How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
If you are like most people then want to do your part to reduce you carbon footprint and help clean up the environment. But I have found that most of you do not make the effort mainly because you are unsure as to exactly how to reduce your carbon footprint.
I often find it easier to first understand where all of this carbon is coming from before getting too caught up how many tons of carbon dioxide you are responsible for producing each year. In fact, there are too many sources of carbon dioxide to cover them all but we can touch on the bigger and most important ones.
By far the largest producer of carbon dioxide is from the burning of fossil fuels. Most people think in terms of oil and gasoline but there are others to consider as well such as coal. In the U.S. the burning of coal generates 70% of all electricity used to power homes.
You might also be amazed at how many products are made using petroleum or oil. The list is huge and includes so many things that you would probably never even think of like anything plastic, balloons, candles, car tires, deodorant, and even the clothes on your back.
So I would like to give you my four best ways to cut down on your carbon generation while still keeping your clothes on your back.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with an Energy Efficient Home
Everyone is familiar with all of the gas guzzler cars, SUVs, and trucks out there but you might be surprised to learn that your home is a far bigger energy hog than you vehicle. So if you want to make a bigger difference you might want to invest first into making your home more energy efficient rather than getting a newer energy efficient car.
Even though your home itself may not be emitting carbon the way you can picture that your car does, rest assured that the energy you are using is still responsible for releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide. The only difference is that the carbon dioxide is being released at the power plant instead of at your home.
Another benefit to making your home more energy efficient is that it is one of least expensive ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Unlike buying a new car, you do not need to spend tens of thousands of dollars. There are many low cost ways such as…
- Add additional insulation to your attic.
- Switch to Compact Fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs.
- Seal all air links in your A/C ducts, doors, and windows.
- Use a programmable thermostat.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Renewable Energy
Keeping with the same train of thought, once you have made your home much more energy efficient, the next logical step is to start using renewable energy sources to reduce your homes power consumption.
Many people argue the high costs associated with wind and solar power systems but today there are many much more affordable alternatives. Many people are building their own systems for pennies on the dollar compared to the professional ones.
What makes renewable energy so attractive is that it produces no carbon at all making it a great way to put a major dent in your carbon emission. Plus you get the added bonus of saving money in the process.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Buying Local
Most people do not consider the food they eat as contributing to climate change. But consider that the average fruit or vegetables must travel 1,500 mile from the field to your dinner table. Think about how much fuel that requires. And if you eat organic like me, then your food is most likely transported from all over the world which makes it even worse.
Also, think about all of the packaging used with our food today. All of the packaging is created out of petroleum products. This means that they all are responsible for emitting carbon dioxide and adding to your carbon footprint.
One of the best things you can do is to support your local farmers and buy local produce and meat. It is easy to find a local farmers market in just about any area. Not only will it help support your local community, your food will only have to travel a few miles to get to your plate.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Transportation
Once you have your home running more efficiently, you should then consider the carbon emission from your car because it is still a major contributor. It should go without saying that the lower the gas mileage the more carbon dioxide a car produces.
It used to be that the only fuel efficient vehicles were the tiny and slow as a snail cars which are just not practical for many considering space and towing needs. But today is a different story. With the advances in hybrid technology, they are now producing hybrid SUVs and trucks that still have all of the necessary space and towing capacity but with much better gas mileage.
Although hybrids are more expensive, it is estimated that you a hybrid will save you 16,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and over $3,500 a year.
But even if a hybrid is not right for you there are others ways to save both money and carbon. You can try using alternative transportation such as a bus system or even carpool to and from work.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Using Recycled Products
One of the latest trends in the world is to make everything more convenient and cheap. This has in turn started the idea to make everything disposable. Everyone would agree that disposable is much more convenient but unfortunately it comes with a price.
Aside from the fact that landfills are becoming packed full of plastic bottles and the like, all of these disposable items contribute to carbon emission. And the more we use them, the more we make, and the more carbon dioxide we produce.
However, there are a few ways that you can make an impact. You can start by purchasing recycled products instead of brand new ones. This will also help keep all of this garbage out of the landfills. Today you can get just about everything recycled from paper towels to printer ink.
Or you can even take it to the next level and get rid of some of your disposable items altogether. Instead of using paper towels, use cloth towels which you can easily wash. Not only will this save you money but it will save you a good chunk of carbon.
Now that you know how to reduce your carbon footprint you can start thinking about the numbers. Consider the fact that the average American generates around 22 tons of carbon dioxide each year. And just to put this amount into perspective, the world average is only 6 tons.
So it should go without saying that every single one of us has our work cut out for us.
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