More Than Just Recycling: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Do you notice the summers in recent years are becoming hotter than ever? Do you experience more torrential rains and changing snow patterns compared to decades ago? These are only a few of the many signs of climate change.
With these signs intensifying over the years, scientists put a climate deadline for everyone. They stressed that unless people begin to cut their carbon emissions by 2030, the effects of climate change will become irreversible.
Thus, you need to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint. Beyond the popular “reduce, reuse, and recycle” mantra, you should know how to personally reduce your carbon footprint wherever you are.
Check out these effective suggestions below.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Start by Driving Less
Do you drive a car to work? If you wish to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint, start by tweaking your driving habits. In the hierarchy of the sources of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide emissions from transportation already supplanted emissions from electricity generation.
Interestingly, fewer Americans are driving since the onset of the pandemic. This is either because of the lockdowns or people simply wanted to stay at home with their families. If you were one of those who opted to stay and work at home, capitalize on this new setup and try to drive less than you would.
If you’re going for a quick errand a few blocks from home, don’t take your car with you. Instead, lace up your favorite sneakers and walk. Aside from reducing your carbon footprint, you will also enjoy different health benefits by walking.
If you need to drive your car, go easy on your brakes and gas. Be gentle when hitting these pedals to reduce your vehicle’s emissions.
For longer drives, consider using cruise control. This will help your vehicle’s fuel consumption. If the heat is tolerable, turn off your air conditioning and open your car windows.
Also, you want to keep your vehicle in excellent driving condition. Replace your tires when necessary. Go for regular tune-ups and maintenance.
Less Meat, More Veggies
Do you want to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint at home? Start at your dining table by revisiting the types of food you eat. You can help the environment by cutting down on meat.
Experts note that the production of red meat involves a lot of water, feed, and land. Even the cows they butcher emit methane, which is harmful to the environment.
If you can go all-out, switching to a vegan diet is a notable option to consider. Alternatively, you can transition to a pescetarian diet. Here, you can eat a mix of vegetables, fish, and other kinds of seafood.
When buying food, stick to organic and local foods. Also, pick the ones that are in season. The rule of thumb is to choose food types that are down the food chain.
Fill up your plate with fruits, veggies, beans, and grains. If you cannot survive on a meatless diet, go for meats that are less carbon-sensitive. Instead of cooking that porterhouse steak, trade it for some grilled chicken breast.
Manage Your Water Consumption
On top of changing your food habits, you also need to learn how to manage your water consumption. Be conscious of your family’s water usage. Start by doing your laundry wisely.
When washing your clothes, use cold water instead of warm. Cold water uses less energy. It also works better with the enzymes that come with your cold water detergents.
Speaking of detergents, do away with the harmful ones. Instead, switch to safer detergents and washing your clothes in full loads.
When using your dishwasher, make sure to wash in full loads. Like with your clothes, use an eco-friendly dishwashing detergent. Avoid using the heat dry option, as it consumes a lot of energy.
Use that Reusable Bag
Do you have a reusable bag lying around the house? Now is the best time to use it. Opting for a reusable bag means saying “no” to plastic bags.
We all know that plastic is one of the leading causes of pollution. Also, manufacturing plastic consumes a lot of energy. Paper bags are also not any good.
They use four times more energy to manufacture compared to plastic bags. Compared to paper, your reusable bag is more durable. You don’t need to worry about your bag tearing apart because of your heavy grocery items.
Switch Clean and Sustainable Energy
If you’re wondering how to reduce your home’s carbon footprint substantially, you need to start switching to cleaner and more sustainable energy options. The United States derives 81% of its energy from fossil fuels. These include coal, oil, and natural gas.
When fossil fuels burn, they emit toxins that contribute to climate change. Thus, you need to start using sustainable energy options like solar power. The solar panels may cost you a lot in the beginning.
However, the long-term savings make the investment worth it. If you’re planning to buy a new vehicle, consider getting an electric-powered car.
Also, you need to educate yourself regarding the myths surrounding energy use. A perfect example is the case of Bitcoin. Some quarters claim that Bitcoin uses tons of energy than it should. Read this article to debunk such misconceptions.
Teach, Teach, Teach
Knowing how to how to personally reduce your carbon footprint is only the first step. The next one is to share with other people your best practices. Encourage your friends and relatives to revisit the way they use energy.
Educate others about the benefits of clean energy. Share the specific benefits you are experiencing since started making more eco-friendly choices. From there, begin inspiring others to follow suit.
Take the Next Step to Save the Environment
Now that you know how to reduce your carbon footprint, your next goal is to start implementing these practices. Start small until you develop these new habits. From there, you should consider taking your eco-friendly advocacies to the next level.
Go beyond learning how to reduce your own carbon footprint by reading our other blog posts. We discuss topics that will help you extend your influence toward battling climate change.