When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, a lot of things — global trade agreements, international climate treaties — are out of our individual control. One area where each of us can make a difference, though, is in our own homes. Houses and other buildings are responsible for nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions, but they don’t have to be.
Not sure how to start? Earth Aid Enterprises, a new venture in Washington, D.C., is offering Earth Aid Kits to get you started.
The customizable Earth Aid Kits come with a variety of products to help you reduce the carbon footprint of your house, apartment or dorm room: appliance timers, oxygenating showerheads, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, LED nightlights that turn on and off automatically, faucet aerators, programmable thermostats, Smart Power strips and more. The founders of Earth Aid Enterprises say their goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through home energy efficiency enough to offset the output of one million cars.
Earlier this month, Earth Aid Enterprises teamed up with DC Habitat for Humanity to help 100 families boost the energy efficiency of their new Habitat homes. The campaign seeks contributions from individuals and businesses to cover the cost of a complete Earth Aid Kit for all 100 new Habitat houses.
Earth Aid Enterprises is a startup created by Ben Bixby and Greg O’Keeffe, both recent college grads. Bixby holds a degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, while O’Keeffe holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Earth and environmental engineering from Columbia University.
So how much difference can one Earth Aid Kit make? Earth Aid Enterprises’ Website includes recommendations for different kits depending on the type of building you live in, then shows what your annual savings — in energy consumption, energy bills, carbon dioxide emissions and car equivalents — would be. Compare the cost savings to the cost of a kit, and the numbers are pretty persuasive. A $201.18 kit for a three-bedroom home, for example, results in annual energy bill savings of $931.35 and a reduction of 14,739 pounds of carbon emissions.
That’s a weight-loss goal worthy of any New Year’s Resolution, wouldn’t you say?