Ways I reduce my carbon footprint now


No red meat in my diet
No charcoal grill
Rarely use full size oven
Mostly use microwave oven to heat food
Switched from electric to gas range
Grow food in my yard: Tomatoes, Cucumber, Zucchini, Onions, Figs, Peaches, Grapefruit
Seek local, organic food products
Resist corporate chain restaurants


Walk whenever possible
Pedal-cycle whenever possible

When driving, slowed down to observe all speed limits, never exceeding 55 MPH
Take the train instead whenever possible
Stopped using jet air travel


Personal living space under 250 SF
Whole space window fan for majority of cooling
NG wall heater thermostat set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit
NG demand water heater
All fluorescent lighting
Low water use toilet and fixtures
Outdoor clothesline


Buy local and US made first
Bring my own bags
Don’t buy “impulse” junk
Buy second hand and recycled
Look for minimal packaging when I must buy new
Pay extra for organic and/or local or US Made

There is room for improvement, especially in the area of food, but I feel good about how far I have come in the past few years.

Solar Clothes Dryer in Action

I finally woke up one day and realized how dumb it was for me to be using an electric dryer to dry my clothes. First I stopped using it in the daytime when the A/C was also on, which meant I always had to wait until night to do the laundry. Then I realized a simple solution would be to find one of those old clotheslines and use it instead. Online I found a few versions and vendors and in the end settled on one from my local ACE Hardware for $49.95. Of course I needed clothespins too so all together it cost about $65. There was a receptacle for the pole already in an area of the yard I had just uncovered after removal of a spa and concrete pad.

I have used it a few times now and can honestly say it is a delight. Of course it is just my clothes, so a family would need to share in the fun because it may be hard for one time challenged parent to do it alone. What a great way to save a bunch of energy! How much energy? A typical load would consume about 3-5 kwh, so depending on local rates this would be .30 cents up to more than a dollar each load! Reduction in carbon footprint could be calculated using 1.341 lbs of CO2 per kwh consumed, so using the solar clothes dryer saves 5 to 7 lbs each load!
Tim Castleman's Solar Clothes Dryer