This article was produced for The Daily Green by Paydirt, a consulting firm that aims to "build practical sustainability strategies that deliver maximum benefit to both the environment and their bottom line."
Do you ever wonder whether the green improvements youre making at home are actually reducing your environmental footprint?
In our frazzled daily lives, it's easy to make changes and then forget to check whether those improvements are having their desired effect. As many businesses have already discovered, tracking environmental progress isnt overly difficult, but it does require some planning ahead, as well as a measurement strategy and schedule. With a little forethought and only a few minutes a month, you can develop an efficient environmental footprint measurement plan.
Learn from business leaders. Following these simple steps will help you track the effectiveness of changes you make at home.
1. Create an energy log by tracking your monthly usage in a spreadsheet simply record your energy consumption when paying your monthly bill. If you save old bills, you can also take a look to see how current usage compares.
2. Measure your production of waste and recycling on a weekly basis! Keep a checklist on your refrigerator or in your garage to track how many bags or containers youre taking to the curb every week.
3. Track your water consumption over time. Like energy consumption, record your water usage in a tracking spreadsheet every time you pay your water bill.
4. Track your expenses. If you are a true "greenie" at heart, you can also assess your purchasing habits by aggregating your monthly receipts to determine what percentage of products contain sustainable properties (and whether any purchases were unnecessary!).
5. Combine all of the information in a folder or spreadsheet at your home office, so you can easily access a snapshot of your entire environmental footprint.
These simple actions will help you accurately assess the effectiveness of your current efforts and identify opportunities for future improvements.
Like this? Try The Daily Green's DIY Home Energy Audit.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.