With rapid deforestation taking place across the world to make way for more houses and businesses, and talks in the media expressing the concern of global warming, people are wondering how and what they can do to prevent and stop damaging our finite planet before it’s too late. For parents with children and their small furry friends, it means being part of supporting a world that their little ones may live in without them someday. Below are nineteen ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Most of which poses quite a few benefits alongside protecting the environment. It’s important to know that any changes you do make, big or small are significant to supporting the world that we live in.
Install Solar Panels
You could create your own energy source by investing in solar panels and have them installed on the roof. Solar panel technology has evolved over the years so that most households can use this source of energy as their primary power source. This home upgrade, after a while, can also save you a significant amount of money on your electricity bills.
A lot of people tend to purchase bottled water at home and in the office because either their water from the taps isn’t pure, or they don’t like the taste of tap water. But there is a cost-effective, environmentally friendly alternative in the form of Berkey Water Filter Systems that you could use instead. This saves petrol spent lugging bottled water to and from the supermarket and also prevents the excessive use of plastic bottles too!
Switch To Green Energy
Another solution for solving your energy conundrum and reducing your carbon footprint is to opt for a renewable energy source provider. Green energy is powered by the likes of wind turbines, solar panels, and hydroelectric power. These energy sources are kinder to the environment.
Turn Electronics Off
A simple but effective action that shall instantly reduce your carbon footprint is to turn all of your electrics off when you are not using them. It’s not uncommon for people to leave their TV and PC on standby, or to leave the lights on when they could use the natural daylight. Make it a habit for all the family to join in switching things off they are not using at that moment, and eventually, you’ll all begin to do it without even thinking about it. Not to mention this step will save money on your electric bill also.
Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
A quick, cost-effective switch that you can make in a bid to make your home greener is to change your lightbulbs to ones that don’t use as much energy. Energy-efficient light bulbs are available at DIY stores and most supermarkets.
Insulate Your Home
Particularly for older homes, retaining heat that’s emitted from radiators and fireplaces is challenging, thus causing you to need to consistently keep the heating on to keep a steady flow of warmth especially during the colder months of the year. By insulating your wall cavities, floor, and roof, your home shall be able to regulate the temperature far better. Insulation will help with retaining heat in the winter and keeping the house cool in the summer.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
For the avid cleaners amongst you, you may get through a few bottles of chemical cleaning products a month, which means a lot of this is washed down the drain and infiltrates the water system. To prevent this, alternatively, you can use natural cleaners such as white vinegar, baking soda and squeezed lemon to clean your home. These solutions were commonly used years ago to kill bacteria, get rid of limescale and eliminate odors around the house. As an added health benefit, these natural cleaners are much kinder to your skin and chest also.
Create A Compost Bin
You don’t have to put expired veg, used cardboard packaging, grass clippings, and tree leaves straight in the bin. Instead, you can create something for the environment, mainly your garden – compost. Decayed organic matter is perfect for nourishing your plants and trees and provides a desirable habitat for all kinds of insects. This a great way to put your leftover food, garden waste and biodegradable packaging to good use.
Cook The Smart Way
There are a few things you can consider during cooking methods to reduce your carbon footprint. For instance, if you have a hot oven ready to bake a small baguette, think of other foods you could put in there to cook also to make use of the heat. To prevent more food waste for the landfill, make use of your yummy chicken dinner leftovers, partake in meal planning and freeze food if you don’t think you’ll use it and it’s approaching its expiry date.
Grow Your Own Veggies
The process of farmers growing your veggies may involve pesticides, and of course, the traveling distance transporting your food to and from the supermarket emits harmful gasses. You can eliminate the chemicals on your vegetables, and the petrol spent going to the shop by setting up your very own vegetable patch. This is both friendly to the environment and cost-effective for your pocket.
Swap Your Vehicle
Your car, as does everyone else’s, plays a large part in damaging the environment. If you can choose to not use it for a few days a week then great! Better yet, if you can swap it for an alternative way of getting around, even better. Such as walking or using your bike. Either one is great for exercise and will save you money on petrol.
Reuse, Give it away, Charity Shop, Sell, Recycle
With clothes, toys, electronics, and books available at reasonable prices, sometimes it’s easy to overbuy and end up with a hoard of stuff you don’t use or have time to use. So why not put all of your things that you’re contemplating putting in the trash through a process. Chuck each item into a pile of whether it can be reused, given to family or friends who might need it, taken to a charity shop or a homeless shelter. Or maybe you could sell it to someone else who needs it and make some money back. And if none of these steps work, recycle it.
Salvage Broken Things
Regularly replacing perfectly good things in your home is terrible for the environment. As it fuels the economy to make more things, thus releasing more harmful gases into the atmosphere. It’s natural for most of us today to instantly replace our ripped jeans or broken phone for a new one. But for a better environment, what we should be doing is salvaging what we have. This will not only help the environment but your purse too.
Use Tote Bags And Tupperware
Rather than using excessive packaging and wasting tons of plastic bags on separating veg and meat at the grocery store, you could take your own containers to the store and reuse them by placing your veg and meat in separate Tupperware. This will save more plastic from going to the landfill.
Plant A Tree
To be a part of the fight against climate change, one of the best things you can do is plant a tree. With CO2 being one of the leading causes contributing to the greenhouse effect, your own tree(s) shall trap CO2, and in return disperse oxygen.
Change Beauty Products
Some beauty products, such as facial wash and exfoliating wash, are made with microbeads. These microbeads are harmful to the environment as they’re made from tiny pieces of plastic. To turn your beauty products green, check out Lush, they make all-natural products.
Air Dry Your Washing
This step can save a lot of energy (and some money) spent on drying clothes with a tumble dryer. If it’s a beautiful day, hang the washing outside in the sunshine. If not, use a clothes hanger indoors near an open window to dry your clothes instead.
Food Shop Online
Unless you’re growing your own food in the garden, or have a local shop in walking or biking distance, you probably get most of your food and toiletries from the supermarket. The journey you take to and from the shops each week in your vehicle contributes to climate change. And so, rather than spending time and money traveling back and forth to the shop, you might want to try online food shopping instead. It will save you time driving, picking, packing and unloading your car every week or so, it will save you money on petrol, and it most of all, it will reduce your carbon footprint.
With an increase of people happy to receive the majority of their mail online, this spells great things for the environment as it means less need for paper! You will most likely find that your bank, energy providers, gym and so forth will offer an option to send your statements, offers, and important updates, etc. to your email. All you need to do is call and ask.
To truly help the planet we must first start by looking at our home lives, and see if there’s anything we can change or improve to reduce our carbon footprints.