Tear Your Carbon Footprint in Half in 2021
The messages of doom and gloom around climate change can seem to drown us. Yet a positive message can also inspire – that individuals can have a personal impact on reducing their CO2 emissions. We can adapt to the expected impacts of climate change by considering our own contribution to the problem. This will help the environment more than waiting for governments or industry to do it for us. The easiest way to save energy is to simply turn off the lights and electricity when you’re not using them. This may seem trivial, but there are a lot of people who don’t follow this rule. In fact, last year, Americans used a few hundred extra kilowatt-hours during the summer months even though they were described as the most violent and deadly days in decades. Are you ready to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021?
The easiest way to discover your carbon footprint.
Your carbon footprint can be broken down into two parts: The first is your direct energy use, which includes energy consumed in your home and car, as well as industrial operations that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; and The second part is indirect energy use, which consists of everything else that you do not directly consume but which contributes to climate change through an undermining of the environment or the use of natural resources in ways that are incompatible with health or prosperity. Your direct footprint may be small — the amount of electricity you use at home or what fuel you use to get to work might not seem like a lot, but when considered in total it adds up to a lot of greenhouse gasses. But there’s hope! The good news is that we can all work on reducing our carbon footprint and still enjoy a great lifestyle. We’re lucky enough as Canadians to have the technological tools needed to reduce our impact on the environment. Between smart appliances, driving private cars less and using public transportation more — as well as investing in renewable energy sources — we can make an impact on our planet while enjoying what we do have.
We all have a responsibility to take care of our planet and its resources, so what better way to start then to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021. It’s no secret that some of the largest companies in the world are seriously hurting the environment by polluting our skies and taking advantage of poor people around the world. It’s time we take a stand and reduce our carbon footprint by making simple changes to our daily lives. Climate change will only get worse unless we take action now. It’s time for you to get creative…get outside, plant a tree, get in touch with nature. There’s so much you can do to reduce your carbon footprint without even thinking about it.
Small changes can make a big difference and you can easily tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021. Here are some of the easiest ways you can help protect the planet through your day-to-day actions
What you eat can tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021
- Eat Less Meat. Here’s a way to help the planet stay livable: Eliminate beef and pork from your diet for a week. Seriously consider making this pledge to end our meat addiction for a week. What does it do? It puts you on a path to better health and lowering your carbon footprint. Eating more diverse and locally sourced meats means eating less meat, which means reducing food waste. Choosing fruits and vegetables means supporting farmers who grow them instead of factory farming. Eating more plants-based food each week is an easy way to take action on climate change and improve the quality of life for present and future generations. It’s also a fun way to help yourself celebrate the diversity and goodness of our global ecosystem. We humans have been eating plants for hundreds of years, ever since humans started domesticating crops to feed their growing numbers. Yet we often don’t consider the impact that plant-based eating has on our global ecosystem. Eating more plants reduces the demand for natural resources such as water, forests, and even air pollution. It reduces the amount of waste we produce while using resources more efficiently. And it makes us healthier: A study found that eating a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems by up to 30 percent. Eat healthy AND tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021!
- Go Organic. Go Local. Eating locally grown foods that are in season reduces these fossil fuel inputs. And because fresh foods are going to spoil more quickly and need to be eaten soon after purchase, eating local helps reduce food waste.
- Food in Bulk is Convenient. Consider purchasing goods such as flour, sugar, oil, eggs, and other multi-material items in bulk and storing them in sealed plastic totes or glass containers. Many consumers are not aware that it is an option to purchase goods in bulk when buying fresh produce at the grocery store. This allows for customers to save the cost of purchasing one product, such as flour, when purchasing several other products containing flour.
- Food Waste is a Problem. We are the Solution. How much food waste do we create in our homes each week? Over half a trillion grams of food are wasted globally each year, according to new research by our team at Ogden, which means that nearly 30% of all the food produced for human consumption does not make it to market. This amounts to nearly 400 pounds of food per person every day — enough to feed more than 300 people. Every day, food waste accounts for more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide—the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming. That’s a lot of waste! So if you can eliminate food waste from your everyday life, it will help slow global warming and save you money. Here are some easy ways to do just that:Plan your meals ahead of time so you don’t throw away good food or microwave meals that will be used later. Use leftovers or food that’s been cooked in the microwave to make salads or wraps for lunches or Thursday dinner. Store unused cooked foods in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Composts food waste, transforming it into nutrient-rich fertilizer. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, put food waste into it. You can also use leftovers from other meals to compost when you have leftovers at home. Composting kitchen waste can help reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans. When plastic enters water, it ends up lodged in animal stomachs or the ocean’s surface where it bloats and becomes part of an array of pollutants
Your Clothes believe it or not can tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021
- Fast Fashion is Killing the Planet. Let’s do something about it. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world (after Big Oil) and generates 17 million tons of global waste each year, which sometimes ends up in landfills where it produces methane as it decomposes. In 2013, the United States alone produced 14.4 million tons of textile trash, which is equivalent to the weight of more than 800 Empire State Buildings and worth approximately $11 billion. Making an effort to buy local isn’t just about supporting small businesses, it’s also about reducing your impact on the environment. When you shop locally, you’re helping reduce carbon emissions since you don’t have to ship your item from far away. What an easy way to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021 right?
