The evidence for climate change is undeniable. Records show that 2022 was the sixth-warmest year in recorded history, and 2023 is keeping pace. If we want to slow down the rate of climate change, then we all need to make a concerted effort.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that’s driving global temperatures up every year. One of the best ways to tackle your environmental impact is to reduce your carbon footprint. Read on to learn about some simple changes you can make that’ll help you do your part in the climate crisis.
Watch Your Driving Habits
Experts have pointed to cars as one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions. There are a lot of changes you can make with regard to your driving habits in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
The biggest change you can make is to purchase a car that has better fuel economy or an electric vehicle. This is especially important for people who have long commutes or who travel by car frequently. The less gas you burn, the better.
If you aren’t in the market for a new car, you can still make some changes to your driving habits that’ll reduce your carbon output. People who speed or accelerate unnecessarily burn significantly more gas than those who are cautious drivers. In addition, tires that are properly filled ensure your car has improved miles per gallon.
Finally, think economically. Avoid traffic when you can by choosing to travel at different times of the day. Combine your errands so you aren’t racking up the miles on your car.
Use Public Transportation
If you want to truly minimize your environmental impact, then it’s best to nix the car altogether in favor of public transportation whenever possible.
Most large cities have devoted public transportation systems, especially larger cities like New York, Chicago, and Boston. Taking public transportation for your daily commute equates to a drastic reduction in your total carbon dioxide output. Walking to and from the transit stops is great for your health, too.
Don’t have public transportation? Consider alternatives like carpooling with co-workers or riding a bicycle instead. Whatever you can do to minimize the amount of time you spend traveling alone in your car helps!
You might love a vacation, but that doesn’t mean that your all-inclusive trip is the best choice for the environment.
The biggest thing to avoid when it comes to travel is taking a cruise. Cruise ships come in a variety of sizes, with most spanning the length of multiple football fields. The amount of fuel it takes to move them across the ocean is tremendous, making them an environmental disaster.
Flying is better than taking a cruise, especially if you’re taking trips that aren’t too far away from home. Consider driving to your destination if it’s within a reasonable distance. If you have to travel for work, consider asking if the trip can be swapped for video conferencing, instead.
If you own your own home, you don’t have to settle for coal-based power. Lots of power companies offer rate plans that incorporate power drawn from natural resources like wind and solar.
Better still, if you live somewhere that gets a good amount of sun throughout the year, you can create your own energy with solar panels. Solar panels convert energy from the sun into energy that your home uses, reducing your need to rely on coal-based power. If you produce solar power in excess, you can even get a rebate from your power provider.
If you think solar power may be right for you, check this out. You might be surprised by how much you save in dollars and carbon dioxide output.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
One of the most impactful ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to recycle as much of your home’s waste as possible. Everything from plastic to glass to cardboard is recyclable. If you have leftover food waste, consider composting them and growing your own food in a backyard garden.
Want to up the ante?
Purchase used and recycled goods, too! Consider hitting the thrift store for some new-to-you fashions, books, and furniture. Not only will you save a pretty penny, but you’ll save all of that stuff from hitting the landfill.
Upgrade Your Home
Older homes are great, but they also leave a lot to be desired when it comes to energy usage. If you’re living in an older space, there are several key areas to target for improvement.
The first place to start is with your home’s windows, sealing, and insulation. This keeps outside air and temperatures out, and all of your home’s HVAC air inside. This saves your HVAC system from having to work overtime during hot or cold days.
You can also upgrade your appliances, HVAC system, and even your lightbulbs to more energy-efficient versions.
Eat Less Meat
You might be surprised to learn that your diet plays a role in your environmental impact. People who eat large amounts of beef and dairy have significantly larger carbon footprints than those who don’t. That’s because cows take a tremendous amount of resources to raise, process, and transport.
Another way to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet is to purchase your food locally as much as possible. This means shopping at farmer’s markets and co-ops and buying directly from local farmers.
Ready to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
We may be in a global climate crisis, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything you can do to make things better for future generations. Taking the steps to reduce your carbon footprint is a move in the right direction. If enough people do this, then we can make a huge dent in climate change!
Do you want to learn more ways to make positive changes in your life, home, and community? Then you’ve come to the perfect place! Check out the rest of our blog for tons of inspiring content.