How to reduce your carbon footprint?

Image of a pile of sticks burning in a desert

As we discussed in the previous post, our carbon footprint is rapidly increasing, and that’s a worrying development, because it’s a major cause of global warming.

So in this post, I’ve listed a number of ways in which you can work on reducing your carbon footprint. Incorporate these changes into your lifestyle and educate others about the problem (and its solution), so they do too.

Now without further ado, let’s dive right in.

  1. Reduce your energy usage

A staggering percentage of our energy consumption today comes from non-renewable sources. In 2016, only 15% of the total world energy came from renewable sources. While the decisions made by large companies are beyond our control, our energy usage is not. Cut down on your electricity and fuel usage, and encourage others to do the same. If people use less energy, and more people head towards clean energy, companies will soon get the hint.

  1. Use public transport or carpools

Cars cause an incredible amount of pollution – because of which many cities have become practically unlivable. The air quality there is awful, and getting worse. This not only affects people’s health, but it goes on to have a massive impact on our carbon footprint – and ultimately on global warming. So whenever you can, please avoid driving your car if you’re travelling alone. Public transport or carpools are much better options.

  1. Walk or bike short distances

While public transport and carpools cause some amount of pollution, walking or biking cause none whatsoever. So, use these for travelling short distances. In fact, if it’s practical for you, you can even consider walking or biking to work every day – or to other places you regularly visit, such as the grocery store, or school. You’ll get some exercise and keep your heart in great shape too!

  1. Plant more trees

Trees breathe in carbon dioxide, and breathe out oxygen – and that’s just one way in which they help us. If you live on a large property and have the space, plant lots of trees! They’ll screen your home from noise, wind and dust, they’ll bear flowers and fruits, and they’ll look gorgeous – all while helping the environment! If you, like me, live in an apartment, do what you can and grow some plants on your balcony, or on a sunny window. Give a fast-growing plant free run of your terrace.

  1. Go vegetarian (or vegan)!

Cattle are major contributors to greenhouse gases. People think eating meat is manly. It makes you cool. Being vegan, on the other hand, makes you an attention seeker. Vegetarians are weak. I say let them shove their opinion up their meatatarian ass. If caring for your planet makes you a weakling or an attention-seeker (whereas, on the flipside, you could be cool), then so be it.

  1. Don’t burn your waste

This isn’t applicable to most people, as most of us employ a garbage disposal system. However, some people burn their waste to get rid of it. This point is for those people. Most waste materials are compostable, and any gardener will gladly take them off your hands. As for the rest, schedule a five-minute window every morning to pick out recyclable material, and you’ll be left with very little to dispose of.

  1. Limit your AC usage

Air conditioning, while pleasant for us, is terrible for the environment. Air conditioners release hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) into the environment. These gases have a devastating effect on the ozone layer. They’re thousands of times worse than CO2. However, not all ACs release HFCs into the environment – only faulty or discarded ones do. And scientists are coming up with ACs that won’t have this problem. Until then, limit your AC usage.

Seven items don’t seem like much, but these are big changes – almost impossible to implement at once and sustain. So, start with the easiest.

Can you plant a tree now? Or switch off electrical appliances that you don’t really need? Start with that, step back in a while to see what change you’ve made, and then move onto the next. Keeping track of how you’re helping will give you the motivation to keep going. All the best.

 

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