An easy but effective way to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce the amount of driving you do. Instead, walk, ride your bike, or take public transportation. You can also abide by the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle to limit the amount of waste you’re putting into landfills. Growing your own food or buying local is another way to remove the environmental costs of food transportation.
There’s so much you can do in a lot of facets in your life, and the best part is is that you can do so without completely revolutionizing your lifestyle or making serious sacrifices. As pauleen said, transportation is a biggie, and if you can commute to work by bus, subway, train, bicycle, foot, etc., you should, or see if you have coworkers who you could carpool with. Stop buying bottled water and instead just use tap water in a reusable bottle. Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store. Buy local food and reduce your food miles. Look into alternate energy for your home. There’s so much you can do, and this site has loads of tips!
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to eat food that is low on the food chain. According to the citation below, “it takes nearly 10 times as much fossil fuel to produce animal protein,” when taking into account the amount of resources (food, water, land) to raise livestock for human consumption. This means eating less meat, especially red meat, and eating other protein rich foods like legumes.
Start by taking a week or two to evaluate your carbon footprint. You can use a website like http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/ to determine what your current carbon footprint is and then decide what areas of your daily living you can and/or want to change. You can even make it a “contest” and give yourself a goal as to how much you want to decrease your carbon footprint in 2 months, then recheck it and see how close you got. Then give yourself a prize! When I was a kid my mom would have us look at the graph of our electricity use that came on the bill and then challenge us to see if we could make it lower for the next bill. If we were able to get the graph lower she would put the money we saved aside into a “vacation” account.
You can also replace everyday products such as deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste with those that are much more sustainable and ‘carbon-neutral’: http://www.carbonfootprint360.com/.
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