- Bargain Shopping for a Cause. Vintage, recycled, or used clothing is an eco-friendly option with a great vintage flair. Consignment shops are slightly different than thrift stores in that the clothes are sold by donation. You may even find it fun to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021 because you can find amazing finds from famous designers such as Chanel or Gucci. The vintage clothing trend has been around for some time now, with newer generations not having the stigma about wearing used items that previous generations did.
- Cold Wash is the Best Wash. The amount of energy consumed by one tumble in a hot dryer can be used to operate a 100-watt light bulb for 20 hours. Try to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021 by using cold rinse mode, as it’s an energy efficient alternative to hot/warm wash mode that delivers the same great clean clothes.
Shop Small…Live Large to ear your carbon footprint in half in 2021!
- Buy Less. Live More. Buying used clothing and household items is a great way to get a price break and to save money. It’s also one of the most environmentally friendly ways to buy things. Recyclable materials aren’t bio-degradable, meaning they’re disposed of in a way that doesn’t add to the pollution problem we have in our planet. If you’re going to buy everything new, though, it might be best to focus on the first two categories: Buy less and make sure it’s reusable or recyclable. Then when you do buy something new, make sure it’s something you can keep using over and over again.
- Buy a Green Bag. Save the Planet. Plastic bags have become the most visible symbol of unnecessary consumption. Switching to reusable shopping bags is an easy and beneficial action that everyone can take. Bags are available at stores across the country. Consider bringing your own bag next time you go shopping.
- Packaging is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Packaging can be an easy way to reduce waste and reduce carbon dioxide emissions—if it weren’t for the fact that it also prevents you from taking advantage of better pricing. When choosing packaging materials, look for materials that are recyclable or biodegradable. Recyclable packaging materials are made from materials such as cornstarch, which is easy to break down and rebuild into new products. Biodegradable packaging materials can be used over and over again, making them better for the environment—and cheaper for consumers as well.
- Turn to a Laptop for Your Desktop Computer Needs These Days. Most people prefer a desktop computer at home because they don’t want to be limited when using their computers. However, if you’re going to buy a computer, it is more energy efficient to choose a laptop over a desktop.
- Support Sustainable Business. It’s become increasingly important to buy goods and services that are responsible for the environment. Many consumers are aware of the link between consumption and a greener planet, but many don’t realize how much impact they can have on helping accomplish that goal. You can help support companies that are making an effort to readjust our economic structure, and you can purchase products made from materials that are sustainably grown or produced.
Home is the base of everything to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021
- Make your home more energy efficient. For an energy audit, identify the major energy users in your home and do simple calculations to determine how much energy you use in a year. This will show you where your biggest energy drains are. You can then try to improve your comfort and lower bills by lowering the usage of major items.
- Save the planet, one bulb at a time. LEDs replace incandescent light bulbs because they are capable of using more of the electricity supply. Before LED lighting became popular, energy was used to power lamps which burned either gas or oil. Now that we have renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, we should replace incandescent lamps with LED lamps. Not only do they use 90 percent less energy, but they also last up to 25 times longer — the equivalent of turning on a full fire department when you run an apartment building. A quick fix to help tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021 is switching your light bulbs!
- Use Power Wisely. Did you know that green is for accomplishing things, tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021. Shiny objects, like gadgets, are usually associated with good. In the same vein, using electronics to save your life is good. It saves us from harmful exposure to harmful materials like lead, mercury, and arsenic. Modern technology has made it so that we have nearly power-free access to almost everything. There is almost nothing we can’t accomplish with technological aid. However, it is easy to be led astray by shiny objects, as easily impressed by their technology. There is much more to conservation than just having lights turned down when you leave the room. Living simply, with as little waste as possible, uses up more resources than simply having more gadgets. Each one of us knows that using gadgets not only saves us time but also money, but it is easy to forget how much harmful chemicals these gadgets can pose. For this reason, it is important that we are educated on the proper use of electronics as well as the environmental damage they can cause. Do more research on products your using to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021.
