Let’s face it, we are running out of time, and Mother Nature is giving us signs to make a change. The International Energy Agency projects energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will increase by 1.5 billion tons this year, the second-largest increase in history. Your carbon footprint is measured by the amount of greenhouse gases that you produce in your daily life.
Although we cannot individually make up for big companies’ carbon emissions and the 1% private jets, we can all do our part to save mother Earth. Here are ten things you can do in your home to reduce your and your family’s carbon footprint.
- You can actually calculate your carbon footprint to see just how you are affecting the earth. The EPA’s calculator will tell you how much gas you are emitting as well as how much money you can save if you make changes.
- Cutting down on your consumption of animal products, i.e. meats and dairy products can help eliminate the amount of gas that is released by the livestock industry during processing and transportation. Don’t worry, you do not have to go completely vegetarian or vegan. Every day you can go without animal products takes eight pounds off of your carbon footprint so try one day at a time.
- Reducing the amount of food you dispose of. Planning meals, portioning, saving and reusing leftovers, are all steps that can save the planet and your pockets.
- Washing clothes in cold water can not only help you do fewer loads of laundry, but it also can help reduce your footprint.
- Not only should you watch what you eat, but what you eat on. Though disposable dinnerware is convenient, using and washing reusable utensils and plates are more environmentally friendly.
- Setting your thermostat two degrees higher in summer and lower in winter can save 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions a year.
- If you are not using it, turn it off. This applies to lights, AC/heat, TVs, and other appliances.
- Donate your clothing items, or if you feel like the items are too worn to be given away, repurpose them into something to use around the house.
- Purchase second-hand clothing, furniture, electronics, and other products if possible.
- Lastly, do your own research and be active in your local and national government to ensure that representatives and policies are doing their part in this fight against climate change.
We only have one planet to inhabit, so we have to protect it. Do your part to make sure that generations to come can experience this world as we do every day.