Though some may fail to acknowledge it, our planet isn’t in the best shape. But it can be saved; it is up to us to accept and accomplish it. The first step? Do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint.
But what is a carbon footprint, you ask? Any sort of step you take during your day that requires the use of fossil fuels, natural resources, or even something unnatural, such as the use of a microwave, is considered placing a carbon footprint in the earth’s soil. The thing is, there are some easy, simple ways to wipe away some of your past footprints and to even prevent new ones from popping up.
You can create carpool schedules, especially if your family has more than one car, and one that is used more often, and stick to that schedule. You can substitute driving for public transit or riding a bike (or e-bike) and when you do drive, make sure to go the speed limit and not accelerate or decelerate too unnecessarily or speedily. Driving habits alone can make a 30% difference in the amount of gasoline your cars uses which saves you money as well. Perhaps, if you have the option, you can even make a certain day out of the week work-from-home day, so that way, you don’t even have to leave the house at all!
Besides car efficiency, you can also save energy by making sure to turn off lights and other appliances in your house or at work when you are not around. It is so common that people will leave appliances such as laptops, coffee makers, microwaves, fans, heaters etc. plugged in all the time, even when they aren’t being used. Lights in particular only need to be on when it is too dark to see or you are using them to read. If it is bright outside, turn off the lights and filter in some natural light! You can also program your thermostat so that it only turns on at certain times and then makes sure to turn itself off after it has run its course.
Probably the biggest and easiest change your whole family can make is making sure to recycle. Almost all paper, plastic, glass, and aluminium can be recycled and then reused for something else later. If your city doesn’t already provide recycle bins, you can always look up available locations to drop off recyclables and even more specifics on what can and cannot go into recycling. One way to save a ton on wasted paper is to cancel your junk mail. You receive it every week, and it’s the same stuff that keeps on going in the garbage. You can literally cancel it in less than 5 minutes at 41pounds.org, named that way because the average American receives 41 pounds of useless junk mail every year. In one year, by-products of junk mail produce more CO2 emissions than that of 9 million cars… wow.
Waste Less Food
Another easy change to make is to waste less food, as about 25% of all food produced gets thrown away, which produces methane in landfills and requires more trucks to transport. Just be aware when you are about to throw out leftover foods from the refrigerator. Now that you’re aware, suck it up, lather it up in ketchup and take one for the team. Oh wait, are you saving money again? Yep. Even eating less meat benefits our environment. Meat production is highly damaging and stressful to the soil and it takes far more money, energy, and space than is necessary when we can just stick to eating the produce over the animal that consumes it. Don’t worry – you don’t have to go vegan, but eating meat only once a day even helps, opposed to for every meal 7 days a week. You could even start introducing “vegetarian nights” where you cook only meat-free meals.
Lastly, you can contribute your interest in this planet-friendly project by supporting Carbonfund.org’s campaign to save the planet in an efficient, carbon-free way. Their motto is: ‘Reduce What You Can, Offset What You Can’t’. Check out their website here for more details and ways to reduce your carbon footprint here.
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