83% of Ashland's greenhouse gas emissions come from the residential sector. This includes everything we consume, from food, goods, energy, and services. By becoming more aware of the impact our residential consumption habits have on the environment, we can make more responsible and sustainable choices.
- Consider the life cycle of your goods and services:
- What resources and materials are used to make it?
- Where did the product come from and how did it get to you?
- How do you use the product?
- What happens at the product end-of-life?
Calculate your carbon footprint to better understand where your individual emissions come from and identify ways you can reduce it.
Our food system is vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Extreme weather and the threat on natural resources will hurt our food chain. In addition, agricultural products that are grown outside of Ashland for consumption by residents accounts for 15% of Ashland's greenhouse gas emissions. By shifting our consumption habits to more sustainable choices we will help support more resilient food systems and reduce our footprint.
- Next time you are at the grocery store consider different stages of the food system
- Production - What resources are needed?
- Processing - What is the manufacturing process?
- Distribution - How does it get to you? Is there packaging?
Consider a low carbon diet
The food we eat contributes to our carbon footprint.
It's important to eat what is right for you, but be aware that some diets create more emissions than others.
- Meat and dairy industry contribute to larger share of greenhouse gas emissions
- Consider the seasonality of the produce you consume
- Consider the packaging and source of your product
Don't waste food
Practice responsible consumption by not wasting food.
Between 30-40% of food in our food system is wasted. As consumers, we contribute to that loss by cooking or buying more than we need and throwing away unwanted or spoiled food. We are also wasting all the resources that went into producing, processing, and transporting the item.
- Learn how to store produce properly
- Plan out meals and only buy what you need
- Start a home compost
It's easy to turn on the faucet and not think about where our water comes from. Ashland's primary source of water is collected from rainfall and snowfall and stored in the Reeder Reservoir.
- Due to more extreme weather events, like drought and heat waves, this water supply is diminishing.
- In addition, our city water must be treated, transmitted, and heated before it gets to us. Wastewater must also go through a similar process. This all requires energy, which in turn creates greenhouse gas emissions.
By practicing water conservation, we are reducing our energy usage and being thoughtful of our supply. Calculate your household water footprint to see where you stand and where you can make adjustments.
Indoor Water Analysis
Sign up for a free indoor water analysis.
A City Water Conservation Specialist will visit your home to evaluate the efficiency of your plumbing fixtures and will replace the showerheads, faucet aerators, and supply you with other guidelines to use water more efficiently.
Free Irrigation System Evaluation
Learn water efficiency guidelines with a free irrigation system evaluation.
Irrigation system evaluations are offered during the summer months and consist of a comprehensive assessment of the design, operation, and management of your sprinkler system. This is a great opportunity to learn ways to save water and money while still maintaining a healthy and attractive landscape.
Reduce your water consumption with water efficiency incentives.
The City of Ashland offers a wide variety of incentives to allow citizens to make water and energy efficiency upgrades at home.
- WaterSense Toilet rebate
- Washing machine rebate
- Smart irrigation controller rebate
- Lawn replacement rebate
Pick up your free water giveaway!
The City of Ashland offers free water giveaways that help save water and energy. They are available to all City of Ashland electric and water customers.
- Low-flow showerhead
- Kitchen aerator
- Bathroom aerator
- Moisture meter
Give us a call at 541-488-5587 to schedule your pick-up.
Practice water conservation
With a few simple steps you can incorporate water conservation into your household.
- Locate and repair leaks
- Wash full loads only in washing machines and dishwashers
- Reduce your shower time
- While waiting for hot or cold water, capture it for another purpose
- Use a rain water catchment system for outdoor watering
These are just a few of many water conservation tips!
Buildings & Energy
According to the latest greenhouse gas inventory in 2015, residential and commercial energy account for 24% of Ashland's emissions. By rethinking how we consume energy we can save money and reduce the strain on our environment.
Energy efficiency strategies can be as small as adjusting your thermostat and unplugging devices to large scale home investments.
Home Energy Efficiency
Save energy and money by keeping your home as efficient as possible.
- Depending on the season, turn down your thermostat up or down by 2-3° to save money on your utility bill.
- Install high efficiency windows
- Seal drafts with weather-stripping or caulk
- Replace HVAC air filters
- Replace inefficient HVAC equipment with the help of city incentive programs.
Electrify your home with energy incentives.
The City of Ashland offers a wide variety of incentives to allow citizens to make energy efficient and environmentally friendly home improvements.
- Heating and cooling
Click the link below for a full list of incentive programs.
Overconsumption and excessive production are resulting in excessive waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. By shifting our consumption habits, we can make choices that reduce this impact on the environment. This doesn't mean sacrificing things you love, just consuming smarter. Before purchasing something new or throwing something away, try changing your frame of thinking.
Consider the R's -
- Re-evaluate - Ask yourself "do I need this?"
- Reduce - How can you reduce waste?
- Reuse - Can this be re-purposed or be passed on to someone else?
- Repair - Instead of throwing the item away, can it be repaired?
Practice zero waste strategies
With a little bit of practice, you can drastically decrease your amount of household waste! For some ways to get started try...
- Using a Rogue-To-Go container next time you order from one of our local restaurants.
- Reusing containers for bulk grocery shopping. There are many common items you can find in bulk, such as baking goods, seasonings, and dry food.
- Avoiding single use plastic - have your own reusable bags, utensils, coffee cup, etc.
Did you know the City of Ashland has a plastic bag and polystyrene foam ban? To encourage reusable bags, there is a $0.10 charge for paper bags.
By focusing on the resources we have around us, we can reduce the amount of new items we purchase.
By sharing items or services, we can support our local economy and support our neighbors. For example:
- Establish a tool library with your neighborhood
- Join a "buy nothing" group
- Check out an item with the Jackson County Library of Things
Manage your bin
Analyze what you are putting in your waste bins. Think about if it can go elsewhere, such as...
- Recycle - use WhatBin to check where your item belongs
- Green debris bins - keep organics, like leaves and lawn clippings, out of our landfill
- Identify any items you can donate, fix, or sell
Did you know Recology allows residents to schedule garbage pick-up when their bin is full? Challenge yourself to go longer than a week between pick-ups
"I have a 6 acre pasture/garden farm 4 miles from Central Ashland. My climate action was the installation of rainwater catchment. I have 5 large tanks: 2500 gallons on the barn, (2) 2000 gallons on the house and an large equipment shed, and 850 gallons and 650 gallons on two other sheds. This gives me 8000 gallons. I can easily fill each of these tanks every year with the current Ashland rainfall. Each 1" of rain provides .62 gallons of water per square foot of roof.
I use the stored rainwater every winter to feed cows that I winter pasture on the land for natural fertilizer addition and in early spring for the 1/2 acre garden which I grow organic vegetables on. The cow tray is gravity fed and the garden is fed by pressure tank pump. It works very well and saves me pump time and money."
"I keep my thermostat at 62 degrees in the winter. I have a variety of hats and sweaters that I wear - and scarves also."
Contact Us For Information
Use the form below to ask questions about our climate and energy programs.