The choices you make in your daily life leave a carbon footprint. From cooking a pot roast to flying across the country, every activity contributes to greenhouse gas emissions that cause global temperatures to rise.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint. One of the easiest is to switch your electricity provider.
Look for Energy-Efficient Appliances
Many homes burn fossil fuels indoors for heating and hot water, creating much carbon dioxide. Consider replacing it with an efficient electric alternative, such as a heat pump, if yours does.
Another easy way to shrink your carbon footprint is switching from incandescent light bulbs to LEDs. These use about 90 percent less energy than incandescents and last 25 times longer. If you shop for appliances, computers, phones, and other tech, look for those with the Energy Star label — these are certified to be more energy efficient.
It’s also important to eat local – food that hasn’t been shipped thousands of miles, which requires energy for refrigeration. Finally, stop using disposable utensils, which must be manufactured and transported, and switch to reusable ones. This also reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which emit more greenhouse gases. Finally, reduce your business’s electricity consumption by using Corpus Christi power company, offering renewable energy. These are labeled with REGOs (Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin) and have a lower carbon footprint than conventional electricity.
Turn Off Unnecessary Lights
Turning off lights is a great place to start if you want to lower your carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases) you produce daily.
When asked to name the most effective thing they do or could do to save energy, participants in one study ranked turning off the lights first. However, these results conflict with the conclusions of other research suggesting that people are only sometimes aware of the effectiveness of their behavior.
Another great way to reduce your carbon footprint is to stop using disposable utensils instead of reusable ones. Creating and transporting these items takes a lot of energy and resources.
Regarding air travel, choosing economy over business class can significantly decrease your carbon footprint. On average, business class seats take up twice as much space as economy seats. Choosing economy also helps to reduce your environmental impact because it cuts down on the number of flights needed, thus decreasing the overall transportation emissions.
Use Cruise Control in Your Car
Driving is responsible for the largest share of an average household’s carbon footprint, so reducing this consumption is essential. There are many ways to do this, including taking public transportation or walking whenever possible. If you must drive, try to avoid rush hour traffic and use a navigation system that can get you around the worst congestion. Drive smoothly, avoiding sharp acceleration and braking.
On long highway trips, using cruise control can minimize the amount of gas you consume by maintaining a constant speed. It is also good practice to keep your windows closed when traveling at high speeds, as open windows increase drag.
Air travel is another major source of emissions, so try to fly as little as possible. Choose direct flights to reduce the impact of landings and takeoffs, and consider flying economy rather than business class – long-haul return flights to and from London are responsible for almost three times as much carbon dioxide as the economy. Ensuring your tires are properly inflated is important, as under-inflated tires can be more fuel-efficient.
Reduce Your Air Conditioning Use
The air conditioning system is a significant consumer of electricity and, as such, can significantly affect your carbon footprint. Consider investing in a high-efficiency HVAC unit that reduces energy consumption.
Many people waste energy by leaving appliances plugged in and in standby mode, which always pulls small amounts of power. Buying appliances with the Energy Star label is an excellent way to lower your household’s carbon footprint.
Reducing the consumption of paper, food and drink, bottled water, laptops, and phones reduces carbon emissions as these items must be manufactured, shipped, and then consumed. Purchasing refurbished or recycled paper is also helpful, as is limiting the amount of water you use for washing clothes and dishes.
Commuting can produce a lot of carbon emissions, so employees should be encouraged to walk or ride their bikes to work. Alternatively, consider the possibility of telecommuting and other alternatives to commuting. Getting the word out to other green-minded individuals is also beneficial, as sharing tips and strategies for lowering one’s carbon footprint can multiply the impact of individual actions.
Reduce Your Water Consumption
Although it seems obvious, reducing your carbon footprint requires more than shortening your shower time. The biggest impact you can have is reducing your water consumption, especially considering that droughts and heat waves are expected to become more commonplace with climate change.
Investing in reusable bottles and utensils is the easiest way to reduce water consumption. It takes energy to manufacture, transport, and use disposable utensils, so reusable ones can positively impact your carbon footprint.
It is also possible to reduce your carbon footprint by buying green power from your electric company. Many companies now offer clean electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydro. You can also choose to install solar panels on your home, although this can be a significant up-front investment and may only be feasible in some situations. You can also encourage your local politician to support a climate policy that will phase out fossil fuels and decarbonize the country as soon as possible.