Check out our 10 top tips to reduce your impact on the environment. It’s much easier than you think!
We all know it. We need to reduce our carbon footprint. It is a fact of modern life, and we hear people talk about it all the time, on the radio, at work and even in movies. The fact is that carbon emissions are at a scary all-time high, and we all need to band together to lower them.
We know we need to do it, but do we know what a carbon footprint actually is?
A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air as a result of an individual’s activities. Most people know that they need to do it, but they just don’t know how to reduce their footprint.
It is surprisingly easy, and to prove that to you, we’re giving you 10 simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
If you’re unsure of what your carbon footprint is, then use this awesome calculator to see just how much of an impact you are making on the world.
It doesn’t matter how energy efficient your car is, it still releases carbon dioxide. If you’re living close to a co-worker, you can form a carpool to reduce the number of cars on the road. You can also send the kids to school with a friend or neighbor with kids the same age, lessening the amount of traveling you need to do. This will reduce your carbon footprint and help your children to do the same.
Unplug your tech
Simply switching off the plug at the wall or putting your computer to sleep can do a world of good. Make sure that your gadgets aren’t sucking up electricity and ensure that you get into the habit of putting your computer to sleep when you aren’t using it. This will also help you save on the electricity bill, and that’s always an advantage, isn’t it?
Use fluorescent lightbulbs
If every household in the country switched their lightbulbs to fluorescent lightbulbs, electricity usage could be reduced by 50%. These lightbulbs are more sustainable and their light is a little brighter, it is a win-win situation.
Filter your water
If you live in a western country, then you could probably drink tap water. But if you can’t then a filtration filter would be a worthwhile purchase. Bottled water is an unnecessary waste that strangles our planet with plastic.
Not only that, but that water had to be transported somehow, and guess how much carbon was released thanks to that? Filtering your own water is cost effective and completely sustainable. You’ll be doing yourself and the world a major favor in this small way.
Pick a laptop
Laptops are exponentially more sustainable than desktops. They are designed with a longer battery life and have an abundance of energy saving features that just aren’t available to desktop users. Laptops are 80% more energy efficient than desktops and are much easier to transport. They are incredibly convenient and they help to reduce your carbon footprint—what could be better than that?
Control your home’s temperature
Keeping your house 2° warmer in the summer and 2° cooler in the winter can go a long way in saving energy. Turning off your thermostat when you leave the house will also cut down on your electricity costs.
Adjusting your curtains to let in sunlight to warm your house in the winter and closing your curtains to keep your house cool in the summer will also reduce the need to use your thermostat at all. This is a simple solution that won’t take a lot of effort, but will make all the difference to the environment.
Plant a tree
Don’t wait for Arbor Day to help the environment, plant a tree and in a few years, the earth will thank you. Deforestation kills of millions of trees every year, and they aren’t being put back. The world’s population is growing, but the number of trees is dwindling. That isn’t very sustainable, is it? Plant a tree every day, or several times a year and help future generations with oxygen.
True, you might love eating your favorite food year-round, but that isn’t the best idea. Chances are that your favorite food isn’t locally grown and will need to be transported from far away, releasing carbon emissions all the way.
Living in the 21st century is great because we’re able to receive this variety of food in our local supermarkets, but practicing a little self-control can make all the difference. You’ll also be helping local farmers and supporting the economy.
Choose sustainable kitchen appliances
When cooking, decide which appliance will cook your food faster. For example, a microwave will bring your food to a boil quicker than the stove, and the top shelf of the stove will be the best way to cook your food.
There are multiple ways to cook your food sustainably that might not be traditional, but so much more energy efficient.
Be energy efficient with the news
There is a raging debate between whether print or e-news is less sustainable. The fact is that print newspapers and magazines cause their weight in carbon emissions, but web surfing uses just as much energy.
The fact is that you need to keep up with the news, but it is up to you to decide how you’re going to go about it. With print, you can recycle your paper, and with electronic you can unplug your charger and use energy-saving features on your computer. Really, it is up to you to decide how you’re going to keep up with the world around you.
It is our responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint because we are the cause of our carbon footprint. The fact is that there are a million ways to reduce your footprint, and all you need to do is do a little research.
It is easier than you think, and these ways are better than what you would usually use. Most energy-efficient solutions are cost effective too; just put in a little effort, and watch your carbon footprint shrink in no time.
Well, that brings our ‘How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint’ post to a close. Check back soon as we have new material going live every week here at Tiny House, Huge Ideas.