Now more than ever it is paramount for us to live more consciously and make a decision to change our daily actions to salvage our Earth. Many people want to do something to make a change but don’t know where to start. Well… you can start with yourself. You can’t change everything and everyone in the world, but you can be the change you would like to see. I have outlined 5 simple ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.
What is a carbon footprint you might ask? It is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities.
Here are 5 solutions to reducing one’s carbon footprint:
1. Vampire Power
Have you ever heard of vampire power, ghost load or standby power? These terms refer to the electricity that is being pulled by electronic devices regardless of being switched off or on standby mode. The solution to this is simple. If you’re not charging your phone, unplug the charger. You’re not using your blender or toaster? Unplug it. You’re not watching the TV? Unplug it. The hardest part of this is remembering to do it. At the beginning it might be hard but eventually it will just come naturally.
2. Reduce Dryer and Washer Usage
We’ve all grown accustomed to our new and improved ways of living. I feel like nowadays people cannot live without a washer and a dryer. While these inventions make life a bit easier, they do take a massive toll on the environment. The dryer on its own requires a lot of energy for one cycle and not to mention that they are also at the top of the list for the cause of appliance related house fires. I understand that some people live very hectic lives and simply can’t find the time to wash all their clothes by hand. However, you can still help in a way. Instead of doing like 8 loads of laundry, try reducing it as much as you can. You definitely don’t need to wash only a load of blues then only a load of greens and then only a load of purples (Yes, some people actually do this). For those of you who have the time though, try hand washing and line drying as much as possible. Save the washer and dryer for those rainy days.
3. Plant Greenery
Have you ever noticed that rural areas and country sides where there are lots of plants and trees tend to be cooler than in the city? Well this is thanks to the concrete pavements and buildings, motor vehicles and all the human activities. They create what is known as an urban heat island. To help to prevent this effect, you can plant some trees and even a little garden in your own home. This can lead to a bit of cooling, a bit more oxygen and the trees can offer great shade.
4. Eat Local and Eat Less
Always remember, the closer to you that it’s grown, the better it is for you to consume. Go to your local farmer’s market and get freshly grown crops that didn’t need to be imported through aeroplanes, ships or Optimus Prime looking cargo trucks. Try to avoid food that is packaged in plastic. We all know how that ends. You can also eliminate meat from your diet altogether or at least consume less meat. It takes 5,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Cattle farming is the primary culprit in greenhouse gas emissions and is the number one consumer of the world’s freshwater. It’s also responsible for vast deforestation.
5. Drive Less
This might just be the hardest thing for some people. Just like the washer and dryer… driving makes your life a bit easier. However, it takes a massive toll on the environment. I know, I know… if you decide to walk, ride your bike or take public transportation, time will become your enemy. All you need is a little discipline. Wake up a little earlier or prepare your stuff you will need in the morning from the night before. According to the American Public Transport Association, in the US, public transportation saves 37 million tons of carbon emissions each year.
Change won’t happen overnight, but one step in the right direction is better than none at all. This planet is our home and we need to start some housecleaning before it’s too late.
What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on.-Henry David Thoreau