Looking after the environment and being passionate about climate change is something that we hear about often. For some people, they are just starting out on their green adventure, and are bound to have a lot of questions. How can I reduce my carbon footprint? What ways can I reduce my energy consumption? While countries and nations as a collective have a duty to monitor their carbon footprint, as individuals, we also have an important role. If you are finding yourself in the position where you are wondering what more you can do, or simply beginning on your journey to becoming a greener individual, read on! We have collated some helpful and easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint and to slow down the effects of climate change.
Switch to Renewable Energy
Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have seen that renewable energy sources are on the rise. The number of wind farms have increased drastically in the United States over the last few years, providing an estimated 7.3% of the country’s electricity. While for some the switch to a renewable energy source seems difficult, it is easier than you think. For most people in the country, you possess the ability to choose which company provides the energy to your home. Switching to a green energy provider will help to reduce the number of carbon emissions that are created by producing energy; green energy creates almost no emissions and can actually improve air quality. There is little to no risk of wind ever running out – unlike that of fossil fuels, where experts suggest there are only resources to power another 10-15 years – so what else are you waiting for?!
Buy Clothes Second Hand
With plenty of vintage styles making a comeback, you don’t have to worry about looking un-stylish with this suggestion. There are thousands of thrift shops across the country, providing high-end labels for low prices. Buying clothes second hand will not only save you a bit of money but will also lower your carbon emissions. Purchasing clothes from thrift shops and other related places reduces the impact on the environment that fast fashion has. It is estimated that around 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon are produced every year from businesses such as these, as a result of the production and shipping worldwide via airplanes.
Consider Green Travel
The first and most obvious suggestion here, drive your car less! Gas-fueled cars are some of the biggest contributors towards the global carbon footprint. Worldwide, individuals are encouraged by non for profits and governments to travel in a greener way. This could include car-sharing, public transport, cycling and walking. Places like the Netherlands have the highest number of bicycles per capita, while Copenhagen is the most bicycle-friendly city in the world. Swapping four wheels for two is a great way of reducing your carbon footprint and improving your health. Not only will cycling have a positive impact on your health, but also on your wallet; you won’t be filling up that tank as often after spending hours in traffic on the freeway! Discover more about cycling for adults, children, and commuters, and more about the benefits that cycling could have for you, by reading blogs written by cycling-fans, including that by Velosurance.
Make Food Swaps
Shopping locally are the words on everyone’s tongue now, particularly as local shops have felt the brunt of the pandemic a lot. Whether it be for food or other purchases, shopping locally will help drastically improve and reduce your carbon footprint. Buying groceries at a local farmer’s market, rather than a local grocery store, will not only help to support the farmer but also provide you with delicious and local produce. Most farmer’s markets will be selling what is in season, so it is guaranteed to taste its very best! Furthermore, reducing the amount of red meat that you are consuming, will also have a positive impact on the number of carbon emissions that you are producing. The processing of red meat produces an extortionate amount of carbon, which is then trapped in the atmosphere of the Earth for over 100 years. Not ideal.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The infamous R words: a simple yet effective way of reducing your carbon footprint, and how much carbon you are producing. Whether it is heading to your favorite coffee shop with a reusable cup or ensuring that you take your reusable bags with you while shopping. Reusing items rather than buying single-use plastics will make a world of difference over time. For a start, the reusable items will be safely tucked away in your home, whereas single-use plastics will just end up in a landfill. Once the reusable items have reached the end of their shelf life, then is the time to recycle them and to purchase a new one. Remembering these three important words, will help to drastically reduce your carbon emissions, and to help on the journey of combatting climate change and living a greener lifestyle.