Climate change is a greater concern now than it has ever been as global temperatures rise at alarming rates. As responsible individuals, we can help in the fight against climate change by reducing our carbon footprint.
Reducing your carbon footprint, or the amount of greenhouse gases produced by your actions, is a matter of more responsible consumption. We can each look at the amount of resources to eat, travel, dress, and keep your home, and then ensure that you waste or dispose of as little of those resources as possible.
Can you imagine how millions of people’s collective efforts can greatly reduce carbon footprint?
Here are a few easy ways to get started.
- Use the car less.
You can opt to use a bike, share a ride/carpool, or even walk, instead of using your car. This will greatly reduce pollution and CO2 emissions from your own car plus decongest traffic which also cause significant CO2 emissions when vehicles are idling.
Minimize your trips by combining the things you have to do. Plan your trips so as not to get stuck in traffic.
- Practice good car maintenance.
When your car is in good condition, it improves fuel efficiency. Do not bring unnecessary load into the car to make your car more efficient.
- Make your home more energy efficient.
Get rid of incandescent bulbs. Use the more energy-efficient light emitting diodes (LED) which last many years longer than incandescent bulbs or even compact fluorescent bulbs.
When shopping for appliances, look for those with a high Energy Star rating. Use a laptop instead of a desktop – laptops require less energy as compared to desktops.
Whenever you leave the house, make sure you unplug your appliances.
- Eat more fruits and veggies.
Livestock and beef are responsible for more global greenhouse emissions largely due to feed processing. To have beef, for example, it takes a lot more per acre to produce beef, more feeds and water to make cows grow to their optimum weight.
- Reduce food waste.
Plan your meals ahead to keep waste to a minimum. Freeze whatever is not consumed and recycle leftovers for the next meal.
- Learn composting.
For your food waste, instead of just throwing them in the garbage bin, compost them. See our related post on composting.
- If you no longer have use for some of these things, find someone who does.
The things you no longer have use for don’t have to end up in the trash. Extra clothes can be donated to a shelter or a charity. Old toys and books will be loved elsewhere. Spare gadgets which are still in working condition will be useful to a student or a working adult.
Not only will you be able to reduce the waste that ends up polluting the soil and the oceans, but you will also help someone cut the cycle of consumption by not buying something new.
- Get to know what you purchase and consume.
Are they made of harmless ingredients which are not in danger of being depleted? Do they come in reusable or biodegradable packaging? Were they produced locally and transported with as little fossil fuel as possible? Were they produced in a safe working environment? Are there better alternatives?
There are many factors that go into the production of a good and your consumption of it. When you can, it’s best to choose the option that is less harmful to natural resources and the workers involved in production. When you can’t, don’t be discouraged—there is always the next best option.
- Look for reusable options to greatly reduce waste.
Some of our greatest sources of waste are items related to hygiene. Use a reusable counterpart over disposables whenever available. LastObject’s reusable q tip, for example, will save 1.5 million cotton swabs from ending up in the garbage or ocean.
Cut down on the use of depletable resources where you can. Remember that billions of people around the world rely on these same resources, and being unable to share these resources equitably leads to waste.
When each of us follows these simple ways to reduce carbon footprint, it will have a significant impact in saving the planet. Make these habits a part of your everyday life.