How to Cut Back on Your Carbon Footprint

So, you want to “go green” or “live more sustainably”? We applaud you! But sometimes, it’s hard to know where to begin. To help get you started, here are a few ways to cut back on your carbon footprint.

Ditch the Plastic Water Bottles

Drinking from plastic bottles is an immediate negative for the environment. To put it into perspective: Americans buy 29 billion water bottles every year, and less than 20% of those bottles end up being recycled. The rest end up in landfills, on our streets, and in our oceans. So, find yourself a reusable water bottle that you love and use it. Not only will you be reducing the amount of plastic you put out there, but you’ll also save yourself a fortune. Don’t want to miss out on filtered water? Buy a Brita!

Cut the Commute

Sometimes, this isn’t an option; but if it is possible to drive less, whether by walking, biking, using public transportation, or even carpooling, do it. According to a 2017 study from researchers at Lund University and the University of British Columbia, going carless for a year could save about 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide. Even if you cut back on your car use every once in a while, you’re reducing your emissions output.

Minimize the Meat

If you’re not a vegetarian, odds are you are consuming animal products daily. But according to Columbia University’s Climate School, livestock – meat and dairy – account for 14.5 percent of all manmade global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the commercial fishing industry has been linked to rising amounts of debris in the oceans, more so than individual contributors. For this reason, cutting back on the amount of meat and seafood you eat, even if it means only one meatless day a week, can make a difference.

Watch the Shopping

Pay attention to the places you typically shop from. How are they harming the environment? How are they trying to protect it? Do they offer eco-friendly products? Being more conscious about where and what you’re shopping can improve your carbon footprint.

Additionally, think about that item before you buy it. Do you really need it – or is it going to end up in the garbage in a week? Being more mindful about your purchase can also prevent extra junk from ending up in landfills.

Remember, there is no act too small when it comes to cutting back your carbon footprint. We only have one planet. It’s up to all of us to do our part to save it.

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