If you have been considering reducing your carbon footprint or looking into ways you can live more eco-friendly, then it is worth bearing in mind that even the smallest swaps can be beneficial. It is all about making sustainable changes that you can follow through with the day after and to be consistent in your efforts and not be allured by the throwaway culture that the West has become renowned for.
When looking at what your carbon footprint is made up of, it is a collection of activities you do in your life and are created to fulfil a need that causes greenhouse gases to be expelled into the environment. Or simply put your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air by your actions. In many cases, a lot of this carbon dioxide can be counterbalanced or reduced by making small changes to your lifestyle.
While there are no best ways to become eco-friendly, all changes matter, there are some suggestions that can help you get started on the right track to reducing your carbon footprint at home and in life when out and about.
Reuse and Recycle
Reallocating things you don’t need as opposed to simply throwing them away will help you reduce your waste and have a huge impact on your local environment. Head to Pinterest to see how everyday household objects can be reutilised into different things around the home or garden.
If you have to buy new, consider opting for recycled furniture such as recycled plastic garden furniture that is made from other items that have been previously discarded or become unfit for purchase. If you have no use for an item be it furniture or clothing at all then donating to local charity shops or organisations will be able to find a use for items instead just throwing them away.
Using less energy around the home such as gas, electricity and water will not only save on your bills but also benefit the environment too. Add layers to your home to reduce heat escaping through doors and windows but adding rugs to hard flooring, curtains over windows and doors and adding blankets and cushions to rooms where people like to sit and relax.
Collect water in water butts or tanks to use for tasks such as watering plants, washing the car etc. Taking showers over bath can help you to conserve water as will avoiding washing dishes under running water and as dishes become finished with. Lower the temperature on your thermostat to reduce heating bills and try to set a timer so as not to waste heat on an empty home or when it isn’t needed.
By swapping your shopping habits to more local stores and sellers, you can reduce the impact your purchase has thanks to reducing the travel time of products to you. Another benefit of shopping local is that you are supporting smaller businesses and putting back into the economy and your local area too. From shopping at local greengrocers and butchers to local creators and coffee shops.
How You Travel
Not everyone can afford to swap their car for a more eco-friendly model but reducing how often you travel by car or even car sharing can cut your carbon footprint dramatically over the course of a year. Going on foot for shorter journeys is more economical for the environment and your finances. If you still need to take car journeys look closely at how you drive and lay off the gas a little bit. Drive slower, ease into your speeds and cut down on how much you use your car’s heating and air conditioning system too.
Change Your Diet
Food can travel many miles before it reaches our plates. While thoughts are still changing on what constitutes a more eco-friendly diet, it is still widely considered that a vegan diet is the best diet to follow. Failing this, vegetarian and pescatarian diets are better for the environment than a carnivorous diet.
Reducing your meat intake, especially red meat is also a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. This is partly due to the processes involved in getting red meat to your plate and due to the grazing habits of cows and the amount of methane gas they produce.
Shopping at local farms for your potatoes, fruits, vegetables and eggs will also help reduce your food mileage and impact how much of a mark you leave on the world due to your lifestyle.