Six Ways to Individually Reduce Carbon Footprint

The carbon footprint is the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere due to different human activities. The result of these activities is increasing the level of carbon dioxide damaging the ozone layer, which protects us and other species from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

  1. Find alternatives to driving to reduce the carbon footprint

One should use their car less often. They should try walking or cycling for going to their office. People always tend to use their cars whenever they have to go somewhere leading to a lot of carbon footprint. So what one can do is find other means of transportation. It can be walking, cycling, using public transport or car-pooling with relatives or friends. Carpooling and use of public transport drastically reduce CO2 emissions by spreading them out over many riders.

  1. Go solar

We need to install solar panels in our houses, offices, and buildings. These solar panels cost a bit more than other options out there. But solar panels are the safest means of using a backup for electricity. Using generators is highly dangerous because they emit loads of carbon which is terrible for the environment. It is seen that the solar capacity currently installed across the United States will offset as much as 16.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. It makes a massive difference towards eliminating the adverse effects of carbon on the environment.

  1. Eat locally-produced and organic food

Estimates suggest that around 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the production and transport of food.  So one can just imagine how much this would lead to if food is transported all over the world in different countries. Try to use food that is produced locally, and organically grown. If we talk about eating beef or meat, it is another reason for carbon footprint.It is not easy to raise cows as it requires a lot of resources that affect the environment in a bad way. There are a lot of places all over the world which have been deforested just for agricultural use. Deforestation is one of the top contributors responsible for carbon emissions and thus climate change.

  1. Reuse and recycle

It has been estimated that 29% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions result from the “provision of goods,” which means the extraction of resources, manufacturing, transport, and final disposal of “goods” which include consumer products and packaging, building components, and passenger vehicles, but excluding food. So it is better to reuse products, and one should also use recycling packages for waste disposal.

  1. Reduce energy use:

It is another excellent way to reduce carbon footprint. We can accomplish it by adopting these lifestyle changes:

  • Minimize use of fireplaces or wood stoves
  • Switch to LED light bulbs
  • Unplug the unused electronic appliances to minimize standby power consumption
  • Always wash the clothes in cold water & hang them to dry
  • Add insulation and weather stripping – especially for doors, windows, attic, and attic door
  • Buy certified energy efficient appliances and equipment
  1. Reduce water usage

Reduce the consumption of water to a bare minimum. Ways to pump, heat, and treat water should be avoided. One should wash cars and clothes less often. One should also make water-efficient choices when purchasing showerheads, faucet heads, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.

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Martha Salazar

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