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Reducing Our Carbon Footprint One Step at a Time

Messages of going green, reducing our carbon footprint and leading more eco-friendly lives seem to be found just about everywhere these days. The information overload can be extremely confusing to newcomers of green living, but it is important to remember that no matter the conservation message, the main ideas are always consistent – use less or not at all and always reuse and recycle.

It is even possible to maintain a zero-waste home, but taking baby steps can lead to the greatest success. A person’s carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere because of a person’s actions. Leading research shows this is contributing to climate change and leading to detrimental consequences for the Earth, but there are many things individuals can do to counteract and/or reduce daily damage. The following 10 ways are a superb starting point for a more eco-friendly home.


thrift_store - reduce carbon footprint1. BUY WITH A PURPOSE

  • Become more conscious of all purchases and only buy what is needed or what will be completely used. Become mindful of how items are stored and what will be done with things when they are no longer in use.
  • Buy second hand at thrift stores, garage sales, or other opportunities available in the local area.
  • Repurpose old or broken items before tossing things in the trash.



  • Utilize cloth grocery bags instead of getting new plastic bags each trip.
  • Use reusable coffee mugs and water bottles.
  • Stop buying bottled water all together.
  • Use food items such as coconut oil, baking soda, or vinegar for household and beauty uses.



  • The shorter the distance food has to travel from farm to table, the better it is for the environment.
  • Eat fresh and reduce the amount of processed foods consumed looking for foods with the least amount of packaging.
  • Organize shopping trips to maximize gas mileage.


garden - reduce carbon footprint4. GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN/FOOD

  • Help the natural environment by picking plants that are indigenous to the area.
  • There are lots of different options for urban and pot gardening to fit all lifestyles.
  • Gardens can not only feed families but are natural ecosystems and a brilliant addition to any landscape.



  • When major household appliances need to be replaced, look for high efficiency models. Some may even be available for a tax credit.
  • Speak with professionals such as those at Hot Water Sydney with experience in environmentally-friendly systems.



  • Only 1% of the water on Earth is able to be used by human beings. This explains why successfully managing water consumption is of utmost importance.
  • Look for low-flow toilets when it is time to replace old ones and other water-conserving bathroom appliances.
  • Only flush toilet when going #2. If it is pee, let it be.
  • Never let water run while brushing teeth or washing dishes or food.
  • Put a large jug/bottle of water in the tank of the toilet to reduce water waste.
  • Only water gardens and lawns when they need it and look into harvesting rainwater.



  • Cities across the nation are making it easier and easier to recycle. Many municipalities have a one-bag system that negates the need for separating items.
  • Always wash out bottles and plastics before putting into the recycle bag or bin.
  • Always use the trash as a last resort.



  • A compost pile can be used for organic garden fertilizer.
  • Keep kitchen and yard waste out of landfills.
  • Set up a bin or start putting food and yard scraps into a pile in the yard.





  • Unsubscribe from junk mail.
  • Reuse papers for scrap and if one side of a piece of paper is blank, use it for printing.
  • Choose furniture made from recycled or repurposed items.


This is just a short list of the many different ways to lessen carbon footprints created by human consumption. Whether an eco-friendly novice is looking to refine current practices or someone is just beginning in seeking out information on green living, improvements big and small can always be made. When it comes to eco-friendly homes, less is always more and ideas of reducing, reusing, and recycling will forever dominate this topic.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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