You might have heard talk of humanity needingto reduce its carbon footprint, but do you know what this actually means? Most of us have an idea of what is meant by carbon footprint in that it has something to do with our impact on the environment, but what it really means is the amount of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere because of our activities. Sowith that in mind, what can you do to lower yours?
Turn Down the Thermostat
One of the easiest ways to start tackling carbon emissions on an individual basis is to turn down the thermostat in our homes. By reducing our energy consumption, we will be reducing carbon emissions. Moreover, if everyone were to turn the thermostat down by just a couple of degrees or so, it would make a substantial difference. You could even go one step further and install a smart thermostat, allowing you to only switch on the heating in your home when you absolutely needed to. This would prevent you using more heating than you neededby having the heating system on when you are not home.
Eat Less Meat and Dairy
Dairy and meat farming produces a huge percentage of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.Indeed, there have been suggestions that this type of farming is actually one of the largest contributors to climate change. Nobody is suggesting that you cut meat and dairy out of your life completely, but perhaps reducing your consumption a little and buying organic products where possible will help the effort and benefit your health at the same time.
You can reduce your dependency on fossil fuel-powered energy by installing a home solar panels system. Solar energy company Vivint Solar says that using the Sun to generate electricity means you are utilizing a pollution-free renewable energy source. Even after the emissions used in the manufacture of solar panels, the carbon footprint of a solar panel system is much lower than that of other energy sources like gas and coal.
If possible, reduce your reliance on your car. Walk or cycle if you can as this will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Even taking public transport is preferable. When you do use your car, try to drive in a more eco-friendly way by avoiding heavy gas and brake usage. Ensuring your tires are at the correct pressure will also reduce gas consumption, helping you to do your bit for the environment. When taking long drives, try using cruise control to keep gas usage down.
Reduce Reliance on Single-Use Plastic
Plastic waste is having a massive impact on the environment because of the harm it does to wildlife as well as the fact that it doesn’t biodegrade very easily. Disposable plastic items break down into microplastics, which are contaminating our oceans and often ending up back on our plates. We can do our bit by reusing where possible and buying loose fruit and vegetables instead of those packaged in plastic. Better yet why not grow your own fruit and veg. When you do buy plastic-packaged items, buy in bulk, if possible, to reduce unnecessary waste.
Replace Old Appliances
You might find that many of your old appliances are guzzling energy. Replacing them with newer,more energy efficient models will help the environment while also saving you money. To check how much power your appliances are using, buy an energy usage monitor that plugs into the mains. You then plug an applianceinto this to check the power it is consuming. This may well be an eye-opening experiment.