If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you probably know climate change is a bigger threat than ever before. Combating climate change will take a lot of work, and as an individual, there’s only so much you can do. However, by making minor changes to the way you live, you can reduce waste, cut down on harmful emissions, and make the Earth a greener, happier place to live. A big change doesn’t happen all at once, after all. It’s a culmination of all the smaller, simpler things that happen each day. Interested in making a change? Let’s check out some ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Bike More, Drive Less
Air pollution is a major contributor to climate change. One of the major causes of air pollution is something you use every day, usually without much thought. That’s right: it’s your car. A traditional vehicle releases a lot of exhaust, which pollutes the air. The toxins that vehicles emit can be hazardous to human health, too.
So how do you cut down on harmful emissions? Change the way you commute. If you live somewhere where biking is a viable option, challenge yourself to bike more and drive less. If you can’t bike, start taking public transportation instead. Carpooling is another great way to cut down on exhaust. All these options put fewer vehicles on the road, which reduces the amount of exhaust filling the air.
Optimize Your Home
Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to optimize your home. Chances are, your house is full of energy-wasting appliances. If your kitchen and bathroom appliances, heating systems, and light fixtures aren’t optimized, you might be wasting more water and energy than necessary. Upgrading your home might seem daunting and expensive, but there’s some good news. Since energy- and water-saving appliances reduce the number of resources you’re using, they’ll save you money in the long run. Energy-efficient appliances are usually labeled with EPA Energy Star stickers, which makes them easy to find. If you’re not quite prepared to take such a major leap, you can focus on some smaller, easier ways to reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Eat Seasonally, Locally, and Plant Based
Getting your food from the supermarket is convenient, but it’s not the best for the environment. Making the majority of your meals from seasonal, locally harvested, plant-based foods is healthier. It’s also a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint. When you eat seasonally, you’re also eating locally. By eating locally, you’re supporting local farmers, and you’ll never have to worry about how far your food traveled to reach you.
Why are plant-based foods better? Animal products require more resources, including water, to produce. Farmers need to care for the animals, and that includes feeding them, dealing with their waste, and handling other time- and resource-intensive processes.