10 Ways To Reduce Your Personal Carbon Footprint
Have you ever thought about your carbon footprint? Have you wondered what the average person’s carbon footprint is? It’s shocking how much energy we waste daily. I’ve created a list of 10 ways that you can reduce your own personal carbon footprint and save money while doing it!
You Can Lower Your Carbon Footprint
If you’re concerned about climate change, there are many things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and make a difference. Some are easy, and some may require a little more effort.
One of the more daunting aspects of living a green lifestyle is knowing where to start. Many people are overwhelmed by the thought of trying to save the planet, so they don’t even try. But it’s pretty easy to do your part in a way that works for you.
A few of the most common ways to reduce your carbon footprint include:
Walk Or Cycle To Your Destination
This is just good old-fashioned common sense, you might say. We would agree. There’s a long list of benefits to walking or cycling instead of driving. For one thing, it’s good for your health and burns calories, as opposed to driving which burns nothing but fuel. Walking and cycling are also much better for the environment; a cyclist could cycle from London to Paris on the CO2 contained in one litre of petrol, so if you’re going less than about 400km then it’s safe to say you’re better off cycling or walking than driving.
Even if you don’t want to cycle or walk all the way there, there are plenty of other options: why not take public transport part of the way? Or drive half the journey and walk or cycle the rest? This is called combined transport – when people combine different modes of transport to make their journey more sustainable. In some cities such as London where traffic can be heavy at certain times of day, walking or cycling can be quicker than driving!
Hit The Air Conditioning Less
Help the environment! You can reduce your personal carbon footprint and help save the planet. Here are some good tips…
- Stop using fans when it’s hot outside. Fans are a major contributor to CO2 emissions and contribute to global warming (which is causing rising sea levels, increased flooding, and extreme weather among other things). Instead of using fans, use air conditioners or heat pumps. If you feel bad about paying more for ACs, install an inline fan in your window that will draw cool air from outside into your house.
- Don’t turn on the portable air conditioning unit unless you’re cooling down your entire room as opposed to just one spot inside it where you’re sitting/sleeping/whatever in bed. It also contributes to CO2 emissions from electricity production which causes global warming.
If you’re planning to travel this year, think about how you can reduce your carbon emissions. If possible, try to take a train or drive rather than fly. Flying is the most carbon-intensive way to travel, often emitting more than twice as much carbon per passenger as driving. This is especially true if you fly anywhere far from where you live.
If you do have to get on a plane, here’s what you can do:
- Book economy class rather than business for long-haul flights (although business class does emit less CO2 per passenger than first-class).
- Try not to book connecting flights and choose direct routes wherever possible – this reduces the amount of time in the air and cuts out taxiing on the ground which uses extra fuel.
Eat A Plant-Based Diet
One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is by eating a plant based diet. But what exactly is a plant-based diet? In general, it avoids animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
Now that you know what a plant-based diet entails, here are some benefits of cutting back on animal products:
- Health benefits: The health benefits of eating a plant-based diet are numerous. According to Dr Michael Greger in How Not To Die, people who follow this type of diet experience fewer heart attacks than those who eat omnivorous (with both plants and meat) or carnivorous (with just meat) diets. Plant-based diets have also been shown to be effective in weight loss and preventing cancer.
- Environmental benefits: If you’re primarily concerned with reducing your environmental impact rather than just changing the way you eat for health reasons, there are some compelling reasons to consider following this kind of eating program as well. According to an Oxford University study published in Scientific Reports journal, eating a vegan diet has about half the impact on our environment as compared to eating an omnivorous or carnivorous one—and it even beats out vegetarianism by quite a bit as well.
Reduce Waste, Especially Plastic Waste
One of the easiest ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint is by ensuring that you are not generating unnecessary waste. You can do this by avoiding buying things that require excessive packaging, like bottled water or individually wrapped snacks. What’s more, plastics have a huge carbon impact and cannot be recycled easily, so try to avoid single-use plastic items when possible.
Some things that you can do include:
- Carry reusable cups and water bottles with you wherever you go.
- Avoid using plastic bags when grocery shopping.
- Bring reusable cutlery with you if you are going out for lunch or dinner.
- Purchase food from local farmers’ markets whenever possible to avoid products being shipped from countries far away.
Recycle And Compost More
Recycling is perhaps the easiest way that you can reduce your personal carbon footprint. If you’re already doing it, good for you! If not, now’s the time to start. Recycle paper, plastics, cardboard, glass and metal in your nearest recycling bin or at a centre near you.
Along with recycling, composting could also make a big difference. Composting is the decomposition of organic materials such as food scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich soil that can be used for growing plants. By composting your kitchen scraps and yard waste (instead of throwing them in the trash), you’ll save money on garbage bags and trash removal costs while lowering methane emissions from landfills.
Composting provides many other benefits including less waste going to landfill, reduced greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, creating new products and reducing the need to use virgin materials for gardening products like potting soil or fertiliser.
Reduce Your Car Use By Carpooling
Looking for the perfect way to get your friends involved in reducing your carbon footprint? Carpooling is the answer. Not only does it reduce the number of cars on the road and decrease pollution, but it also saves you money on gas. Carpooling with friends can make your daily commute more enjoyable and it’s a great way to meet new people if you live in a big city!
- Turn off your car engine whenever possible. It will decrease CO2 emissions by improving fuel economy because less fuel is burned per mile driven [NOTE: this is only if you do this every day.]
Buy Locally Grown Products, Or Grow Your Own Food
- Buying local also means less transportation is necessary since the food has not travelled a long distance to get to you. This also helps you save money on food because it’s fresher and you’re helping the local economy. You know what they say, “happy farmer, happy life.”
- If you don’t want to buy locally grown products, then try growing your own food. Not only will this help reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also be fresher and cheaper than buying it at a grocery store. Plus, if you grow your own herbs or vegetables with an indoor garden kit, then you can have fresh produce all year round!
Save Energy By Installing Solar Panels Or Rooftop Wind Turbines
If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce your personal carbon footprint, installing solar panels is a great place to start. The cost of going solar has dropped significantly in recent years, with the average price of residential solar installations falling by nearly 70 per cent since 2010. What’s more, you don’t need to be a DIY expert to take advantage of this growing trend; there are plenty of companies that will install and maintain home solar systems for an affordable price.
Rooftop wind turbines are also becoming increasingly accessible—and they have the added benefit of being able to generate energy even when the sun isn’t shining. However, these systems are only suitable for some homes (such as those with flat roofs or open spaces) so it’s always best to talk with your energy provider before installing anything on your own.
You can reduce your personal carbon footprint in a variety of ways.
It is important to reduce your carbon footprint because of climate change.
Reducing your carbon footprint lessens your impact on the environment and can be done by changing your lifestyle.
- Take shorter showers. This lowers water usage, making it greener for Mother Earth!
- Buy used clothing instead of new clothing. This saves energy and reduces the need for extra manufacturing!
Throughout this list, we have put forward rather effective ways to reduce your footprint altogether. Whether you change one step at a time or all at once, it is up to you how you want to proceed. Remember though, we do not get many second chances in life, so start now and take that first step towards reducing your carbon footprint today.