Remove one light bulb from your home. Live without it for the rest of this carbon fast. This will decrease energy use and act as a reminder of why we are doing this. In addition, make a point of turning off lights when you leave a room, or that you don't really need to have on. This simple act could save 55 lbs of CO2 emissions a year.
The funny thing is that we went almost a year without the use of one light bulb. Not because we meant to do it but because I was having trouble wiring a switch properly and gave up for awhile because I was so frustrated. Several months ago Husband decided to work on it and together we figured it out and we have use of it now. However, now we are having trouble with a light staying on in the garage. So...we are unintentionally doing this one.
Get a home energy audit from your local utility company. Find out how you can save resources and money by making small, inexpensive improvements to your home. Find out more from NSTAR andEnergy Star.
We actually looked into solar electricity last year and did this. Unfortunately we would have had to put the solar panels on the front of our house and it took something like 6 months to get the subdivision to approve it. By that time we weren't eligible for all the rebates towards Solar Electricity and the cost was too much. We would have ended up paying over $10,000 out of pocket. The amount of room we had for solar panels wasn't great and it would have only generated about 50% of our usage, meaning this was not cost effective for us.
The good news, though, is that we do pretty good with energy use in our house. It's actually not that bad. I know we could improve with some of the appliances but if they aren't broken, why replace? They are expensive appliances and old so we know we'll be replacing them within the next 5 years. Whenever we are at one of the home improvement stores (which seems to be all the time!!) we look at the appliances they have deeply discounted to get rid of but so far the ones we still have to replace haven't been an option. We aren't giving up hope yet! We've had good luck doing this so far. We bought our stovetop, smooth, for $100 because it had a scratch on it and one of the knobs had a chunk taken out of it. We grabbed that deal! We knew these were things we could easily fix. Let's just keep our fingers crossed we run into similar deals for a double wall oven and a washer and dryer. haha
We have replaced all windows with triple pain windows and that has helped out a lot! We used to walk into our kitchen and you could feel the change in temperature since one wall is all windows. Now it feels the same as the rest of the house.