TEN EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted due to your daily actions. Globally, the average carbon footprint is 4 tons; however, in the United States the average carbon footprint is almost 16 tons! Reducing our emissions may seem daunting, but there are lots of easy ways that anyone can reduce their carbon footprint and help our Earth.
- Conserve your water
- One of the easiest ways to lower your carbon footprint is by conserving water! There are a lot of ways to lower the amount of water you use including:
- Turn off the water while brushing your teeth
- Only wash full loads of laundry/dishes
- Shorten your shower time
2. Reuse when you can
- Get in the habit of reusing everyday products rather than throwing them out. Some examples include drinking water out of old mason jars, bringing a tote to the grocery store rather than use plastic bags, and reusing single sided paper for scrap paper.
3. Try composting
- Composting is an easy way to help reduce your emissions. Not only are you helping the planet, but you are also creating more fertile soil for your garden. A Princeton study, Project Drawdown, shows that composting organic waste rather than sending it to a landfill can reduce CO2 emissions by more than 50%!
4. Shop smart
- The average American discards about 80 pounds of clothing a year! 85% of which ends up in landfills. Fast fashion items often go out of style quickly and are not given much use before being discarded. As they break down, they produce large amounts of methane gas that is extremely harmful to the environment. Buying second hand or vintage clothing is a great alternative to combat clothing waste.
5. Upgrade your lightbulbs
- Incandescent lightbulbs waste 90% of their energy as heat. LED lightbulbs are a much better choice if you care to save energy. By switching to an LED lightbulb, you save 75% of the energy being produced and they last up to 25 times longer.
6. Consider other methods of transportation
- Transportation is a huge factor in carbon emissions in the United States. Looking for an alternative to driving yourself, consider ridesharing, walking, taking public transit, or biking. By trying a different way of transportation, you are lowering emissions as well as idling engines in traffic congestion.
7. Choose local and organic foods
- As mentioned in suggestion #6, transportation plays a large role in US carbon emissions. When buying locally grown and organic food options, you are reducing the demand for shipping transportation and transit cooling systems powered by fossil fuels.
8. Limit meat consumption
- Cutting back on the amount of meat you consume, especially beef, has many benefits. Not only are you saving money, but you are also preserving water, land, and biodiversity. Try incorporating meatless Monday into your weekly meal prep or try out some new plant-based recipes!
9. Delete unnecessary data from the cloud
- While some may find this surprising, the digital sector has become a huge consumer of energy and producer of emissions. The energy consumption it requires is growing exponentially, and it’s important to remember every click leaves a footprint. One easy fix is to store large files on external hard drives rather than the cloud space.
10. Eliminate single-use plastics
- Despite their conveniency, single use plastics wreak havoc on our environment. Not only do they pollute oceans and waterways, but they can also take up to 450 years to decompose! An easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is by replacing plastic water bottles, cutlery, and cups with reusable, sustainable options.
By lowering your carbon footprint, you are helping to contribute to the overall battle against greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Being conscious of your carbon footprint does not just help the environment, but also can help you save money and live a healthier lifestyle. It is easy to think that your efforts are not enough to combat climate change but stay motivated and remember that small changes can lead to big results!
Visit our Resources page to learn more about how GenHydro is contributing to reducing carbon emissions.
Written by Allison Messick