Having had an understanding of what the carbon footprint is in the previous article, it is of the next necessity to employ steps to reduce it in order to mitigate climate change.
To be able to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s pretty obvious that you must first, know what your footprint measures, or at least be able to calculate it.
Understanding your Carbon Footprint.
While using the carbon calculator is a good start, you must look at your lifestyle, taking into account several areas of your life. Are clean energy user, do you burn lots of fossil fuels to achieve your comfort? These areas include your:
Home energy consumption. How much electricity, natural gas, and other fuels do you use and what are their sources?
Waste production. How much waste do you produce, and how do you dispose or manage them? Do you recycle, or recycle or send them to landfill/incineration?
Diet. The types of food you eat and where you source it from can play a central role in your overall carbon footprint. The more energy-intensive it is to produce and ship your food, the worse for the environment it generally is.
Travel. Your footprint will vary depending on whether or not you have car/motorbike, as well as how often you use it. Similarly, your use of public transport contributes. Any flights you take also need accounting for, as these contribute significantly.
Shopping habits. one factor is how often you purchase new products such as electronics, household goods and clothing. The lifespan of these items, as well as where and how they’re produced, can play a role in your carbon emissions.
Now that we’ve got a more detailed understanding of carbon emissions and climate change, let’s look at some ways to reduce your carbon footprint
Tips on Reducing Carbon Footprint
+ Think Green, Go Green. This step largely covers actions needed to reduce you carbon cycle. It broadly involves switching to cleaner, renewable energy, purchasing sustainable items and from sustainable companies, reducing waste production, and implementing the 3R’s of sustainability: reduce, reuse, recycle.
+ Minimize energy consumption. Insulate your home, use energy saving and efficient appliance and turn off the lights in daytime and appliances, when not in use
+ Switch to renewables. By switching to electricity provided from solar, wind, or hydroelectric energy, you can reduce your household emissions and save money on your energy bills. Replace generators with solar panel (there is even a bonus on noise pollution)
+ Change your diet
The food we eat can have a significant impact on the environment. Meat and dairy products require a lot of land, water and energy to produce, and also create a lot of methane; food shipped from overseas uses a lot more resources. It is thus advised to eat more local foods.
+ Eliminate single-use plastic. No doubt, single-use plastics may be convenient; however, they’re fairly dreadful for the environment. Not only do they pollute our waterways and oceans, but they also require energy to produce and recycle.
+ Raise awareness. Be it in your school, work, home, or community; always enlighten people on the issues of climate change and carbon footprint. Do not assume they already know, best believe, they actually don’t. Awareness is just as important and is one with reducing carbon footprint. Things like school projects and fundraising events can help to educate students, their families and people around about the importance of protecting the environment.
Other tips include: composting, going digital, reducing travel contributions by: using public transports more often, cycling or walking short distances, using direct flights, contributing to fundraising projects on sustainability, amongst others.
The human species and earth is at the brink of disaster, with possibilities of an end. These steps are actions are effortlessly easy to implement, yet they collectively go a long way. Whether in school, work, or at home, it’s time to turn the wheels to sustainability, it’s time to take action, it’s time to reduce our carbon footprint.