Lately I have become more conscious of my impact on the environment and found myself asking “what can I do right now that will reduce your carbon footprint?” There are lots and lots of things we can do to reduce carbon footprint. Some easier than others, some will take longer to implement than others. (I would love to have solar panels on a house someday!)
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What does Carbon Footprint mean?
A carbon footprint is defined as the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
To put it simply, it’s the greenhouse gases that result from human activities. Driving your car, travelling, how you heat your house, choosing eco-friendly options, even the diet you eat can impact your carbon footprint.
Need some eco-friendly ideas? Here’s a list of Eco-Friendly Household Items that Help Reduce Waste.
RELATED POST: Cleaning With Hydrogen Peroxide
Why Should We Reduce our Carbon Footprint?
We are using up more of the Earth’s resources every year. The earth can’t keep up with the demand that humans are currently putting on her. We are using too many resources too quickly.
Not only that, but the Earth’s temperature is steadily rising. This is causing ice caps to melt, ocean temperatures are warming, and sea levels are rising. This is largely due to human activities. Either by humans themselves, or by our corporations and businesses.
Extreme weather, floods, and droughts are all effecting our communities every year. Reducing our carbon emissions is how we can fight back, and avoid these impacts to our climates.
In this post, let’s talk about simple ways we can reduce your carbon footprint.
Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
- When you leave a room, switch off the lights. You would be surprised how many lights are kept on because we just don’t think about it. Make an effort to shut them off, and teach your kids to do the same. Before you leave the house or go to bed, do a quick check to make sure your lights are off.
- Use a Power Bar. When you are done using your computer or appliances. You can turn your power bar off, so it won’t waste power while you are not using them.
Food and Water Wastage
- Don’t buy bottled water. Sure it’s convenient, but landfills are full of plastic bottles. 86% of bottles used in the US end up in landfills. That’s a lot of plastic, and they take over 700 years to decompose. Consider investing in a water filter, or even a water cooler.
- Watch what you eat. Consider a ‘Meatless Monday’ meal plan or something similar. Livestock is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases. Also pay attention to how much food you are wasting, and try and buy locally grown foods whenever possible.
- Conserve water in the Bathroom. Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth saves a lot of water. Try cutting down your showers by just a few minutes, and if you can, take less than ten minutes total.
- Obviously, we should walk whenever possible, but it’s not always that easy when you live in the country. Make sure your car gets a tune-up regularly and your tires are always properly inflated. Keeping your tires at the right PSI will not only give you longer tire life, but save CO2!
- Clean Green. Using chemical free, non-toxic products are much easier on the environment, and they are safer too! You can save money buy using items up that you already have in your house instead of buying cleaning products. Check out my huge list of homemade cleaners here.
- Get into the Garden. Growing your own food is easier on the environment, healthier for you, and easy on your wallet. (You can get ten free trees when you buy a $10 membership to the Arbor Day Foundation.)
- Reuse plastic bags. When going shopping reuse your plastic bags, or better yet – invest in a reusable tote that you can fold up and throw in your purse and keep some in your car. I’ve also started to use reusable produce bags!
- Switch to a Zero Waste Toothbrush. Every plastic toothbrush you have used in your lifetime is still on the planet right now. Switch to a bamboo toothbrush, which is a more sustainable option!
Going Even Further
There are even more things you can do if you want to put a little extra time and money into it. For example, when replacing large appliances, make sure they are more energy efficient. If you are doing home upgrades, opt for bamboo where you can, since it’s regrowth rate is very fast, it makes a great renewable option and can be used for so many things.
If you really want to make an impact, and you have the funds to do it, you could also invest in an electric car, or even solar panels for your home.
There are a ton of things you can do to upgrade your home and make it more energy efficient. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s better for your wallet too!
Do What You Can
I know it might seem like one person won’t make much of a difference, but that’s just not true. Imagine if every person in the US committed to just doing one thing that would lower their carbon footprint. Even if only half as many people committed to it, we could all lower our collective carbon footprint in time.
Don’t get discouraged or overwhelmed. You don’t necessarily have to make a huge sacrifice. There are easy things you can do to help reduce your carbon footprint. Focus on small steps, and then when you are ready, try and take on a bigger goal.
Literally anybody can do something to help the environment. Challenge yourself to do something today or this week, or this month, or this year. Something that will make an impact. Work it into your home renovations or just remember to do one small thing daily, like turning off lights when you aren’t in the room.