Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Ice caps are melting, fires are getting worse and forests are being cut down. No wonder so many of us are losing hope. However, there are some things that we can do to help combat this.
Here are 10 things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint:
Try a plant based diet, which can reduce your carbon footprint by 50%. Start off with meatless Mondays.
Reduce your food waste. You can extend the shelf life of your produce by storing them in the fridge or freezer. Instead of using plastic wrap to store your food, you can use reusable beeswax wrap.
Reduce your plastic waste. Plastic is made from fossil fuels. Approximately, “12.5 to 13.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide” are emitted from producing gas that make the feedstock for plastics. Try swapping your disposable plastic items for reusable ones like using a wooden dish brush instead of a plastic sponge.
Choose to buy local and organic produce. When you shop locally you are reducing the amount of emissions it takes to get produce from other countries. It takes energy to keep produce cool during transportation.
Unplug all electronics. When your charger is plugged in it still uses up energy even if you aren’t charging anything. This is what we call, “vampire power.” According to the Guardian, vampire power is responsible for using up to $19 billion in electricity every year.
Choose Energy Star products. Appliances, electronics and equipment can use up a ton of energy in your home. Try switching to certified products that reduce how much energy they use.
Make sure your home's energy is efficient. This can be as simple as changing your light bulbs to light emitting diodes (LEDS). They may cost a bit more than the old incandescent lightbulb but they're worth the investment because they use only ¼ of the energy and last a lot longer.
Break up with fast fashion. Making new clothing takes up a lot of natural resources and is sent straight to the landfill most of the time. To illustrate, there is “over 15 million tons of textile waste.” Instead try to buy used clothing or from a sustainable brand.
Use the cold setting when washing your clothes. You can save 500 pounds of carbon dioxide by using cold water instead of hot water that is heated and takes energy. Then try dry hanging your clothes after to save electricity!
Cut back on traveling by car or plane. Did you know you can save 2.04 tonnes of C02 every year by going car free? Try taking the bus or go electric! Planes also emit a lot of emissions so try taking less trips.
Some of these tips are easier and take less investment than others. Try starting with the ones you can do right now like unplugging your electronics or reducing your waste or meat intake. Then you can save up for the bigger changes! Here’s to our future!