20 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

A carbon footprint is historically defined as “the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an [individual, event, organisation, product] expressed as CO2e.” Greenhouse gases (GHGs) can be emitted through transport, land clearance, and the production and consumption of food, fuels, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, and services. For simplicity of reporting, it is often expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide, or its equivalent of other GHGs, emitted. wikipedia

Ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Plant trees as often as you can

The most efficient way to help the environment is to plant trees. Not only do they consume CO2, but they provide oxygen, shade, food and a natural habitat for birds and other wildlife. You can plant trees yourself or support these green initiatives: Greenpop, Precious Tree Project, Trees for Tourism, Food & Trees for Africa.

Rethink; reduce, reuse, recycle

Before purchasing something, ask yourself: “do I really need this?” and “is there a better and healthier alternative?”. Shop with awareness, paying attention to how items are packaged. Reuse and upcycle what you can instead of throwing it away. Recycling uses less energy and saves more resources than the energy that is required to produce it in the first place, like drilling for oil (which is used to make plastic) or cutting down trees.

Install a water filter system at home

Investing in a home water filtration system can eliminate or radically reduce your demand for bottled water which will in turn reduce your carbon footprint. The bottled water industry comes with a large footprint caused by its packaging and supply chain.

Start your own organic garden

Growing your own veggies at home has all sorts of green benefits like no transportation or packaging carbons, as well as healthier produce where you control what fertilizes and protects your garden. There are few things as rewarding as harvesting your own homegrown, healthy and tasty food, promise!

Compost at home

Composting your food waste keeps wet waste out of landfills. It also feeds your garden and will help to create strong, healthy plants and nutrient-rich produce.

Support & buy local

By buying produce & products that are grown and made locally you not only reduce the transport related environmental impact, but you also keep the money within your community!

Eat in-season produce

Out of season produce comes with a hefty fuel related price tag in order to get it from where it is in-season to where it is being consumed.

Reduce meat & dairy consumption

Animal agriculture contributes significantly to today`s most serious environmental problems like destruction of tropical rain forests, soil erosion, dwindling reserves of fresh water, land, fuel and other resources. Join the Meat Free Mondays movement.

Plan your route before driving

Combining errands means fewer trips up and down all over the show. Plan your route before you get in the car and save time and energy, and cut down on air-pollution.

Carpool

One of the best things you can do is to join a lift-club to get to work and back. This way you reduce the number of cars on the road and the air-pollution that goes hand in hand with it.

Switch to clean, renewable energy

The cost of solar and other renewable technologies are making this eco option a “no-brainer”.

Switch off geysers

Switching off the geyser after use immediately cuts down your electricity usage and can save you a bundle on utility bills.

Unplug appliances that are not in use

Appliances such as phone chargers, computers, lights, hairdryers etc. can consume a significant amount of power, even when they are switched off.

Switch to LED

LED bulbs are more expensive but they last even longer than the compact fluorescent light bulbs and don’t contain the highly dangerous mercury.

Invest in energy-efficient home appliances

Make energy efficiency a primary consideration when choosing a new fridge, dishwasher, washing machines, air conditioning units etc. to save energy and other resources like water.

Take a shower

Taking a shower uses about 1/5 of the energy compared to taking a bath. Keeping your shower to 5 minutes or less uses less water. Installing a “low flow” shower head will also limit the amount of water usage.

Opt for a laptop rather than desktop

Laptops can use up to 80% less energy than a desktop.

Install ceiling fans

Using ceiling fans instead of air conditioning is a great way to way to cut down carbon dioxide emissions, and save money.

Switch to electronic mail and news updates

 It takes a little bit of effort from your side to update your preferences, but is well worth it. Receive your bills and other account statements directly in your inbox, read the newspaper online, cancel all other junkmail subscriptions and cut down your paper trail.

Travel responsibly; choose green & eco-friendly accommodation

Such establishments will have climate-friendly practices in place ranging from proper waste management to sustainable energy acumen, water-wise practices, green cleaning, organic food gardens and more.

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Posts by the lovetostay.co.za collective.