With all the clamor for governments to address climate change, everyone should be concerned about the state the world is in. Going green and actively choosing eco-friendly practices and products should not only be a matter of lifestyle choice. However, this is the big problem.
Most of the time, green alternatives or a sustainable lifestyle are expensive. Unless world leaders enact global policies that make green options affordable to everybody, the world will not see that much of a change. Right now, all you can do is keep calling for change and action from people in power. While you do that, if you are capable, you can do things as a concerned individual.
What Is the Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint refers to the greenhouse gases that certain activities leave. It can refer to the number of particular gases produced by individuals, groups, companies, and countries in a set period. The most common greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, fluorinated gases, and methane.
To understand the need to cut down on the world’s carbon footprint, look at numbers from studies. The world temperature keeps rising because of the greenhouse gases that human activities continue to produce.
To maintain the rise at only a 2 percent increase, the world should keep its carbon footprint at only 1.87 tons by 2050. This figure is according to the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project.
This number is for the whole world. Unfortunately, if you look at the carbon footprint of the United States per capita, it stands at 18.3 tons. The number that accounts for the whole world’s greenhouse gases emission will be shocking.
What Can You Do to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
While the numbers are at a staggering value, don’t think that your actions will not contribute to the change. While your actions seem meager, think about the actual effect if millions of people do the same things. Here are a few things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Compute Your Household’s Carbon Footprint
To develop a systematic approach to reducing your carbon footprint, you must know the numbers first. You can find a carbon footprint calculator on the website of the US Environmental Protection Agency. With the calculator, you’ll need to input your household’s energy consumption details like your primary heating source, lighting, and other appliances.
You can also input your planned actions to reduce your energy consumption. The calculator will show you how much gas emission you can reduce and how much money you can save after specific activities.
All energy-saving efforts lead to the eventual reduction of gas emissions. Start with changing to LED lights. Alternatively, you can improve natural lighting in your home by installing new windows. Get energy-efficient windows installed to optimize heating and cooling inside the house. Turn off appliances when not in use.
- Don’t Buy Fast Fashion
Fast fashion refers to the mass production of clothes, usually in the latest trend. These clothes are cheap since they are mass-produced, which lowers the production cost for each piece. However, they are generally bad for the environment. This practice encourages excessive consumption.
While a shirt is trendy now, you will soon discard it when it goes out of style. Usually, these pieces are susceptible to easy wear and tear. Part of the effect of mass production is that it produces low-quality clothes. And then, you will buy new ones—the cycle repeats.
It’s better to invest in high-quality pieces of clothing that will last a while if you can. Thrift shopping is also a great way to stay away from fast fashion.
- Shop Smart
Always bring your own shopping bag and containers when you go out to shop and dine. Avoid unnecessary single-use plastics like straws, especially when you can drink your beverage normally, straight from the cup.
Suppose the item you got online is not fragile. You can request the seller to use fewer plastics and bubble wrap. Support businesses that genuinely make efforts to contribute to reducing greenhouse gases.
- Walk or Bike When You Can
Cars are one of the most significant contributors to greenhouse gases. This doesn’t mean you should stop using your car. Just opt to walk or use a bicycle when you can. You can also use public transportation. A public bus can transport more people than a private car with the same carbon emission.
Sustainable living is all about choosing the better option. You are not a hypocrite if you support the cause but you still use cars. Even the biggest climate activists still ride planes. It’s just impossible for them to be on foot all the time. What matters is you do your best to produce as little emission as possible.
Meta title: Easy Ways You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
meta desc: The world’s temperatures continue to rise and everybody should be alarmed about it. Here are simple changes you can make to help the Earth.