would use 60 kWh per day, if it ran for 12 hours. Here is a calculator to help you understand the costs. un the AC at 77 instead of 74 and discover the power bill difference.

Adjust Thermostat When No One is Home

If the house is empty, let it warm up for the hottest hours of the day. Last person out the door sets the thermostat to a toasty 85, safe for appliances but too warm for most Texans indoors. Then first person home sets the thermostat to cool the house for an evening at home (or install the smart thermostat to do it for you).

Run Ceiling Fans and Rooms

Make use of your ceiling fans – they are much more affordable to run than your AC fan. Why? The AC blower has to push air all through the house. Your ceiling fan cools one specific area. Set ceiling fans and floor-mounted fans around the house to keep it breezy without using more AC than you need.

Seasonal Bedding, Clothing, and Curtains

Switch up your clothes. When the summer gets really hot, give into your need to wear shorts and breezy shirts. Wear light cotton or even exercise active-wear clothing designed to wick sweat and cool in moving air. Switch your bedding to the cool percale weave in natural fibers to sleep cooler. Swap  your heavy winter curtains for the light breezy kind combined with some serious anti-blinding sun shades. When your fabrics match the season, you can turn the AC a little warmer and sleep a little cooler all summer.

Try a Swamp Cooler

Swamp coolers only work, ironically, in dry climates because it works through evaporative cooling. Some regions of Texas are more than dry enough to bring the temperature down for very little electricity cost using swamp cooler technology.

3. Use Less Electricity By Accident

Stop Phantom Load with Power Strips

Did you know that many appliances keep sucking up electricity after you switch them off? Experts call this Phantom Load. There are a number of reasons for this to be true, but there is one easy solution. Plug your appliances, computers, and devices into power strips. Simply switch the power strips off when you’re done with the appliances and easily prevent the power-costs of phantom load.

Keep Your Filters & Vents Clean

Want your AC to flow efficiently through the house? Make sure there’s nothing blocking it in the ducts, vents, and filters it must flow through to reach each room. Check your AC unit filter and change it out regularly (every 1 to 9 months). It’s easy to check your vent registers and clean them if they are covered in old dust. Take a peek at your ducts to ensure they are still clear.

Clean the Fridge Seal & Coils

Another high-usage appliance might be your refrigerator. Just like the AC, the fridge has to work harder on warm days to keep your food cold. The more efficiently it works, the less you pay for the considerable power it consumes. Clean your refrigerator and freezer door seals and them moisten them with petroleum jelly to boost performance. Then gently brush the built-up dust from the fridge’s coolant coils in the back to boost cooling efficiency with less power.

4. Make the Most of Your Power Bill

Switch to Average Billing

If your summer power bill is too much or you don’t like the seasonal cost-difference, sign up for average billing. Average billing for power bills uses historical data on the annual electricity usage at your address, and divides that amount by 12, so you pay about the same amount each month. While you will pay the same amount over the 12 months, you won’t see the wild swings during the higher-usage months, so you’ll pay less on your electricity bills during the summer months.

Soak Up Some Solar Credits

If you have solar panels or are handy with the equipment, you can even hook up solar and start selling some of the power you generate back to the power company for a monthly bill discount. 

Make big summer electricity bills a thing of the past. Are you ready to get started on one or more of these project and see which works for you? You’ll find big savings on those summer energy bills.

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Steps You Can Take to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Apr 07 2021

As society becomes more aware of the effect carbon emissions are having on climate change, federal, state, and local governments around the world are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Several cities in Texas joined thousands around the world and signed the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Austin City Council has also pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

While government action will be key in helping to reverse the effects of global warming, individual action will also be critical in helping to reduce carbon emissions. Fortunately, there are a variety of steps that you can take to drastically reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Incorporating a few green initiatives into your routine could go a long way in helping your community to reduce its carbon emissions. Here is a look at just a few of the things that you can do to significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Unplug unused devices

One of the simplest things that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to unplug your electronic devices when they are not in use. What many people do not realize is that electronics continue to draw a small amount of power when they are plugged in even if they are powered off. In fact, phone and laptop chargers will continue to draw power when plugged in even if they are not connected to a device. While the amount of power these devices and chargers use may seem insignificant, it can quickly add up. In the U.S. alone, this “vampire power” uses up to $19 billion in energy each year. To cut down on your carbon footprint, simply get in the habit of only plugging in chargers, devices, and appliances when you are actively using them. 

Drive less

Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to drive less. Every time you make the conscious decision to leave the car home and walk, bike, or take public transportation to your destination, you are immediately reducing your carbon footprint. In particular, walking to close destinations such as dinner out can help the planet while also providing an easy way for you to incorporate additional exercise into your routine. Of course, if you aren’t in the mood to walk, public transportation still helps reduce carbon emissions as more transit authorities are turning to green power sources including electric and natural-gas vehicles. In fact, it is estimated that a person who switches from commuting 20 miles alone by car to taking public transportation every day can reduce their annual CO2 emissions by 48,000 pounds per year. That represents a 10% reduction in carbon emissions for many two-car households.   

Consider buying carbon offsets

Of course, there is only so much that you can do personally to make a real impact on climate change, which may leave you feeling frustrated and wanting to do more for the environment. If so, you may want to consider buying carbon offsets. A carbon offset is a means by which you can compensate for your carbon emissions by helping to fund projects/programs that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere. For instance, if you pay to offset one ton of carbon, the offset will help to capture or destroy one ton of greenhouse gasses that would have otherwise been released into the atmosphere. If your job requires you to drive or fly on a regular basis and there is only so much that you can do personally to reduce your carbon emissions, buying carbon offsets can help to compensate for this and reduce or eliminate your carbon footprint.

If you are interested in buying carbon offsets as a way to reduce your carbon footprint, we recommend you check out the options at picknrgoffsets.com

Plant a garden

Gardening enthusiasts will be happy to learn that planting a garden can help to further reduce your carbon footprint. As you likely already know, plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, which is an extremely useful symbiotic relationship for humans. Thusly, the more plants you add to your garden, balcony, or windowsill, the more your carbon footprint will be offset. Consider adding some bee-friendly flowers to help threatened bee populations. You can also plant a vegetable garden to help reduce your grocery bill. 

In addition to offsetting carbon emissions, planting a garden if you live in the city can also help to reduce the “urban heat island” effect. This is essentially localized warming that is taking place in urban areas due to the fact that there are more paved areas than in rural areas. Plants can then help to mitigate this effect and provide cooling by absorbing excess heat.      

Eat local produce

You can also reduce your carbon footprint, and help the local economy, by buying local produce whenever possible. When you buy produce that isn’t locally in season, it has likely been shipped in from elsewhere; possibly from another country. This can have a profound effect on carbon emissions, as food may be taking a journey around the world to reach your dinner table. It is then important that you try to buy in-season products from local grocers, as well as farmers’ markets in your neighborhood, to ensure that your food is traveling as short of a distance as possible. You should also try to buy organic produce, as these products haven’t been sprayed with pesticides and chemicals that are toxic to the environment (in addition to being bad for your health).  

Line dry your clothes

One of the biggest changes you should consider making in your home to reduce your carbon footprint is to stop using your dryer as much as possible. Opting to go with the traditional line-dry method of drying your clothes is much better for the environment, as dryers are actually one of the top energy-consuming appliances in your home. While line-drying may take some getting used to, and it can seem like an unnecessary hassle if you have never line-dried clothing before, doing so can go a long way in protecting the environment. Furthermore, line-drying has the added benefit of being better for your clothes, as tumble drying causes wear-and-tear, shortening the life of fabrics.  

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