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15 Ways to Go Green and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Going green, reducing your carbon footprint, and maybe even saving a bit of money while we do all of that sounds magical.

If you want to lighten your carbon footprint and live a greener and more environmentally conscious lifestyle; this post if for you.

We are going to cover 15 actionable ways you can go green and reduce your footprint starting today. Let’s start off with the first on the list…


  1. Ride a Bike to Close Locations (and far)

Do you still have that rusty ‘ol bike laying around that you always try to find an excuse to ride but never do?

Here’s the perfect excuse to use it! Ride your bike to the store down the street, to work, or even your grandparents that live a few miles away. Riding a bike is not only green, but it’s also a great way to save money on gas and improve your health.


  1. No bike? Carpool!

Don’t have a bike, or not in a situation in which it’s feasible to bike anywhere? How about trying to carpool or even take a bus when you can.

Coordinating it last minute can be hard; so you must have a plan of when and where you will carpool and with whom. It’s also a great way to have some company on your ride!


  1. Install some solar panels

Have some extra money and willing to make the investment in solar panels? They can be an awesome way to reduce your carbon footprint simply by generating and using clean energy. On top of that; you could even start making money from your solar panels if you make more than you use.


  1. Keep your lights off when not in use

If you aren’t in a room, do yourself and the earth a favor by quickly turning them off. It takes a second, and the wasted light is eating up energy that didn’t have to be used otherwise. Although it seems like a small change, it can seriously add up over time.


  1. Use a lighting dimmer

While you are in a room and need the light, how about installing a lighting dimmer to dim the lights down to how much you actually need. Contrary to popular belief, dimmer switches really do save energy. Instead of having your light going at 100% capacity while it’s on, putting it down to even 75% can produce great energy savings.


  1. Cut down on your meat consumption

While the benefits of not eating meat are great regarding your health, did you know that to produce one pound of meat it takes up to 2,400 gallons of water? That’s right, more water then you will consume in one sitting that’s for sure.

Cutting down just one meat meal a week, popularly chosen as “meatless monday,” is an awesome and very healthy way to reduce water waste.


  1. Microwave halfway

A lot of people don’t like microwaved food because to be quite honest; it typically comes out soft and squishy.

For those that don’t like food this way, try microwaving your food for a few minutes and then place it in the oven. This way, most of the hard work is done by the microwave in a shorter amount of time but you still get your food cooked as if it were in the oven the entire time.


  1. Unplug things when not in use

Believe it or not, things that are plugged in even while off still use up energy. Energy continues to flow through electronics the entire time they are plugged into an active outlet.

By unplugging devices when not in use, you can save energy (small amounts, but still saving). This is just another small step to being green and reducing your carbon footprint, but these small things really do add up!


  1. Buy a laptop over a desktop

Laptops are known to use up to 80% less energy then a desktop. How is that? For the simple fact that a laptop is typically only plugged in while it is charging and then unplugged when it’s fully charged. While a desktop is always plugged in sucking up energy.


  1. Switch to LED lights

LED lighting beats all other lighting technology, even including fluorescent and CFL. They can reduce energy usage from your lights by more than 50% depending on your current lighting technology in place. There are just so many reasons LED beats the others, why wouldn’t you want to switch?


  1. Plant 7 trees (or 8)

Don’t plant just one, that’s not enough. Each person, on average, needs around 7-8 trees per year to breathe healthily. By planting 7-8 trees, you are basically, in theory, getting rid of your “breath footprint.” Of course these trees won’t grow big for many years, but it’s better than nothing!


  1. Get rid of spam email

Fighting spam can be tough, and often times a task we don’t want to even bother with. But what if we had another reason to fight it? Well, you do!

While regular email actually produces a much higher carbon footprint than spam does, we can’t really get rid of email (especially since it’s better than paper mail!). But we can, and should, get rid of spam because it does produce a carbon footprint.

Now go fight that spam!


  1. Recycle more

Learning to recycle and how to recycle properly can be a daunting task, especially when there is often no direct benefit to yourself for doing it. But how about just doing it because it’s good for the earth and not as hard as you may think.

Recycling can be as easy as placing a new barrel for recyclables next to your trash and carrying it out when the trash goes out. It really can be that simple!


  1. Buy used when you can

Think about it; do you really need that brand new bike? Or a brand new washer machine? Probably not, often times we will be just as well off if we buy used than if we were to have bought new.

On top of saving used items from hitting the landfills, we can also save a lot of money by buying used items. Sounds like a win, win!


  1. Use less hot water

Often times you don’t really need hot water when you think you do. When washing your dishes or even clothes, hot water is not needed! Typically warm is, at most, all you need. You can even get away with cold water most of the time.



There you have it, 15 actionable ways to go green and reduce your carbon footprint in your home and throughout your life.

Some things on this list may seem small and not impactful, but don’t mistaken them because they all add up together!

Imagine if everyone followed these tips, we’d see a lot of energy savings on a much larger scale. So while the rest of the world catches up, it’s up to you to take the initiative and start reducing your carbon footprint.

Have any other tips for going green and reducing your carbon footprint? Join the discussion and share them in the comments, we’d all love to hear them!

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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