The science relating to climate change can be complex. But we can actually see the impact of climate change and strive to provide solutions not only as groups of people but also as individuals. There are things that we do daily in our lives and they have considerable effects on the environment. This article guide gives you an overview of how to reduce carbon footprint.
How to Reduce Carbon Footprint
1. Eat Local and Organic Foods
To reduce my carbon footprint, I tend to eat lots of organic seasonal foods. The best thing about eating plants is that they are filled with lots of nutrients and most of them are delicious.
Try to buy organic and local produce. Understand that as much as it’s tempting to eat lots of animal products, they need more resources and water to manage. If you are wondering how you can reduce carbon footprint, this is the best way to kickstart your journey.
Eating plant-based food products is good for your health. Besides that, it promotes sustenance, making the planet a better place to live. Consuming local products means that you help to cut off the need to transport products over long-distances to find market.
2. Have Your Own Garden
Regardless of where you are living, you can have an indoor or outdoor garden to help reduce your carbon footprint. The greens normally absorb carbon dioxide, creating a mutual relationship between them and human beings.
To reduce my carbon footprint, I started by growing a few indoor flowers. This has provided me with a refreshing experience. Not only do I have plants to take care of but the surrounding air is always fresh. If you have a garden, you can start with a few plants and then graduate to herbs and shrubs, a vegetable garden, and a few trees.
It doesn’t matter if you are living in a city apartment that’s compact. There are containers suitable for creating a neat balcony garden. Having a few plants in your balcony can help to reduce what’s usually referred to as the “urban-heat island effect”.
Well, this term is based on the fact that cities are comparatively hotter than rural areas. This is because of the high and many concrete buildings, more human activities, and paved streets among other things. So, having your garden can help to significantly reduce this effect and result in a cooler environment.
3. Line-Dry Your Clothing
I know we love to use dryers because they guarantee us of efficiency. But if you are keen on how to reduce carbon footprint, then you have to consider changing from this. One load dryer usually consumes more than 5-times of electricity as that used in washing.
You can reduce carbon footprint by opting to line-dry your clothes. It’s deduced that by doing so, you can help save at least a third of the carbon footprint.
4. Fly Less Frequently
Air travel is one of the largest contributors to the carbon footprint. Data published by Atmospheric, a nonprofit organization, indicates that each passenger flying from London to New York and back can generate around 986 Kg of carbon dioxide.
Generally, flying involves a massive amount of energy. This means that flights normally release a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. It’s known that jet fuel usually releases so much CO2 and other greenhouse gases not only into the air but also in the ocean.
So, if petroleum-based fuel used in aviation isn’t replaced, then all of us should make plans to fly less frequently. But even as you consider this, you need to make sure that you travel economy and not business/first class.
Passengers in first-class flights cause more damage to the environment than other travelers. In fact, research shows that they contribute up to 9 times more carbon footprint than what a normal passenger does.
With economy class, each passenger’s contribution to the carbon footprint is comparatively less. This is because they have minimal requirements and the carbon emissions during the flight is normally spread out over many people.
In case you want to travel for holidays abroad, make sure that it’s not a few times. Instead, opt to go for staycations within your country. If your profession needs lots of air travel for work, then it’s time to invest in online conferences using video tools. Don’t even consider using a private jet because it’s even worse.
5. Consider What and When to Drive
Before you think about driving, consider other alternatives. Like is it possible to use a public means of transport? Is it possible to carpool, ride a bike, or just walk? These are the possible options you have if you are serious about zero-waste living and reducing the carbon footprint.
If you must drive, consider using a low carbon vehicle. If you need a vehicle with a little bit of space, avoid those that have rooftop boxes. They are not only expensive but also significantly reduce the fuel economy. In addition to that, such vehicles have a high aerodynamic drag.
When driving, make sure that the tires are properly inflated. This helps to increase gas mileage by more than 2%. Avoid highways and roads with high traffic. You are going to waste your time and emit more gas in the air. If you are planning to hit the road, use traffic apps to determine the best and shortest routes.
6. Do Not Invest in Fast Fashion
There is a habit by major retailers selling and advertising an endless cycle of clothes. These are considered to be “trendy” items that are usually cheap. But while fast-fashion clothing looks attractive and cheap, the effect it causes to the environment is huge.
That’s why you will find that a lot of people have heaps of clothes and they don’t know where to take them. Most of these piles usually end up in landfills because new trends are being released daily while the older ones quickly go out of style.
To reduce carbon footprint, do not invest in these types of retailers. They contribute to almost 20 million tons of just textile waste annually. Do you want to know how to reduce carbon footprint while looking for the best clothes?
Consider quality over quantity. Buy high-quality clothes that can sustain you for a couple of years. If possible, learn to recycle your clothes.
7. Only Buy What You Need
When shopping, I only buy what I consider useful. Buying in excess leads to a waste of money and eventually the items get dumped. Not only do I buy less stuff, but I also consider items that are reusable.
If possible, avoid items that have excess packaging and always carry your reusable shopping bag with you. If you are shopping for electronics, especially lighting and kitchen appliances, look for items that are certified to energy-efficient i.e. those that have the energy star rating.
8. Unplug Your Electronic Devices
How many times have you left your electronics plugged even when it’s not necessary? You can reduce your carbon footprint by unplugging them. Electronics tend to “suck” energy from the power sources, even when they have powered off.
Research studies indicate that devices left plugged in usually drain to over $19B in energy costs, in the US alone. This is a significantly large amount of waste that can’t be accounted for.
If you leave a device plugged in even though it isn’t charging, know that you are contributing to the carbon footprint. The best way to contribute to zero-waste living is to unplug your electronics once you have finished using or charging them.
If you’re serious about reducing your carbon footprint why not read my article Energy Conservation Why Does it Matter?
9. Conserve Water
This is one of the most advocated ways on how to reduce carbon footprint. Water is an essential yet scarce resource. Yet oftentimes we tend to misuse rather than conserve it. We can’t make more water but only ensure that we maintain the right cycle to ensure that there is enough of it.
Do you think seawater is fit consumption or that we have enough of it? Well, more than 96% of earth water isn’t fit for human consumption. Besides that, more than two-thirds of the remaining percentage is taken up by permanent snow, glaciers, and polar ice. Technically, we only have around 2% left.
Some of the ways to reduce carbon footprint by conserving water include:
- Turn off the tap when if you are not using it, for instance, when you are shaving or brushing your teeth.
- Check pipes and faucets for leaks
- Take baths instead of showers. If you must take showers, make them short.
- Install water flow restrictors and water-conserving showerheads.
- Use an organic body or dish soaps. Understand that conventional soaps contain harmful chemicals that are not only dangerous for your health but also cause more pollution. When such soaps go down the drain, they pollute your water supply system.
- Remove plastics and paper bags from waterways
The Bottom Line
There are several ways on how you can reduce carbon footprint. Our day to day lives play a crucial role in making the earth a healthy place. What you eat, where you buy your items, how you move around, etc. are some of the things that can help reduce the greenhouse effect. How the United States is reducing it’s Carbon Footprint.
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