It is perhaps the most important issue facing the planet right now. The issue of climate change, and how we, as humans, can arrest the slide. With that in mind, we have taken a look at how to reduce your carbon footprint. Reducing it is a key component in preventing further temperature rises globally.
The first key step to take is not to rely no your car. Find alternatives to driving. Whenever possible, walk or ride your bike in order to avoid carbon emissions completely. Carpooling and public transportation drastically reduce CO2 emissions by spreading them out over many riders. Reducing the mileage of the average new car from 15,000 to 10,000 miles a year will save more than a tonne of CO2, about 15% of the average person’s footprint.
If driving is essential, consider an electric car. Also consider a low carbon vehicle – you will be taxed less for it too. And when driving, plan ahead and try to avoid traffic, which unnecessarily creates CO2, and combine errand to make fewer trips. Save money and save the environment.
As long as planes are fuelled by petrol, they will continue to wreak a terrible effect on the environment and the global climate. More so than cars in fact. So what can we do to change this? Well the obvious answer is to fly less. Easier said than done though.
But we all need to start making sacrifices. Fly less, take longer but fewer vacations, and drive for those vacations that are close enough. If travel is for business, consider not meeting up, but instead utilising technology. Video conference via Skype or Facetime. If you must fly, go economy, as this method fits the most people on a plane.
Insulate and seal your home. Reduce drafts and air leaks to ensure you do not lose heat. Poorly insulated housing requires large quantities of energy to heat. If you have properly insulated the loft and filled the cavity wall, the most important action you can take is to draught-proof the house, something you can do yourself. If purchasing a new item, make energy efficiency a primary consideration. For example, when choosing a new furnace, air conditioning unit, dishwasher, or refrigerator.
Elsewhere in the home, turn off lights you’re not using and when you leave the room. Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient ones.
Add solar panels to the roof of your home, if possible. This costs a little more than the above options, but many providers offer financing options which minimize upfront costs.
Eat locally-produced and organic foo Transportation of food, both nationally and globally is a big factor in raising emissions. Transporting food requires petroleum-based fuels. a multitude of fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based.
Also cut down on meat consumption. It takes vast resources to raise cows, and it’s especially bad if you buy beef from a country where deforestation has occurred. Deforestation is a top contributor to carbon emissions and thus climate change. Cows and sheep emit large quantities of methane, a powerful global warming gas.
A vegan diet might make as much as a 20% difference to your overall carbon impact but simply cutting out beef will deliver a significant benefit on its own.
Buy 2nd hand, use things until they are unusable, and always recycle, so that waste products are dealt with ethically.