Are there simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Whether it’s Zac Efron’s new Netflix show or Planet Earth, it’s clear that protecting our planet and home is front and center. Climate change is one of the most significant issues that younger generations face today. The rhetoric surrounding climate change can be very overwhelming due to the complicated scientific information that comes with it. Despite this overwhelming feeling, you can easily change a few small things to make a big difference! We’re breaking down small changes anyone can make to reduce their carbon footprint.
Easy Tips to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
First, let’s talk a little about science. A carbon footprint refers to the greenhouse gases produced by an individual due to the actions of their everyday lives. These harmful gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases. One’s carbon footprint considers direct emissions, electricity, heat, transportation, and water use.
Follow the Three Rs
Raise your hand if you remember the old commercial: recycle, reduce, reuse? We all produce waste, some of us more than others. It’s important to understand how to best get rid of our waste to help protect the environment. The three R’s -reduce, reuse, and recycle – are three simple words that tell us exactly how to manage our waste to make a positive environmental impact. Reduce your waste by opting for reusable materials. Reuse or repurpose some of your waste like bottles, jars, or cans. Lastly, follow recycling rules so you can properly get rid of your trash.
Make Your Commute Green
It’s easier than you think. Simply drive less, or invest in a green automobile. What does that look like? You can try to make a conscious effort to drive less by opting for alternatives. Many of us have gotten into the habit of driving everywhere, even when places are a stone throw away. Some other options for driving are walking, biking, public transportation, and carpooling. Don’t think you need to ditch your car completely. Instead, think about where you can make adjustments. Consider swapping to one of these methods for a few of your usual treks.
Conserving water is one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and there are so many different ways you can do it. Some of the more obvious ways are turning off the water when you aren’t using it while brushing your teeth or take shorter showers. Water your grass during the night so it doesn’t dry out as quickly during a hot day, and check to see if your washer and dishwasher has an energy-saving option.
Eat Seasonally & Locally
Instead of only shopping in mainstream grocery stores, focus on shopping locally. Buying local, organic, unprocessed foods is a great way to help local farmland; this also reduces emissions from the miles driven for food transportation. Look for your local farmer’s market and ask them where they get their food. For those who don’t cook often, prioritize restaurants that utilize seasonal ingredients from local farmers. Want to do more? Reducing your red meat and other animal products intake also helps the environment in a big way. It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of red meat. You can help make a change. Let that one sink in!
Research how to begin composting. While it gets a stinky reputation, composting uses food waste and organic materials to create a nutrient-rich soil conditioner.
Invest in Solar Energy
While this tip takes more effort, it’s an excellent option to consider! If you are a homeowner looking to reduce your impact on this planet, opt for solar energy to fuel your home. Fossil fuels are commonly used to heat our homes and provide us with electricity. These fuels emit gases that cause damage to our atmosphere and speed up the effects of climate change. Start by looking to your local authorities; many cities, states, and counties offer tax incentives or credits to make the swap.