Considering the current direction of climate change, we need to join our efforts at reducing carbon emissions and minimizing the damage within the next decade. For this, we all need to do our part and change our habits for the better. Let’s look at how to reduce your carbon footprint.
Here are a few lifestyle changes that will significantly cut down on the negative impact you leave on the environment.
Mind Your Transportation
Transportation emissions are a major culprit in climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, in the US, transportation alone accounts for as much as 30% of all emissions.
It is clear that this is where you should start. Cutting down on driving your car is a good idea. For shorter distances, switching to a bike is not only more eco-friendly but also healthier.
When it’s possible, you should leverage public transport instead of driving, but carpooling is also a good step.
Air travel is also a major culprit in ecological damage, so, try to cut down on the number of trips you take, opt for trains when possible and fly economy instead of business class.
Eat Local & Seasonal Foods
As we already mentioned, the emissions transportation causes are a huge issue. This does not only mean travel – it also includes the shipping of goods.
Getting off-season produce from the other side of the globe into your grocery store, especially by air, has a huge carbon footprint, so the best thing you could do is simply buying local, seasonal foods.
This not only benefits the planet but it also supports the local economy.
Cut Down On Your Meat Consumption
Many people go vegan because of ethical beliefs, but even if you don’t plan on making this big decision, simply cutting down on your meat consumption can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
A lot of people don’t know this, but red meat is particularly problematic when it comes to eco-friendliness.
The reason is that livestock consumes a lot of resources – such as water, which there is already a scarcity of, but cattle also produce a lot of methane emissions themselves, which is another reason why you could do a lot for the planet by simply eating less red meat.
Be Mindful Of Your Energy Consumption
You don’t have to go far to find one of the biggest contributors to your carbon footprint. Your home itself accounts for a large portion of it, but there are many ways you can improve this.
The first thing you should assess is the efficiency of your heating and cooling system since this consumes the most energy in an average household.
Issues such as poor insulation can compromise the efficiency of these systems. Another small but important change is switching your lights to LEDs, if you still haven’t, since these can use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Small habits, such as turning appliances off instead of leaving them on standby and plugging them out when they are not in use, can also reduce your electricity bills significantly.
If you’re looking for new appliances, don’t settle for anything less than Energy Star rated ones.
Think About Switching To Renewable Energy
Those thinking in the long term might want to consider implementing renewable energy in their households. In some countries, you can switch to a renewable energy provider to get your electricity from.
But it always makes sense to invest in your own energy source, too. For example, solar panels might take a while to pay for themselves, but once they do, the savings you’ll make are stellar, and you’ll reduce your household’s carbon footprint greatly.
Just make sure you turn to reliable businesses such as KDEC Electrical & Solar, who will be able to help you set up your system and service it when necessary. Since this is a big investment, you shouldn’t settle for anything less.
Have Smart Shopping Habits
Finally, something that we would all benefit from are smarter shopping habits. And besides our wallet, the planet would be grateful, too.
Starting from the clothing industry, which contributes to carbon emissions and landfills with fast fashion we are all guilty of buying, there is a lot of room for improvement.
So, when buying clothes, go for quality instead of quantity and try to look for sustainably made pieces.
In your everyday life, try to simply buy less unnecessary stuff.
When possible, buy used or recycled. Even with small decisions such as carrying your own reusable shopping bag and avoiding excessive packaging, you are reducing your carbon footprint.
As you can see, regardless of your resources, there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint, you just need to have some willpower. All the small changes will add up in the end and contribute to a greener future!
You can find much more information on living a holistic lifestyle in these free magazines and on our YouTube channel.
Zac Walker is a Sydney-based part-time writer and also an agriculture student. He has always been worried about the environment and loves writing about it based on facts and his researches. He has consulted with KDEC Electrical & Solar while writing this article. He’s done some serious research on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and their cause and effects.