Reaching "net zero" is easy, cheap, and saves you thousands of dollars, not to mention, you can help save the planet. Here are some things I've done to reach net zero without sacrificing my standard-of-living. In fact, I've gone beyond net zero in an attempt to eliminate all my pollution. The easiest way to get started is to conserve energy. Don't use what you don't need. Turn things off. Unplug things. Buy low energy use products.
1) Consume less.
Consumers are destroying the world's environment and economies. The excessive demands of consumers (mass consumption) has resulted in the exploitation of natural resources, as well as, the emission of pollution and greenhouse gases. In many cases you can choose to consume "none at all". Travel, fashion, and meat are examples of things that could be eliminated from your consumption habits. Consuming less of everything is the biggest contribution an individual can make to eliminating pollution and reducing the impacts of climate change. The most important part of consumption reduction is to stop burning fossil fuels and consuming hydrocarbon products today. (Hydrocarbons include plastics, polymers, petroleum and natural gas.)
2) Electricity and heat are the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
* choose an electric company that uses nuclear, solar, and/or wind generation
* insulate your house (Be careful not to over insulate. Indoor pollution is as large a health concern as outdoor pollution. An air-tight house needs an air exchange system with a rigorous filter maintenance program.)
* zone heat. In the winter, keep your main temperature at 50 degrees Fahrenheit and only keep the room you are occupying at a comfortable level (68 degrees). Wear warm clothes.
* an air to air heat exchanger and humidity exchanger (Note that humidity is as important as temperature.)
* plant shade trees and eliminate your need for central air
* plant windscreens, such as, evergreens
3) Food and land use is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
* eat less meat
* reduce transportation of food by buying local
* grow your own garden and windowsill gardens
* plant trees, and more importantly, maintain old growth
* reduce impervious surfaces
4) Transportation is the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
* buy an EV or high MPG manual transmission (I get 50 MPG in a 4-wheel drive SUV with a 6 speed.)
* make fewer trips, take public transportation, avoid air travel
5) Invest in green technologies.
6) Reduce indoor pollution with natural air purifiers, aromatherapy, and indoor forest bathing.
7) Optimize your diet and health.
Everybody has the responsibility not to pollute.
Thank you. My life depends on it.