Zero Carbon Society

The Zero Carbon Society is the principal student organization providing a platform for students to learn, engage and act on climate change. Explore our website and discover how Zero Carbon can equip you with the skills, knowledge and networks to enable you to lead the transition to a low carbon economy.

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Carbon Free, Eco-Friendly Real Estate

Green advocates across the nation are always looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Usually this takes the form of recycling, reusing products instead of buying new ones, or getting an electric car.

Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest carbon producing areas in our lives is our homes, and they are one of the areas where everyday Americans can make the biggest differences. Here are just a few ways that homeowners can reduce their carbon footprint and save the planet.

Use LED Lighting

LED lights are much more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. By switching your house over to all LED lights, you can not only save money on your monthly utility bill, but you can also save the planet in the process.

An added benefit to LED lights is that they are much brighter than other kinds of bulbs, which means you need less to brighten up the same area.

Utilize Natural Sunlight Whenever Possible

Another huge way people can lower their carbon emissions is to simply use natural sunlight. This means adding sunlights into your Lake Michigan waterfront home of just doing chores during the daytime instead of the night.

For example, say you have a bunch of thank you cards to send and sign. If you can do this while it is still light outside, you won’t be using any added electricity. These are the little changes that can make a big difference in the long run.

The sun is a natural, free lightsource, and we should be using it whenever possible.

Install Energy Efficient Windows

Window are probably the single biggest item where people can save money and reduce their carbon emissions. Windows provide us with natural sunlight that can allow us to save energy, but if you don’t have quality windows, you could be losing that much more energy through poor insulation.

If you have a modern lakefront home in Silver Lake, you most likely already have energy efficient windows, so this won’t be a concern for you. But, if your house is more than 20 years old, you will want to look into installing energy efficient windows.

Ask Your Realtor About Your Home’s Energy Star Rating

If you aren’t currently a homeowner, you are in a great position to avoid all of these problems but solving them from the outset. Ask your real estate professional to look at house with high energy efficiency ratings to keep your carbon footprint down from the beginning.

Most lakefront real estate agents like J Harpe Realty Michigan Lakeshore will be able to answer questions about the houses windows, insulation, water system, etc.

Plant Trees and a Nice Garden

Another easy way to cut down on carbon emissions is to have yourself a garden. This will not only beatify your yard, but it will also cancel out any carbon your do produce through your everyday life (no one can be completely carbon free).

Keeping trees alive and well is essential in the fight against growing carbon production and global warming.

These are obviously just a few of the many ways you can help us have a greener planet and a brighter future. None of them are overly expensive and anyone can do them.

Cut Your Carbon Footprint This Christmas

Christmas is an extravagant holiday, so it’s hard to resist going all out to celebrate it. But have you ever thought that our Christmas habits are damaging to the environment? These simple tips will help reduce your Christmas carbon emissions.

Use a Real Christmas Tree

 You might think that artificial Christmas trees are greener than chopping down real ones, but that is not true. Real trees have a much smaller carbon footprint because they are biodegradable. This is not to say that you should get rid of your artificial tree. To make your artificial trees greener, re-use them for as long as you can. They’re good to use for twelve years!

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Avoid disposable cutlery, gifts, and decorations. Switch off your lights and appliances when you are not using them. Recycle old gift wrap, or make your own with recycled paper. You can even recycle the cardboard and silly paper hats you find inside your Christmas crackers. The smallest changes will make a huge difference!


Why not handcraft your Christmas decorations, cards and inappropriate sweaters? We all love fancy presents and splurging at Christmas time, but going the DIY route will save you money and it will save the environment!

Eat Green

Buy organic fruits and vegetables, and free range meat, dairy and eggs. Buy fresh whenever possible. Reduce your meat intake or have a vegetarian Christmas for a healthy change. Buying local will reduce transport and import emissions, and support small businesses over big corporations and factories!

Go Online

Shopping online will save you tons of time and energy. It can also save you money! Most importantly, shopping online will eliminate carbon emissions left behind by your transport. Being lazy and saving the planet has never been easier. 


If you are visiting loved ones, or can’t avoid using vehicles to get where you need to be, consider carpooling. Also, if you are traveling long distances, take a drive instead of a flight.

Dress Warmly

Dressing warmly, utilizing blankets and snuggling up with a nice warm drink means you won’t have to keep your heaters running. For those of us in the southern hemisphere, the reverse applies. Instead of using electric fans; dress to keep cool, keep your windows open and settle down with a refreshing ice cold drink.

Use LED Lights

Christmas lights are amazing to look at but there are green ways to let them shine. First and foremost, use LED lights. They burn brighter, last longer and use much less electricity and they come in popular themes like star wars. Don’t forget to switch them off during the day, and try not to have them on the whole night.

Don’t Waste

Make your delicious Christmas feast even greener by saving your leftovers. What you can’t use as leftovers you can turn into compost. This applies when you are preparing your meal as well. Don’t throw your veggie peels, stems and leaves in the bin!

Give Green Gifts 

Try to avoid buying gifts that are electrical, factory made, imported, disposable or non-biodegradable. Buy gifts that are made from recycled and/ or eco- friendly materials.

Christmas is a time of good will and consideration, so why not spread the love to the planet we live on? After all, if not for Earth, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate Christmas at all! Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!