Reduce car use by using mass transit to get to work, or better still, bike to work. When you do use the car, make sure the tires are inflated properly, and plan trips so you can do multiple errands whenever you’re in the car, so you can park it for a few days before having to drive somewhere again.
Reduce waste in your kitchen. Food that rots in the fridge is a waste of all the energy that went into producing it and getting it to your door. Compost kitchen scraps, recycle everything you can. Kitchen scraps and shredded paper can be composted in a bin, tumbler, or worm bin, where they give off CO2. In a landfill, they give off methane, which is 26 times more heat-trapping than CO2.
Grow some of your own food. I live in an apartment, and grow about 1/4 of the vegetables we eat in a balcony farm, using window boxes and Smart Pots for growing vegetables. Vegetables grown organically in your own back yard have a minimal carbon footprint, and there’s nothing fresher than right off the plant.
The web pages below have information on container vegetable gardening and creating a worm composting system:
The easiest way is to change day-to-day living habits that affect water and food consumption, as well as energy use. Below are some articles that offer a multitude of small changes to behaviors that directly or indirectly affect the environment. Many of these are small easy tasks to incorporate, and their effects can easily stack up and greatly reduce your carbon footprint.
Try not to waste energy. For example, don’t leave your heat on at 80 degrees all day if nobody will be home. Also, turn computers off whenever possible and take advantage of your windows. Unless it is a very dim day outside, you probably can get by using the light that shines through your windows. When it comes time to replace an old appliance, there are plenty of them that now have the Energy Star logo on them, meaning that they are relatively energy efficient.
Limit airplane travel, aviation uses an extraordinarily amount of energy in fuel and in processing that fuel. Trains are a great way to get around on a low-carbon diet.
Also limit your use of packaging. So much CO2 is emitted in products and in the packaging of that product.
Calculate your carbon footprint using the calculator on the Nature Conservancy site below. As you are answering questions, examine your answers to see what you can change.
As mentioned above you should definitely refer to changing day-to-day living habits. Not allowing the water to run when it is not in use, creating a compost pile and using alternative means of transportation to get somewhere, all of these changes are very small, but can reduce your carbon footprint significantly.
In addition to the excellent above suggestions, I would just reinforce the idea that reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to mean drastic changes. Starting small can sometimes be a lot easier yet still make a big difference. Little things like unplugging charging devices and “vampire” electronics when you’re not using them (laptops, TVs, phone chargers, etc), washing your clothes with cold water, and buying locally and sustainably produced groceries all would help. As a last resort, you can also purchase carbon offsets, which the donations to support projects that reduce carbon emissions (link below).
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