CARBON FOOTPRINT: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Carbon footprint, in simple terms, is the impact of one’s activities on the total amount of produced carbon dioxide CO2 through energy or fossil fuels burning. It is a unit to express the weight of total CO2 emitted in tonnes.

Offsetting the inevitable emissions of carbon dioxide is a quick way of taking ownership of one’s contribution to climate change. It also helps reveal two other things. One of them is the urgent need for clean energy. The other is looking for opportunities to reduce one’s carbon footprint.

There are several ways to help reduce your carbon footprint. To eradicate it completely from your life in this day and age is almost impossible. But on a personal level, everyone can make a difference. And so here are about 25 smaller ways you can contribute to this cause.

WAYS TO DECREASE CARBON FOOTPRINT

There are a couple of fields in which reducing the carbon footprint has various ways. Hence, things don’t have to be out ultimately. So reduction, at this point, matters much more.

These alternatives don’t just come from varied fields but also reduce chain emissions of CO2. By following even a handful of the below methods, the earth can be turned into a better place. They are lower in cost, more comfortable to carry out and address larger problems the planet is facing.

CARBON FOOTPRINT CAN DECREASE WITH DRIVING (OR NOT)

Look for alternatives to drive. It may sound a little too much at first. But it is one of the most effective. If possible, take your bike for a shorter chore. Or have a nice walk to freshen up your body. It is also a good exercise and keeps you healthy. Try to use public transport more often. This drastically affects emissions of CO2. And your carbon footprint.

Utilize low carbon cars. The translation of high mileage is not low emissions of carbon dioxide. Electric cars are a better alternative here. They emit almost 0 CO2 if charged with electricity that is clean. If the cars cannot be charged with solar panels, you may be better off with other options. That is the hybrid or a high mileage diesel car. After gas savings and incentives, it does not cost much to switch to an electric vehicle.

Driving style alterations can also help reduce your carbon footprint. How? Simply reduce unnecessary acceleration or speeding. It reduces mileage by 33%. Most importantly, it helps waste money, gas, and also your carbon footprint.

If possible, avoid the main problem— traffic. Or learn to wait with your ignition off. When one is stuck in traffic, there is a massive waste of gas. It also emits senseless CO2. There are always apps for easier routes— longer but with less traffic.

REDUCE AIR TRAVEL

You cannot just wholly stop flying. But you can fly not as frequently. Use flights for shorter distances, or if it’s too short, avoid it if possible. Fly economy class as much as possible.

Traveling for leisure can also be altered. Try to opt for staycations. Try to have it closer to home, to avoid flights. Have more extended and fewer vacations so that things can also settle, you can also have fun longer.

Reduce Air Travel as much as possible. Opt for the internet. Zoom, Skype, or even Facetime is just as useful. And it isn’t as hard as you think. Of course, that too emits CO2. But lesser comparatively.

Fly in economy class. Avoid private jets or other classes. It is not as hard as one believes it to be. Prince William does it. And he is simply the best example. Even Brunei’s Sultan. And economy equals public transportation, Uber pools, or carpools.

CARBON FOOTPRINT CAN BE REDUCED AT HOME

Image Credit: Olga Yastremska

Be more energy efficient. Buy products that have energy stars. Electronic machines like dishwashers, fridges, air conditioners, and others can help reduce your carbon footprint.

Turn off the lights when not in need. Or any switches in that case. Install switches for consumption to turn off the supply. Try to use LED lights or compact fluorescent. Switch from bulbs.

Solar panels installation can also help. Install them to the roof of your home. It may cost a little more at first. But it is more sustainable, and hence, pocket friendly than just wasting money on electricity.

AVOIDING CERTAIN FOOD ITEMS CAN ALSO HELP

Image credit: Somsak Sudthangtum

Well, don’t avoid food. It won’t help with reducing the carbon footprint. But there are certain food items to avoid if you want to contribute. Try to cut beef, dairy, or meat as much as you can. Several resources go into raising cows. And milking them is also subject to abuse many times.

Consume as much naturally grown local foods. The transport and production of food emits 13% of greenhouse gases in the United States. There are several chains related to this, including fertilizers, petroleum, among others. It becomes simpler too.

MISCELLANEOUS WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINT

Try to minimize the use of water. Or simply reuse as much as you can. Try to use drip irrigation in your garden or field. Reduce the energy used in pumping, heating, or treating water. Make choices to ensure the safety of water while purchasing water-related gadgets.

Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. The simple 3 Rs! Provision of goods is one of the contributing factors of the greenhouse gases in the United States. About 29% of those comes from the “goods” that do not include food. By reselling, reducing consumption, or even reusing some of these goods can help in reducing your carbon footprint.

Reduction of carbon footprint and offsetting carbon must happen in tandem. None in the place of the other. You can always measure your carbon footprint to get an idea of where you can improve.

Hence, you are in complete control and entirely responsible for your carbon pollution.

Does it sound easier now?

Credits: truththeory