THE IMPORTANCE & BENEFITS OF REDUCING THE CARBON FOOTPRINT
Climate change isn’t something for future generations to worry about. Temperatures in July 2021 were the highest ever recorded, with 1.67°F (0.93°C) above the 20th-century average, and part of the problem is the quantity of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The levels of carbon dioxide that gets released every day continue to grow, with severe global effects. While scientists can’t make accurate predictions about what will happen as the carbon levels in the atmosphere continue to grow, it’s safe to say that the sooner we start taking our carbon footprint seriously, the easier it is to make a positive change.
The good news is, your efforts can help you in more than one way. By lowering your carbon footprint, you can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. Not only will you protect the environment, but you can also get a healthier diet, better quality of life, and even less scary energy bills.
10 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Here are ten ways to reduce your carbon footprint to help protect the planet and live a better life. Some of these environment-friendly solutions require a significant change in your life; others are relatively easy to implement and can be used right away to improve your life quality. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Avoid single-use plastic
Five tons of carbon dioxide get released into the atmosphere for every ton of plastic that we create. Plus, single-use plastic pollutes oceans and beaches, threatening marine life and putting thousands of species at risk. The good news is, everyone can contribute to reducing plastic usage with minimum effort.
Cutting down on single-use plastic is a habit you can start developing right away. Simply put, you want to avoid using things like plastic straws, plastic forks and knives, grocery bags, single-use water bottles, coffee cup lids, and take-out containers.
Many governments and international organizations decided to ban single-use plastic, making more brands aware of their products’ impact on the environment. As a consequence, you have sustainable alternatives to make the shift from single-use plastic accessible and affordable. So, your budget won’t suffer if you decide to become a part of this movement.
For example, you can use Tupperware containers, eco-friendly cutlery sets, reusable water bottles that you can refill throughout the day, cloth bags for grocery shopping, sustainable toothbrushes, or reusable coffee cups and travel mugs.
2. Buy local products
Buying food locally reduces food miles, which has multiple advantages. When your food doesn’t need to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get to your table, there’s less fuel consumption, meaning reduced emissions.
At the same time, local producers don’t need to treat the food to survive traveling, which also means they’ll use fewer pesticides and preservatives. With fewer or no chemical products involved, the process required to produce food becomes more environmentally friendly, continuing to influence the community’s carbon footprint directly and indirectly.
And the benefits are more than one. Not only will your food be healthier, but it will also taste better. Furthermore, you get to support the local community and deal with fewer packages, reducing plastic consumption.
3. Eliminate food waste
Another quick way to reduce your carbon footprint is to be more intentional when shopping for food. Plan your meals and only buy what you can eat to avoid filling your fridge with stuff that goes bad before you get a chance to cook it.
Not only will you spend less on groceries, but you can also protect the environment — worldwide, between six and eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from wasting food.
Does it mean you can no longer buy in bulk to save money? Not necessarily. As long as you store food properly and pay attention to expiration dates, you shouldn’t deal with food waste issues.
4. Reduce solid waste
Everything you throw away contributes to a community’s carbon footprint, and that’s because solid waste releases greenhouse gasses once it gets to the landfill, and microbes start breaking it down.
You can donate wearable clothes, recycle anything that can get a second life, and reuse things like containers, bottles, and dispensers. The game-changer here is the packaging. Containers and packaging represent 28% of municipal solid waste, and the easiest way to reduce this number is by paying attention to how products are packed when purchasing.
Moreover, if you’re a business owner, evaluate the opportunities to use recyclable packaging to lower your carbon footprint levels and help your customers reduce theirs, as well.
5. Take good care of your car
According to statistics, your car emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The good news is, you can lower the number if you drive safely and do regular maintenance.
As a general rule, everything that increases gas mileage automatically translates into more CO2 emissions. If you avoid reckless driving, speeding, or unnecessary braking, you can reduce your impact on the environment when you’re in the car. Moreover, by keeping tires inflated correctly, replacing filters periodically, and having all your sensors fixed, you can quickly improve gas mileage and reduce emissions.
If you’re ready to go the extra mile, you can also consider changing your vehicle for a green alternative. Hybrid and electric cars, for example, are known to generate fewer emissions.
6. Drive less when possible
Driving less can reduce your carbon footprint significantly. If you quit your car one day per week and use your bike instead, your CO2 emissions can be 84% lower than if you drive. Sure, it’s not always doable, but you can try to drive less whenever possible. Start with short trips first and gradually build the habit of walking and using a bike as often as possible to move around.
It’s free exercise and can have positive consequences on your well-being. Not only will walking help the planet, but it’ll also improve your move, help you lose weight, and keep you healthier in the long run.
7. Make your home energy-efficient
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, in the long run, is to increase the energy efficiency of your house. Every time a home improvement investment is required, make sure you pick energy-efficient solutions. It can be anything, from insulating your home using environment-friendly materials to replacing your roof and windows.
Besides the environmental impact, you’ll also improve your property’s value, lower your bills, and even get a better deal on your home insurance.
8. Plant trees
Do you have a house with a yard? Evaluate the opportunity of having trees on your property. They’ll provide natural cooling benefits during summer and act as a wind barrier during winter, helping you keep heating and cooling costs down.
As you consume less energy, your carbon footprint level will also become lower. Plus, trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen, providing clean air, comfort, and a healthier climate.
9. Save water
All the processes necessary to bring water into your home consume significant amounts of energy, with consequences on greenhouse emissions. In plain English, the more water you pump and heat, the higher your carbon footprint.
Some easy ways to keep water consumption under control are eliminating leaks, using a water-saving showerhead, and turning off the water when you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. They’re small gestures, but done every day, they can positively impact the environment (and your water bill).
10. HOW HOMEBIOGAS HELP REDUCING CARBON FOOTPRINT
HomeBiogas products help you produce renewable energy on a small scale. While you might not be able to make a 100% shift to renewables due to costs and state regulations, our solutions can help you supply some of the energy you need for your everyday life.
The HomeBiogas system helps people reduce the quantity of waste that ends in the landfill and produce biogas for cooking at home. It’s a digester that allows bacteria to break down organic waste and turn it into energy.
At the same time, the system uses anaerobic digestion of organic matter to produce bio-fertilizer that can be used to support agriculture. You can even cultivate part of your food and reduce food miles.
Our products are designed to serve individuals and small businesses, such as farms or restaurants. It’s a system that encourages you to reduce your carbon footprint with a simple, cost-effective, and efficient solution.
We produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide annually, and the consequences can have a global impact and accelerate climate change. Humanity must understand how everyday activities impact the environment, and people should learn how to reduce their carbon footprint.
Sometimes, the “little things” can significantly contribute to protecting the planet and combating climate change. Some of the things you can do to lower your carbon footprint are:
- Avoid single-use plastic
- Buy local products
- Eliminate food waste
- Reduce solid waste
- Take good care of your car
- Drive less, when possible
- Make your home energy-efficient
- Plant trees
- Save water
- Use renewable energy sources
While we can’t help you with many of the items on the list, we can support some of them and facilitate a shift towards renewable energy. Our HomeBiogas system can help you reduce waste and prevent it from reaching landfills, increase the efficiency of your home, and live a sustainable life.