1. Don’t consume. Reuse, Recycle, Reduce is still the motto. Does your community have a curbside recycling program?
2. High efficiency lightbulbs, specifically High Compact Fluorescent bulbs. Note: shop around before committing to one giant bulb multipack. Lamps vary widely in performance, turn on a bit slower, and don’t work well on dimmer switches (easy to swap out the switch).
3. Low-flow toilets <1.5 gallons per flush, some even lower with rebates.
4. Low-flow regulators for faucets and showerhead.
5. Solar Water heaters can offset gas consumption and CO2 production
6. 60% of your water use goes to your landscape… consider native plants and/or xeriscape concepts to reduce your consumption and take advantage of basin planting instead of mound planting to help trap rainfall and limit runoff in Urban settings.
7. Is this upgrade necessary now to increase efficiency? Or will the gain in efficiency offset the production and environmental costs of what you are buying? After all, solar panels are the product of intensive mining efforts, which is probably one of the worst activities for ecosystems.
8. Buy Organic produce. Locally grown is best.
9. Grow your own food, but be responsible with watering habits and unnecessary soil amendments, composting is king. Do not buy cypress mulch.
10. Consider greywater reuse and rainwater harvesting to offset regional demand for water.