10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Fight Climate Change
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Experts warn that humans only have 12 years remaining to address climate change. Failure to act will result in widespread heat waves, drought, famine and human suffering. Saving mother earth is everyone’s job. What can you do to make a difference? Here are ten ways to reduce your carbon footprint and fight climate change.
When your old items wear out, ask yourself what you could use the material for before tossing it in the bin. It still takes energy to convert recycled materials back to a usable form. Repurposing is your greenest choice.
Delight your children with a whimsical sock monkey instead of tossing the other half of a holey pair. An old T-shirt can become an artist’s smock or cleaning rags. Reuse that tired pillow stuffing to make an under-the-door draft-stopper.
You can only find so many uses for empty 2-liter bottles. Please recycle what you can’t repurpose.
Check with your community’s rules before sorting your items. Many locations don’t take plastics numbered three through seven, and including such refuse in the bin can clog machinery.
What about all those food scraps and coffee filters? Why spend money on fertilizers that can contaminate the ground and water supply with runoff when you can use nature’s solution for free?
Why not construct a compost bin? Even those with small patio gardens can start a tiny container and keep the soil around tomato plants enriched.
4. Switch Your Light Bulbs
Are you still using incandescents? The next time it’s time to replace them, spend a few extra pennies to purchase LEDs. Why? You’ll save money in the long run — and help the planet.
LED bulbs require far less energy to run and last longer. Additionally, you can get them in funky colors.
5. Take Down Your Curtains
Better yet, why not take advantage of natural light? Taking down your curtains can even help keep you warmer through passive solar heat if your window faces south.
Instead, consider investing in a one-way film that hides your inside activities from view while letting in the sun? Doing so has the bonus of protecting your flooring and furniture from damaging UV radiation.
Millions of Americans struggle with obesity. One problem is a lack of physical activity. Walking to the store or workplace slashes carbon emissions while getting your body in motion.
Every trip counts. Even walking once or twice a week reduces your emissions. Think twice the next time you grab your car keys before heading to the corner market — could a little fresh air do your body and the planet good?
7. Consider an E-Bike
Those who live too far from their workplaces to walk still have alternatives if their commute doesn’t take them two towns over. Electric bikes slash your carbon footprint, provide exercise — and let you arrive at the office without getting all sweaty.
The pedal assist function kicks in when going up hills. Some models let you engage it without using your feet. They reach speeds of up to 20 to 28 miles per hour, making this option great if your office is only a few miles away.
If you always wanted to work from home, but your boss said no, now is your time to act. The great resignation has employers scrambling to keep those they value — your pitch may work even if it failed in the past.
Nearly half of all workers reported that they would rather quit than return to the office full-time. Unless your role requires face-to-face contact with customers and clients, skipping your commute can do the planet a world of good.
9. Judge a Product by Its Packaging
When selecting items at the store, pay attention to how they’re packaged. Those encased in plastic create an environmental menace. The type they use often falls into the non-recyclable category. That means it ends up in landfills, where it never breaks down. Rather, it converts to microplastics that leach into the groundwater supply, where it eventually reaches the ocean, poisoning marine animals and all that feed on them.
Look for products with the least amount of packaging possible. If you find yourself unable to decide, grab the item with less plastic.
10. Change Your Thermostat
Finally, dropping your thermostat one degree in winter and raising it one degree in summer results in considerable energy savings. You’ll also feel better about your bill.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider investing in one. Many people sleep best at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can make it chilly to get out of bed in the morning. Set it to rise before you awaken.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Fight Climate Change
There isn’t much time left to take action against climate change. It’s everyone’s responsibility to make changes.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend much — or anything at all. Many of the tips above will save you money while protecting the planet. Follow these steps to reduce your carbon footprint and fight climate change.
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About the author
Rachel serves as the Assistant Editor of Environment.co. A true foodie and activist at heart, she loves covering topics ranging from veganism to off grid living.