I have to admit, I’m playing a part in the destruction of our habitat – we all are, to different extents. It’s not always easy to change our ways, especially with plastic usage being so wide-spread it seems unavoidable. One may get overwhelmed because the attempts to reduce our carbon footprint seem so small compared to the scale of the problem. When you feel that way, remember that imperfect efforts beats no effort any day, and check out this post. In this post, I’ll remind you about 6 effortless ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. This way, we have no excuse not to do something. The best part is, you get to save money too!
1. Don’t waste food
An ounce of beef takes 106.28 gallons of water to produce, 1 apple uses 17.5 gallons of water to grow. This is just their water footprint. Then we have to take into account the energy used and the pollution caused by the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling processes.
After expending all these efforts and resources, we throw away 40% of the food we buy, essentially wasting the energy and resources used to make them. To make things worse, these food end up in landfills where they emit methane, contributing to global warming.
By making sure we don’t waste food, we can reduce our carbon footprint. It helps us save money too! To do that, don’t overstock groceries, check your fridge regularly and save your leftovers if there is any.
2. Eat lesser meat
Reduce consumption of meat, especially beef, is a great and simple way to reduce our carbon footprint. It takes a lot of land and water to raise livestock, both for them and for the cultivation of their feed. Growing food for these animals also require the use of pesticides and fertilizers, which uses fossil fuels and causes pollution when it leaches into the ground.
According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse emissions can be attributed to animal farming. They recommend that we cut down our consumption of animal products by 30%. So you can still have your meat and eat it too, albeit a little less often.
3. Wear your things out
You literally don’t have to do anything or make any changes to do this. Our grandparents wore their things out. These days we replace things when we get tired of how they look, or when they look a little worn.
Energy and resources go into making and transporting everything we use. When we wear things out, we reduce the number of things we need to buy and throw. It’s better for both the environment and our pockets!
4. Use a cold water cycle
Using a cold water cycle to wash your clothes not only reduces the amount of electricity used, it also helps to make our clothes last longer by reducing shrinkage and protecting the color.
The longer our clothes last, the less often we need to buy them. Obviously, the lesser we throw out. In a world where one garbage truck’s worth of textiles gets thrown or burned every second, we need to do our best to reduce trash production.
5. Turn the lights off
What more can I say, mom’s right about those lights! Unless you’re using solar power (in that case, I envy you!), always turn the lights off when you leave a room. Or unplug an appliance when it’s not in use. These are simple little actions that help to reduce the amount of fossils burnt.
Also, choose the light source that’s most sensible to what you’re doing. If you don’t need a bright light, use a table lamp with a low wattage instead of a ceiling light with three bulbs. Every little bit counts – for the environment and our pockets! We can reduce our carbon footprint right this second by conserving electricity.
6. Combine Errands To Reduce Driving
Cars are responsible for releasing 333 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. By combining errands and outings, you can reduce the number of trips you need to do, thereby reducing the amount of fuel burnt and the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Also, it helps you save money and time!
I hope you found this post useful. We can all begin to reduce our carbon footprint right this minute, and the way to do it doesn’t need to be difficult or inconvenient. In fact, they usually save us money!