Did you know that the effects of climate change may impact our food supply and limit our water usage, and lead to war over natural resources? If we want to counter these effects, we have to begin to reduce our carbon footprint.
The term “carbon footprint” describes the volume of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds released as a result of a certain person’s or group’s use of fossil fuels. Have you ever wondered about ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home? If you are, our quick guide will offer you solutions to create positive impacts in your home.
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Food and Carbon Footprint
Avoiding food waste by only buying what we need can also be very beneficial in reducing our carbon footprint. Furthermore, composting kitchen scraps instead of throwing them away is a great way to reuse the waste in a beneficial way. Lastly, reducing our reliance on single-use products and packaging by bringing our own reusable bags and containers when shopping can go a long way in reducing the amount of waste we generate.
Select locally grown, organic foods that are in season. Fossil fuels are used in food transportation from a distance, whether it be by truck, ship, rail, or plane, for fuel and for chilling to prevent food from rotting while in transit. Eating locally grown and organic food, thus, helps to reduce the need for transportation and packaging, therefore decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases released in the atmosphere.
Purchase food in bulk and use your own reusable container. By organizing your meals in advance, freezing extra food, and repurposing leftovers, you may reduce your food waste. Get a composting guide and start to compost your food scraps.
Eat low on the food chain by eating less meat and dairy. Adjust to a diet which is high in grains, fruits, and vegetables and switch to sustainable alternatives for protein like nuts and legumes. You may cut your carbon footprint by 8 pounds per day (or 2,920 pounds annually) just by avoiding by meat and dairy.
Implement Water Conservation Strategies
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth and take shorter showers. Install a low-flow shower head. Wash only full loads of laundry and do the same when running the dishwasher.
To further reduce your impact, try to buy energy-efficient appliances and use greywater systems to re-use water from baths and showers to water external plants. Additionally, planting native shrubs and other vegetation that are adapted to local temperatures and precipitation is a great way to not only reduce your carbon waste but also to provide habitat for local wildlife. Lastly, investing in rainwater tanks to collect rainwater and using it to reduce the amount of water that needs to be serviced from the municipality can have a great impact.
Seek Sustainable Options
Use natural light whenever possible. Choose LED light bulbs which may be more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but they last up to 25 times longer and use only a fifth of the energy. They are also more efficient than compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs.
Use power strips that can easily be shut off when they are not in use to reduce vampire energy load. While leaving a room, turn off the lights, and when not in use, disconnect your electronics.
Use cold water to wash your clothes and air-dry them. Up to 500 pounds of carbon dioxide can be saved annually by doing two loads of laundry once a week in cold water as opposed to hot or warm water.
Drive less. When it’s feasible, travel to your location by foot, public transportation, carpooling, or ridesharing. Invest in a bicycle or a good pair of shoes so you can exercise while travelling to relatively near places. This decreases not only CO2 emissions but also traffic congestion and the associated engine idling.
Reuse, Donate, and Recycle
Use reusable items instead of disposables that generate a higher carbon footprint. Reusing items like shopping bags, boxes, clothing, and other household appliances helps reduce the overall number of materials that go into landfills and waterways.
Donating items such as furniture and appliances you’re no longer using or offering them for free can keep them out of landfills and help someone else. It also helps keep products in circulation rather than adding waste to the environment.
Recycling items that are no longer needed reduces the number of new materials that need to be produced, subsequently saving energy, water and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing new products. Make use of the services offered by recycling companies. Purchasing sustainably and buying secondhand items can save resources, too.
Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Make a home energy audit. This will demonstrate how you use or waste energy and help you find solutions to consume less energy.
Insulate walls and windows and install a programmable thermostat to turn off/reduce the use of air conditioners and heating systems. In the winter, set your thermostat lower; in the summer, raise it. In the summer, use fans instead of air conditioning because they use less electricity.
Harness the power of the sun by using solar energy and generate clean and renewable energy. Installing solar panels to provide electricity for your home can be costly but it is worth it in the long run. By using solar energy, you are reducing reliance on other sources of electricity, such as burning fossil fuels.
Solar panels need little maintenance and have no moving parts and no emissions, making them an environmentally friendly option. You’ll be able to monitor your carbon footprint easily by tracking your solar energy consumption.
Support sustainable and environmentally conscious businesses by making purchases from them.
Stick to the Small Changes to Reduce Carbon Footprint
It all seems so overwhelming, and it can feel like we’re just “one person” and what we do isn’t going to make a difference. The fact is every little action you make is helpful. When you add up all the little actions of billions of people, they make a huge difference.
If people alter one modest habit at a time over the course of a year, they can have a significantly greater impact on their life. Our carbon footprint may be significantly reduced as a result of all of our efforts. Every little step you take is going to help reduce your carbon footprint and create a better environment for everyone.
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