Climate protection is important to you, but you don’t know how you as an individual can contribute to it? We show you how you can reduce your CO2 consumption at home. Even with small measures you can save a lot of CO2.
Reducing your own CO2 emissions: Many people with a guilty conscience first think of their car journeys, air travel and online shopping. But most of the CO2 emissions per citizen arise at home.
The Federal Environment Agency found this out in a representative survey. Data and information on the topics of mobility, housekeeping and consumer behavior were asked for, as was attitudes to the environment and resource consumption. The result: 17 percent of the CO2 emissions per citizen come from shopping, 31 percent from mobility and 52 percent from the “home” area.
Everyone should basically “sweep their own doorstep” when it comes to saving CO2 emissions. The greatest amount of CO2 is saved by using efficient insulation and an improved heating system. In addition, less complex measures such as switching to a green electricity provider, purchasing and installing a plug-in solar device and using a special search engine when surfing the net also help.
This is how it works: Save CO2 in-house
Efficient insulation harbors great savings potential in terms of CO2 emissions and heating energy: this has been confirmed by co2online, a non-profit consultancy for climate protection, by evaluating around 22,000 building and consumption data. According to the calculations, a single-family house (built in 1983) with an area of 125 square meters can save up to 860 kilograms of CO2 or 19 percent of the heating energy per year by installing facade insulation. Insulating the top floor ceiling saves around 320 kilograms of CO2 (seven percent) in heating energy, while insulating the basement ceiling saves up to 230 kilograms of CO2 and thus five percent of heating energy.
Heating with little CO2
You can also avoid a lot of CO2 by switching to a different heating system. Heat pumps, for example, are rightly regarded as environmentally friendly, because three quarters of the energy used for heating are extracted from the air, earth or groundwater, depending on the type of heat pump. The rest of the quarter comes in the form of electricity.
This is how a heat pump works: A liquid refrigerant circulates in its pipes, which absorbs geothermal energy, evaporates it and rises. The refrigerant vapor is compressed and thus brought to a higher temperature. The heat is then transferred to the heating circuit in the house, the steam loses temperature, liquefies, is brought to a lower pressure and its initial temperature. Then the cycle starts all over again.
Solar system: save CO2 with the power of the sun
A lot of CO2 can be saved by using solar systems. There are two types of solar systems:
The solar thermal system, which converts solar energy into heat, and the photovoltaic system, which generates electricity from solar energy. A single photovoltaic system can save 3.3 tons of CO2 if the roof of a detached house is covered with a maximum of solar cells. This plant produces 7,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. You can generate your own electricity quickly and easily with small plug-in solar devices. The device is connected to the external socket and can be mounted in a bracket on the floor or on the balcony railing. Make sure you inform your network operator about the use of such a small system before you start using it!
Saving CO2 through green electricity
Even if you use green electricity instead of conventional electricity, you can save enormous amounts of CO2. Real green electricity comes 100 percent from renewable energy sources such as wind, water or solar power. The electricity provider must prove this with guarantees of origin in the register of guarantees of origin. Electricity, the origin of which is unknown, is called gray current. Suppliers can label their electricity as green electricity without having to meet strict criteria. So how do you recognize real green electricity?
The consumer center defines green electricity according to the following criteria: 100 percent of the electricity must come from renewable energies and the provider must drive the energy transition, for example by investing in energy transition projects and building new plants. Incidentally, it is not true that green electricity is becoming more and more expensive: around a third of citizens purchase electricity from the local basic supplier at a very expensive rate. By switching to the green electricity provider, you would save money: According to information from co-2-online, a family of four could save around 70-100 dollars and 2.2 tons of CO2 per year.
Save CO2: quick measures
Not only the big measures, but also the small steps in everyday life can save CO2. Get started right away: with our tips for living room and study, bathroom and kitchen.
- Living room: LED lamps are the light source of choice when it comes to environmental friendliness, because compared to energy-saving lamps, LEDs consume less electricity and thus emit less CO2. They also have a lifespan of several decades.
- Kitchen: Replacing old household appliances with new, more efficient ones – that’s the big saving measure in the kitchen. The energy label indicates how efficient a device is.
- Study: Anyone who uses a laptop instead of a desktop PC has already saved CO2. Because laptops need about three times less power. If you adjust the screen brightness and activate the energy-saving mode, you will work even more energy-efficiently. You can use the Ecosia search engine to surf the Internet and support tree planting with your search queries.
- Bathroom: Smart thermostats on radiators in single-family houses with an area of 110 square meters can save around 450 kilograms of CO2 and 135 dollars a year. Ideal for getting started: smart thermostat starter kits. Attach the thermostat to the radiator, connect it to the router and the Internet. The radiator can now be controlled via the app, even when you are out and about.