I would argue that what you eat has the greatest impact on your carbon footprint. Becoming vegan is the best way to support the environment, but it is a huge lifestyle change and one that the standard american diet does not currently support. Alot of people love meat and dairy, but environmental reports show that the livestock sector generates more greehouse gas emissions than transportation! Reports have also shown that livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems! Go vegan, if you have not already, and reduce your carbon footprint today!
How you can personally reduce your carbon footprint depends on what you are already doing that you can stop doing. One of the largest sources of carbon dioxide is private motorized transportation, and it could be that you are contributing more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere by driving to work every day than you would be if you left all the lights on in your house during the evening. You can reduce this aspect of your carbon footprint by taking public transportation, getting a smaller car, getting an electric car (and charging it only at night), or bicycling. Bicycling is my personal favorite out of all these options because it is a great way to get exercise and a bicycle is so much easier to maintain than a car.
Even if your job requires you to drive, I recommend using a bicycle for shopping trips and recreational outings. Bicycling for shopping trips also has another environmental advantage: you never forget to take your re-usable bags with you. A good set of pannier bags is a very good investment. I have some that I have been using for well over six years, and I just snap them off my bike and take them into the store with me when I shop. Then, I hand them to the checkout people and ask them to skip the plastic.
As nellieliz4 mentioned, going on a vegan diet can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Commercially farmed animal products can be both harsh on the environment and inhumane on the animals. If you don’t want to give up meat entirely, you may want to choose grass-fed beef or free-range chicken/eggs. Keeping your own chickens for eggs is an even better way to go because they will compost your kitchen scraps for you. Before I got chickens, I used to worry about breaking eggs on my way home, but I have actually never broken a single egg while riding home on my bicycle.
It would be alot easier on anyones lifestyle and habits to start with small actions and work your way up. Turning off all your lights in your house would eventually lead to energy efficient bulbs which would then lead to more efficient home design to liimit the amount of lighting sources used. The most efficient way of lowering your carbon footprint is focus our conscious demand of energy intensive products away towards more efficient means. Instead of constantly buying meat from factory farms, demand meat from your local farmer. Eventually these habits become integrated long term, and the market will have to adopt. All in all make it a team effort; find someone else that can inspire you to adopt a more efficient lifestyle.
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