Earth’s surface is warming and we have recorded the warmest years in the past 20 years. Seems frightening right? But what if we told you it’s possible to potentially alleviate the effects with simple changes in our lifestyle. Yes, that’s right. By tweaking small changes in our daily lives we can perform our part to reduce carbon emissions.
In this article we’ll mention 5 easily implemented tips that can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. But before stating the tips, let’s get to know what Carbon Footprint actually means.
What is Carbon Footprint?
Simply stated, your Carbon footprint is the total amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and can be done so by individual, community or organizational activities involving dirty gas/oil methods of energy generation. On an individual basis there’s several activities performed by us which emit greenhouse gases such as driving, heating home, and more that we’ll go through within this article.
For more information on how much carbon dioxide your lifestyle emits, find a carbon footprint calculator website. By calculating your contribution to the global carbon footprint, you’ll be able to identify which lifestyle habits you might want to focus on and change.
Now, let’s talk about the 5 tips to reduce your individual carbon footprints.
5 Tips to reduce Carbon Footprints
1. The 5 R’s
Remember the 3 R’s we used to learn in school? Well, you just have to add two more R’s and you can take the first step towards lowering your carbon footprint. So in addition to reuse, reduce, and recycle, you need to add ‘refuse and rot’. Refuse the use of plastics and paper! This can be done by using reusable bags, wax clothe for food packaging, giving up the use of gum (it’s composed of mostly rubber, aka. Plastic), use Tupperware whenever you can, use a reusable coffee cup and make your own cleaning products (less plastic and less toxicity). How does one rot you ask? There’s numerous methods to rot away your waste, but the most accessible is either the vermicomposting, which involves nurturing worms to break down your waste, or the Bokashi method, which relies on bacterial fermentation.
2. Limit your electricity usage
Household electricity consumption is not even considered by most people but it is one of the biggest contributors to the global carbon footprint. Buy energy-efficient equipment by checking its energy efficient rating. Appliances with higher ratings usually cost slightly more, but in the long run they’ll save you on your bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Another good idea is to get an energy audit, contact your local electrician and they’ll measure your usage and give you methods on how to reduce your bill. If you’re finding it hard to distinguish what a reputable electrician looks like, check out Power 4 All’s website. Make sure they promote their registration license!
Lastly, clean your air conditioning unit. If your unit is older, it may be working harder than it needs to. Clean the filter (found within the unit) and remove any obstacles that may be obstructing the condenser unit (located outside your home). This can save a lot of money and help reduce your footprint.
3. A step towards Solar
Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels calls for a better and sustainable alternative. This is where solar energy comes in. Incorporating a solar PV system in your household results in a whopping 80% lower carbon emission than fossil fuels. Reducing bills and saving the earth at the same time couldn’t be easier.
4. Reduce driving
Your casual drive on the weekend can have more effect on the climate than you can imagine. We suggest going for a walk instead or maybe cycling, or even choose public transport. In this way you can be a part of the government’s efforts too. This is because in the US alone, public transports save 37 million tons of carbon emission every year.
5. Eat less meat
For those who’ve managed to go vegan – well done! You’re doing great to reduce the carbon emissions associated with agriculture and livestock production. But for those who find it difficult to alter your diet, just by reducing your meat intake slightly, you can contribute to decreasing the global carbon footprint. This can seem almost impossible, but by dipping into various other foods that contain protein (such as lentils, beans, cottage cheese, nuts, seeds, and my favourite – greek yogurt), it can be highly sustainable and enjoyable!
We hope you found these tips helpful. These tips are the epitome of how a simple change included in your routine can lead to significant improvements to our planet’s sustainability. By incorporating these tips into your lifestyle you can lead a more satisfying and clean existence!