- 120˚F – Turn Down Your Water Heater. By turning down the thermostat on your water heater to 120˚F instead of 140˚F, you could be saving yourself about 400 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. That’s almost 100 gallons of gasoline!
- Green Your Shower. Do you live with a pet or have a young child? It’s time to start thinking about shower heads. Low-flow showers use less water than their 1.5 gallon counterparts, save you money on hot water, and may even help reduce greenhouse gasses. The National Weather Service has reported that New York City experienced a record-breaking 6.8 inches of rain in one 24-hour period. That’s 2.2 gallons of water displaced every minute! That’s enough to power 1,200 average American homes for a weekend! That’s not a lot to ask to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021.
- Think about your heating and cooling. When you’re trying to cool off in the summer, there are a number of ways you can reduce the temperature. Lower the thermostat in your home and use heat packs or AC systems that work on a timer. Start to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021 by using fans vs air conditioners to help circulate cool air throughout your home. Turn off the lights when you’re not at home. On hot days, try to avoid spending time in enclosed spaces where there is air conditioning.
Driving a better way to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021
We are all aware that transportation has an impact on our planet. Whether you realize it or not, each day we drive something that has been made in China, Japan or some other country that doesn’t care about its impact on the environment. Whether this is a car, plane or train we are using transport services that travel through forests, through oceans and over bedrock. These things are made with the aid of fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal that we have mined, burnt and deposited into our atmosphere. Transportation accounts for 17% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. But how can you become more sustainable? There are steps you can take daily to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021 as well as products that can help with the task.
- Driving. Walk or bike to your destination, when possible. This not only reduces CO2 emissions, it also keeps traffic congestion down and prevents vehicles from having to idle. Not to mention the fresh air and beautiful walk you may get to enjoy! What a wonderful way to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021.
- A Better Way to Drive. Use your cruise control, maintain a “steady” speed, and use just the right amount of gas pedal: Too much means wasting fuel while going downhill; too little means having to rev up the gas again to make it up the next hill. Pay attention to how you’re driving and that will help tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021.
- Car Care. From You. You may be surprised by how much excess weight you’re carrying. Carrying extra weight can decrease your gas mileage by as much as seven percent. The more efficiently you run the vehicle, the better your gas mileage will be. Make sure all of your tires are properly inflated. To make this easy, use a tire gauge to check the tire pressure at least once a month. If a tire isn’t fully inflated when you drive it, your gas mileage can drop by around one percent for every five pounds of pressure that’s lacking.
- No more A/C. Air conditioning uses energy. That means it produces tons of greenhouse gasses that cause global warming, as well as other pollutants that lead to smog and acid rain. So, try to limit your driving, and use less AC when you drive.
- Combine Errands, Drive Less. Do you ever find yourself driving from place to place doing lots of little errands around town? If done one after the other, this can be a burden on your car. It also means increased use of gas and more money you have to spend on it. However, if you combine these small errands into just a few trips, you might be able to avoid spending a lot of fuel and money. Simple things like this will easily tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021!
- Go Electric. Save Money. Go Further. Cars manufactured in 2013 emitted an average of 229 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven, up from 186 grams in 2010. By comparison, diesel-powered cars only emit 148 grams per kilometer, according to a European Environmental Agency report . When taking into account the entire life cycle of the vehicle, electric cars have a lower carbon footprint than diesel vehicles or conventional gasoline vehicles.
- Flying. While flying can be convenient, flying comes with some significant environmental costs. First off, it’s hazardous to the environment. Even short-term flying (not including transit) can significantly affect temperatures in your area, causing powerful ice storms or widespread power outages. Environmental damage also comes from wasted fuel and maintenance due to cancellations and delays caused by weather. So try to avoid flying or drive if possible for shorter trips, to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021.
- Nonstop flying. By flying nonstop, you could tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021. It’s an easy way to enjoy a rewarding lifestyle while saving money for the future. Unfortunately, flying requires lots of prep work and can be far more expensive than just driving a car. The good news is that you don’t have to do any of this work and save any money once you arrive. Buying a ticket for a nonstop flight also saves time since there isn’t any waiting at the airport.
- Try economy flights. Consider your trip when making your purchase. Choose economy class. Business Class can be responsible for three times the emissions as economy because in economy, the flight’s carbon emissions are shared among more people. Most travelers think about how the airline will prepare their aircraft for takeoff and landings. But what they seldom consider is how they will manage the aircraft once they are airborne. Carbon emissions from aircraft engines are contained within those same aircraft. Therefore, reducing greenhouse gases from aircraft is an important way to reduce human-caused climate change while increasing the life of the planet.
So there you go. There’s a bunch of way to tear your carbon footprint in half in 2021!