Be a hero and save the planet or how to reduce your carbon footprint.
What is carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions caused by an individual or an organization by their activities of driving cars, using electricity etc.
Why do I need to reduce it?
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and thus traps heat. This causes overall rise in temperature of the planet. So that the more our carbon footprint, the more our contribution to the global warming. Climate change is an established fact and yes, we will have to face the consequences of it. That is why we must start today and at least slow it down to some extent. How? Just read on.
There is a lot of governments and huge multinational corporations can do such as establish recycling plants, provide solar panels for government organizations, provide rainwater harvesting systems, air water filters and many more. However, each of us can contribute as well and it does not need to be a sacrifice! These are some simple but meaningful eco-friendly habits each of us can inculcate to reduce our carbon footprint and help the planet.
- Avoid single use plastics- Plastics are very difficult to recycle and form the bulk of landfills. Our one time use bags, plastic bottles, straws and cutlery are made of oil and went through a long and energy-consuming production process. It simply makes no sense that we turn them into trash after a couple of minutes of use, does it? Say hello to jute bags, paper/metal straws and reusable cutlery! Keep your own steel or bamboo coffee cup and be ready for any event waiting for you on the go!
- Don’t waste electricity- Fossil fuels are limited in supply. This fact is not new for most of us; still we forget to turn off lights and fans when leaving a room. Here are a few things that will not only help environment but also reduce your electricity bill:
- Switch off any appliance that does not have immediate use.
- use LED lights as they are more energy efficient than traditional ones.
- use energy star products, the more the number of stars; greater is the efficiency.
- unplug devices from the switch board when not in use, since plugged in appliances, even when turned off, suck electricity.
- try opening the doors and windows for some fresh air and natural light before turning on lights during the daytime.
- Recycle/ upcycle waste- Household waste has once been something we bought and brought home. Therefore, the easiest trick of reducing waste is to purchase only what you really need. However, when already appeared, check whether there is something you could do out of it? Maybe a plant pot out of an empty bottle or new shorts out of old jeans? Some of the rest can surely be recycled – check around, there might be a recycle station just on your way to the corner shop.
- Eat local and seasonal- Transportation of non- seasonal or exotic fruits and veggies involve a whole lot of fossil fuel consumption. Besides, you can plant your own herbs and vegetables in your little kitchen garden and enjoy organic, pesticide free, fresh produce.
- Avoid household chemicals- chemicals pollute everything that they come in contact with; be it soil or water. So, think twice before buying that bathroom-wash. Simple and natural ingredients like baking soda and apple cider vinegar are the most versatile of all. You can not only use them in cooking but also to clean your home and even to unclog drains.
- Don’t waste water – As cliché as it may sound, drinking water is limited in supply. However, we still keep the faucet running while brushing teeth or drying cutlery. Did you know that of all the water present on earth only 2.5% is freshwater of which only a tiny 1% is easily accessible? And no, the ocean water is too salty for consumption and you cannot get water from glaciers since they will eventually melt into the oceans. So, let’s stop running half full laundry, let water run when not necessary and see if we can do a little bit of rainwater harvesting for gardening.
- Use bike/ skate/scooter for shorter distances- Well, walking is the best form of exercise but otherwise, biking or skating will also do great for your health and environment. Short-distance use of personal car is a triple loss since you don’t get the much-needed workout, spend money on fuel and harm your lungs by the fumes.
Alternatively, you can use public transportation or car sharing which causes a smaller number of cars on road and hence less pollution. After all, sharing is caring!
Do we want to even get started on airplanes? Have you heard that airplanes eject as much as 90kgs of carbon dioxide per hour? Just imagine the amount of pollution it causes! You can make a difference by reducing yourflights to longer distance travels, and going for other transport options for local and regional trips. And look around – maybe your region has more to offer for your weekend than the next easy-jet destination!
Little things can make great difference to the environment. These eco-friendly habits will help you do your part in planet conservation. So stop blaming industrialization for global warming and be an example for others to follow.