Our carbon footprint means our own contribution to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Even though our lifestyle seldom takes it into consideration, rising carbon footprints can spell disaster for mother earth. At this point, a question remains – how to manage our carbon footprint for making the world more livable?
Have you ever thought about how our lifestyle choices can make or break our environment? In 2021, climate change and global warming is an urgent topic for everyone to look into. Still, we often ignore that even our smallest actions play a vital role in this worldwide phenomenon. Albeit being a global issue, we, as individuals, are just as responsible in this matter. Carbon Footprint quantifies our contribution(!) to pollution, global warming, and subsequent issues.
What is Carbon Footprint?
Carbon Footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gasses produced as a result of the actions we take, and the products we use. It measures how much greenhouse gas an individual has emitted, directly or indirectly. This is a useful tool to analyze our individual responsibility towards climate change. Over the last few decades, this concept has gained massive popularity.
Carbon Footprint Calculator
Various environment organizations have many easy-to-use tools that can calculate your carbon footprint. With the help of these online tools, you can count your own as well!
The more our carbon footprint is, the more we emit harmful gases into the atmosphere. As a result, we pollute the environment and ruin the habitat of living organisms. So, we need to reduce these unwanted statistics of ours.
Today, we are going to lead you through some of the steps!
Everything Has A Price!
The things we purchase add to our carbon footprint. Therefore, we can simply cut our carbon footprint if we buy fewer products. But then… Does eco-friendliness mean the life of a hermit?
We can enjoy life and all its gifts, but we need to act responsibly. Regarding this, small changes in our buying pattern go a long way. In the age of fast fashion, we can opt for sustainable fashion trends to reinforce our environment. As the name suggests, sustainable options provide quality over a longer period and offer reusability. Besides fashion, we can make sustainable choices to buy anything – foods, home decors, appliances, construction materials, and menstrual products too!
Live The Minimalist Life
A smart solution to reduce our carbon footprint is to dive into minimalism. Basically, this idea tells us to keep our lives and surroundings simple, zero-waste, and clutter-free. Minimalism is the encapsulation of all eco-friendly living approaches.
If you are on Netflix, I personally recommend you to check out the documentary “The Minimalists: Less Is Now”. As a beginner, I found the experience simply enlightening, and that deserves a shout-out!
Eat Safe, Waste Less
Our food habits determine how much carbon dioxide we help release into the world. Our carbon footprint includes that of all foods we eat. Red meats, cheese, chocolates, junk foods, and ultra-processed food items require a tremendous amount of energy to produce. Ultimately, the processing skyrockets their footprints. On the other hand, seasonal fruits, herbs, vegetables, milk, and most of the ‘vegan’ options display a lower footprint. The recent development of zero-carbon, synthetic food products is a ray of hope in reversing climate change. With all the options ahead of us, we can only make the most suitable decision!
Get New Hobbies Out Of Wastes
Do you know your throwaways of every day deserve better? We can craft cool DIY projects from plastic litter – it takes so little time and skill! Moreover, some herbs and vegetables like potato, carrot, lettuce, basil, garlic, ginger, etc. possess regenerative powers like the Mythical Hydra! If we carefully plant their inedible parts or scraps – Voila! We have a new garden of fresh herbs!
Your Home, Your Planet
This planet is our collective home. From that perspective, we need to make our individual homes eco-friendly as well. It only takes some sporadic changes to achieve this. An environmentally sound home has efficient machinery rather than energy-hogging old ones. A good example – LED bulbs instead of incandescent lights! A sound recycling system, fewer appliances, and more greeneries are the heart of such homes.
Sustainability Begins At Home
Sustainable home practices can help the planet in multiple ways with reduced wastage; energy and resource conservation; less chemical usage; and much more. We need to keep an eye on energy vampire and phantom energy; replace chemical soaps and cleaners with natural or DIY alternatives like baking soda-vinegar mixture; and use sunlight to dry our clothes.
“There’s a lot you can do without having to pick up a hammer or write a check.”Noah Horowitz; Director of National Resource Defence Council
‘Eco-Friendly’ Is The New ‘Productive’
Workplaces used to be a significant contributor to CO2 and CFC emissions. But now we have the power to turn our office spaces leaner, greener, and more efficient. While working, we can find tons of eco-friendly alternatives to get our work done. Using a laser printer causes significantly less pollution than an inkjet printer. There are a few ‘eco-friendly’ fonts; i.e., Ecofont, Century Gothic, Courier, etc. that can reduce ink toner usage by 25% than regular fonts. A much better solution would be going ‘paperless’ and managing all communications online.
Green Workplace = Better Performance
By embracing sustainable habits, we can turn our workplaces green. In turn, this can improve work ethics and productivity. Keeping small plants on our office desks and switching to healthier snacks during coffee breaks can reap us huge benefits. A 2017 study conducted at Harvard has shown that productivity increases by 26% and sickness levels go down by 30% in an eco-friendly workplace.
On The Move?
Researchers have identified transportation as the biggest source of global CO2 emissions. The easiest eco-friendly fix is to stop using a car and rely on our two feet. But we did not come into the 21st century expecting to walk around, like primitive humans! Environmentalists prescribe us to ride bikes or private transports, and even carpool. Their advice also includes using airplanes and automobiles as only a last resort.
Taking some extra time to walk to the grocery stores not only saves our health – but also our climate!
Think of Mother Nature Before Buying New Vehicles
When buying a new vehicle, we get a prime opportunity to show our care for the environment. As an example, going for a bike instead of automobiles is always a sustainable and sensible decision. In the case of cars, we can choose from electric, hybrid, or solar-electric cars which consume cleaner fuels. Hybrid cars emit 20-40% less CO2 than conventional gasoline cars, which saves the environment from further deterioration.
Our carbon footprints are nothing but liabilities to mother nature. The more we accumulate this debt, the more we will have to pay. Recognizing how we impact the environment is our pre-requisite for adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle. Lowering our carbon emission level will reverse the effects of climate change and restore balance in ecosystems. Most importantly, we will leave the planet in a better state for our future generations.
With World Environment Day coming up on June 5, 2021, it is high time for us to pledge against a rise in carbon footprint.
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