Tips For You To Get Started Today With Carbon Reduction
Carbon reduction is something that is now discussed whenever we suffer a natural disaster. Although there have been many attempts to justify carbon reduction by showing people the effects of climate change, it’s not prevalent in our minds. And yet each year millions of tons of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere due to our everyday activities. Time to start acting!
What Is The True Cost Of Our Carbon Emissions?
The true cost of our carbon emissions has been a hotly debated topic in the environmental community for years. Carbon pricing is at the heart of this debate, and it’s impossible to have an honest discussion about carbon pricing without first understanding the external costs of pollution.
Externalities are costs that are not reflected in the price of a good or service. In other words, externalities are paid for by society — not by the person or organisation responsible for the externality.
Pollution is one of the most common examples of a negative externality. For example, when you drive your car, you pay for gasoline but do not pay for any of the harmful emissions that come from your tailpipe. Those emissions are an external cost.
The same goes for industrial companies that emit greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere. There is no incentive for these companies to reduce their emissions if they can continue to profit and pollute without paying for their harmful impacts on society and our environment.
Internalising external costs much like pollution, and fossil fuels create numerous other external costs that are not reflected in the price we pay at the pump — or in our electricity bills.
Be Mindful Of What You Eat
The food you eat has a huge impact on your carbon footprint. Food production accounts for up to 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and the type of food matters. Beef and lamb production has the biggest impact on the environment, followed by cheese and other dairy products.
You can reduce your carbon footprint by swapping out your ground beef for tofu and eating less cheese overall. If a plant-based diet isn’t right for you, try to make smaller changes—only eat meat once or twice a week instead of every day, or choose chicken instead of beef at dinner tonight.
Insulate Your House And Use LED Bulbs
You should consider insulating your house. This is more important if you live in a cold climate than if you live in a warm one, but still important no matter where you live. It prevents heat loss from your house and will save energy over the long term.
The next thing to do is replace your lights with LED bulbs. They’re more energy-efficient, last longer, and cost more upfront, but end up saving you a lot of money over time compared to traditional bulbs.
If you’re looking to cut your carbon emissions by a significant amount, it’s wise to examine the ways you get around. Air travel accounts for a large share of our carbon emissions and is one of the fastest-growing sources. For example, an average round-trip transatlantic flight emits about 1.6 tons of CO2 per passenger—more than many people emit from all their other activities combined.
You might consider flying less often and taking more direct routes when you do fly. Otherwise, take trains or buses, when possible, which are much more environmentally friendly modes of transportation—and some trains are even powered by solar energy! When flying is necessary, try to purchase carbon offsets to balance out your emissions as much as possible and support projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere.
Buy Green Energy If It Is Available Where You Live
The most impactful way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy green energy if it is available where you live. Green energy comes from renewable sources and prevents pollution in the environment. This includes wind, solar and hydro-powered energy sources.
By purchasing green energy, you not only reduce your carbon footprint but also help to protect the environment by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. As a bonus, you are helping to support the renewable energy industry, which in turn helps to create more green jobs for those who might want to work in that field!
Use Public Transport, Walk Or Cycle More Often
As well as being good for the planet, walking and cycling are great ways to get exercise, while public transport is often more convenient than driving and emits less carbon dioxide.
If you’re planning to go out today and will be using a car, why not change things up with a new routine? See if there’s somewhere nearby you can walk or cycle instead of driving. Or if you need to go further afield, plan your journey in advance and see if public transport would get you there quicker than the car.
If you work from home or have different hours from your partner, think about whether it would be possible for one of you to share the school run or commute with a co-worker rather than each of you going in separately by car.
Walking and cycling are free – plus all that extra exercise will help keep everyone healthy!
When it comes to using renewable energy, solar panels are often the easiest way to get started. However, panels are not a practical option for all households. Solar panels require space and sunlight to be useful, which can make them impractical for renters or those who live in urban areas with few sunny days.
However, if you have the space and a sunny location, solar panels can pay for themselves within just a few years due to the reduced cost of energy generation. The cost of solar has fallen over 60% since 2010 (Solar Energy Industries Association) and prices are expected to continue dropping as technology advances. If your home gets substantial sun exposure and you have access to open space, installing solar may be one of your best options for carbon reduction and long-term savings on your energy bills.
Reduce Food Waste
Here are some tips:
- Buy only what you need. The simple act of buying only what your family will eat for the week will help reduce or eliminate food waste. This includes fresh produce and products with a short shelf life, such as milk or certain kinds of bread.
- Don’t throw away leftovers. We all have them from time to time. Some foods do better than others when it comes to reheating, but many things can be saved and eaten at another time if they are put in proper containers and stored properly until they are needed again. If your family is not going to eat the leftovers within a couple of days, then consider freezing them right away instead of putting them in the fridge where they may go bad before being used again.
- Compost it! Any food that would no longer be edible should be composted rather than thrown away so that it can help create new soil for new plants to grow in the future. This will also decrease greenhouse gases because it reduces methane emissions from landfills by keeping food out of there altogether!
Plant A Tree
- Trees are one of the best tools we have at our disposal when it comes to offsetting carbon dioxide emissions. A hardwood tree can, on average, absorb around 48lbs of CO2 each year while releasing enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. Depending on what type of hardwood you choose, that means you can easily plant a tree in your backyard that will neutralise the carbon footprint of your entire household for decades to come.
- Choose carefully, though—while planting a forest around your house is certainly one way to go about reducing your CO2 emissions, there’s also no point in planting seeds if you don’t have enough space for them to grow without restricting your own mobility or damaging any buildings or infrastructure on your property.
If you do have the space and capacity for more trees, keep in mind that different types grow at different rates; the average oak takes 60 years before it reaches maturity, while pines usually take half as long (30 years) and willows can reach full size in as little as 4 years.
Avoid Products With A Lot Of Packaging
Consider the impact of buying things you don’t really need. When it comes to all those items you want but don’t necessarily need, consider whether the purchase is worth its carbon footprint.
Buy products that are not packaged in plastic. This is an obvious one, but it can be hard to do!
Try to buy food in bulk. This will reduce your carbon footprint in two ways — less packaging and fewer trips to the supermarket on public transport (or no trips at all if you have a car).
Buy local produce. If you can, buy local produce and support local farms instead of buying imported foods grown thousands of miles away. And if possible, eat what’s in season where you live, which means less transportation involved in getting those fruits and veggies from farm to grocery store or market stall.
Buy products made from recycled materials. Products made from recycled materials are a great way of reducing your carbon footprint because they use less energy during production than items made with new materials would require.
Get Started Today With Finding Ways For Carbon Reduction And Do Your Bit To Help The Environment!
Taking action on reducing your carbon footprint as an individual will help the planet and make you feel good about yourself. It’s not hard to find things that you can do to make around the house, at work, or during leisure time more environmentally friendly. Reduce, reuse, recycle—no matter the scale of your efforts, what matters is that you take action today and start helping the environment just by making a few small changes in your day-to-day routine.
Carbon reduction is a complicated subject, with plenty of tips and tricks on how to do it right. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a carbon scientist to get started. Simply start small! Going for a bike ride or short walk today can put you on the path to reducing your carbon footprint. And remember: if you don’t like where things are at, you have the power to change them. So, get out there—today—and start reducing your carbon emissions!