Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Save Money

Austin was one of 195 cities worldwide that signed the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, agreeing to lower greenhouse gas emissions to alleviate the worst impacts of climate change. But this is only the most recent development in a long history of climate action taken by our city. In 2007, City Council approved a resolution to make Austin a leader in the fight against climate change. Building on that effort, in 2014 Council set a target of community-wide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

But what does it all mean? Currently, the City is working to implement over 130 actions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy, transportation, and materials and waste sources. But it’s going to take more than City action to meet the net-zero goal – everyone has to do their part to cut carbon.

That’s where we need your help! Taking personal action isn’t hard and also comes with great benefits. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, you’ll also save money and time, avoid traffic, reduce pollution, improve air quality, and enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Here are 10 easy ways you can start making a difference:




1. Stop buying your water in plastic. Get a reusable water bottle and keep it filled and with you at all times. You’ll save money and the environment!


2. Incorporate walking or biking to some of your regular short-trip destinations. In most instances, you can walk a mile in less than 20 minutes. This is a great way to add exercise to your busy schedule.



3. Turn off lights and unplug devices when you’re not using them. 
Every little action adds up!


4. Keep the tires on your car properly inflated and get regular tune-ups. 
When your car’s tires are low on pressure, it has to work harder to move from point A to point B, wasting gas and increasing emissions in the process.



5. Eat more food that is grown or made locally and less red meat. 
Taste the difference, feel better and support the Austin economy!


6. Use the cold water cycle for washing your clothes
. And do your laundry in FULL loads. This will decrease the amount of water and energy used, helping you save time and money. Bonus points for line-drying – it takes a lot of energy to power your dryer!


7. Set your thermostat to 78 in summer and 67 in winter. And turn-off the heat and AC when you’re not home. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes in your energy bill.


8. Drive efficiently
. Use the accelerator lightly, coast to red lights, stay near the speed limit, and park and go inside instead of idling your engine in a drive-thru.


9. Keep stuff out of the landfill
. Sell items you no longer use to thrift shops, have a yard sale, or donate them to charity. Recycle or repurpose everything you can’t get rid of. 


10. Use alternative transportation (bus, train, carpool, or bike) to get to work one day per week. Enjoy  the chance to catch up on your reading instead of testing your patience in traffic!

Simple actions really add up when everyone joins in! Deciding to take action means that you want to take care of this place we call home – making Austin greener today and for many years to come. Doing your part makes you a Net-Zero Hero!

Tell us your Net-Zero story at