Easy Ways to Make a Climate Difference!


Reducing your carbon footprint can seem daunting and expensive – but it doesn’t have to be!

As one of C3’s newest interns, I am so excited to have joined the community of Charlottesville and its residents in raising the bar for sustainable living. By becoming a part of C3’s Home Energy Challenge, I have found a fun, accessible, and affordable way to make a powerful change in my lifestyle.

The Home Energy Challenge platform’s default goal is 5,000 points per household. By committing to certain actions, you can reach your goal (and go beyond!). Each action is weighted differently based on its climate impact: one point correlates with one pound of CO2 emissions (with a couple of exceptions), or ten gallons of water reduced each year.

Committing to actions is easy – the platform provides you with about 65 actions to choose from, and you have the opportunity to select the ones that best suit your lifestyle. You can commit to as many or as few actions as you’d like, as well as setting the level of commitment.

Who knew making sustainable choices could be so user-friendly?

After browsing, I was able to find five actions that require ZERO investment and total 5,530 points – in under 30 minutes! These simple, low-commitment adjustments will save me $360 per year and reduce my CO2 emissions by 28% – not a bad place to start. Here they are:

  • Take shorter showers (I plan to reduce each shower by five minutes)

  • Turn off the faucet when washing dishes

  • Reduce & reuse (I selected choosing products with minimal packaging)

  • Adjust the thermostat (by one degree at a time, rather than cranking it up right away)

  • Drive wisely (I’ll turn the car off when waiting at the curb)

I look forward to seeing how being just a little more conscious of my water and energy use will influence my lifestyle and my carbon footprint – and by choosing actions I know I can commit to, I’m certain that I’ll see quick progress!

To join the Home Energy Challenge and help us reach our first season goal of 100 households saving 100 tons of CO2e, get started at cvillechallenge.org.