10 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
We’ve heard over and over again, a million different times, couched in a million different terms, how we need to start to living more sustainably. Scientists and consumer advocates have been good at spreading the message of reducing our negative impact on the environment, but not so good at telling us what we can do to make positive changes. Most people don’t realize how easily small actions can make big contributions. Even relatively minor household upgrades, like installing energy efficient and recyclable metal roofs, makes a difference in the long run. Here are 10 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint today:
Consume less and buy local. The more we buy the more energy and resources we expend. Live simply and put less energy-guzzling objects in circulation. If you do need to buy something, try and make it local, sustainable, and renewable.
Ride your bike. If you’re journeying less than a mile, save yourself some gas money while getting exercise and preventing more fumes from being spewed into the atmosphere. More people than ever are switching to bicycles for transportation. Join the critical mass.
Take a bus or train. If you’re traveling too far for a bike to be practical, use public transportation. Bus and train rides can be good excuses to catch up on reading, old hobbies, or some shut-eye.
Eat organic. Not only are organic foods better for your health they put less strain on the environment. Some people go so far as to make their own compost.
Turn off and unplug appliances. It’s not enough to put your computer to sleep. Turn it off, as well as all the other appliances you’re not using. And if you know you’re going to be gone for a bit, take the time to unplug your appliances. Yes, they still consume energy even when they’re off!
Don’t buy water bottles. Filter your own water and bring it with you. Constantly buying water bottles is an incredible drain on our recycling centers and the production of all that plastic is terrible for the environment. Also, you’ll save money!
Install solar panels. Our sun is a giant fusion reactor from which we can draw all the energy we need. Powering your home with solar panels is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on all kinds of energy bills.
Wash your clothes in cold water. Your socks don’t need hot water. In fact, your entire wardrobe will get just as clean if you don’t use hot water for every load. Additionally you’ll be consuming a considerably smaller fraction of energy.
Use CFL or LED bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamp bulbs use 80% less electricity than regular ones and last 15 times longer. If everyone switched to CFL or LED bulbs, our collective energy demands would plummet.
A single person can’t build solar panels in space or erect wind turbines outside their homes, but there are practical, everyday steps we can take as individuals to reduce our carbon footprints.
Photo Credit: Some rights reserved by thilawee on Flickr.
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