The Earth911 gang gathers at the microphone to talk about how to lower CO2 emissions and save money in your commute and heating bills. We start with the savings from switching to an electric vehicle. Earth911 recently published an EV article and worksheet that helps you understand the potential CO2 reductions and cash savings an EV delivers by state. Because different states generate more or less electricity from fossil fuels, your results will vary. If you have already installed solar on your home to power your car, the savings can be almost 100 percent of your commuting carbon footprint.
Sarah Lozanova shares how the real estate industry is upgrading its building standards and her experience living in a passive house. Commercial buildings account for 39 percent of global carbon emissions, which can be lowered by introducing more efficient construction and technology that are part of the LEED standards from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Urban Land Institute’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance has introduced the Greenprint program to help drive improved standards and reporting about sustainable building practices. Members lowered power consumption in their buildings by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017. Sarah’s home in a community of passive houses in Maine has provided consistently warm winters using very little energy while staying cool in the dummer. We walk through how a passive home works and the potential to reach net-zero emissions with solar panels.
And don’t forget our furry friends. We discuss how to make dog toys from reused fabric (the hide-a-treat dog mat is our favorite), including puzzle toys that help improve your dog’s thinking skills. Yes, dogs have thinking skills, even if cat people don’t agree! In Earthling Questions, we explain how to recycle or donate a used bed frame. Also on tap: what’s the best Christmas tree for the planet and the truth about Best Buy’s excellent free recycling program — it’s not necessary to buy something to recycle.