If you ask some people about their stance on climate change, they may realize through your discussion that it’s a problem beyond their control. While climate change isn’t an issue a single person can solve, combined, joint efforts can make an impact.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, an annual report estimating the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. found that transportation is the top culprit at 28.9%, followed by electricity, which causes 27.5% of emissions. Industry, which produces goods and raw materials, comes third, contributing 22.2% to gas house emissions. By looking at these statistics, you can conclude that everyone contributes to climate change in some way. For this reason, it’s worth thinking about how you can take responsibility for your carbon footprint and what you can do to mitigate it.
Even if you don’t yet know everything there is to know about climate change, you can still make efforts towards a living a greener lifestyle. Here are some ways you can reduce your carbon footprint to contribute to a healthier world.
Travel is an unavoidable part of life that most people engage in. You can, however, reduce your carbon footprint by being more conscious when choosing modes of transportation. Here are some tips for reducing your carbon print when traveling by air and commuting daily.
If you’re a frequent traveler, travel green by swapping flying for other modes of transportation. Although The Conversation tells us that air travel only accounts for about 3% of global warming, two factors make it a rising issue. One is the growing demand, which could make emissions from flying triple by 2050. Secondly, there’s the chain of chemical reactions that occur when aircraft burn jet fuels, which leads to heating and cooling effects. If you’re wondering how this could affect your travel plans, if at all, thawing permafrost flooding airport runways and extreme weather are just two examples.
If you’re traveling for leisure, did you know you can choose an ethical travel destination? By doing so, your money goes towards supporting that country’s sustainability efforts. Ethical Traveler, an independent non-profit organization, compiles an annual list of ethical destinations that can help you make your decision. Their rankings are based on three factors: environmental protection standards, social welfare, and human rights records. The top three countries on the list in 2019 were Benin, Costa Rica, and Fiji.
For your daily commutes, invest in an eco-friendly car as a means of reducing your carbon emissions. Some of America’s most eco-friendly vehicles at the moment are the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid, or the Kia Niro FE. The good thing about getting a greener car is you could be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 on electric and plug-in hybrid cars if purchased in or after 2010, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Embrace Sustainable Fashion
Clothing is a basic necessity unless we’d all like to walk around with plants covering our bodies. However, the apparel many of us buy isn’t sustainable, which is having adverse effects on the environment. Find suggestions for embracing sustainable fashion below.
- Choose Better Fabrics: According to The Independent, fabrics that have the worst environmental impact are cotton, synthetics, and animal-derived materials. Instead, you want to opt for ones that are safe, healthy, and can be reused or recycled. Organic cotton, linen, soy silk, and hemp are examples of eco-friendly materials.
- Avoid Over-consumption: We live in a world that is big on consumption and sometimes acquiring more than we need. As a result, fast fashion, which is a method for making affordable clothing at a rapid pace to keep up with trends and demand, has become prevalent. What happens, however, is that manufacturers tend to overproduce, leading to 26 billion pounds of textiles and clothing items ending up in landfills annually. To help solve this issue, buy high-quality and timeless designs or vintage clothing so they last longer, and you consume less.
- Choose Sustainable Brands: Some clothing brands are more sustainable than others, so choose the ones that consider the environment. Sustainability for brands means they use renewable energy to produce their clothes, make them ethically, or use sustainable materials. Good Housekeeping suggests a few sustainable clothing brands to add to your list: Levi’s, Pact, Everlane, and H&M Conscious.
Buy Environmentally Friendly Products
Merchandise many of us use every day exacerbates climate change and does damage to the environment. Some of the worst products for our planet include single-use wet wipes, plastic drink bottles, bags, and disposable cutlery. To avoid using these items, get into the habit of buying reusable items. For example, you can swap wet wipes for reusable cloths that can be thrown into the washer or invest in a reusable bottle for water.
Buying environmentally friendly products can help you save the environment and money. For instance, purchasing a weather seal for your windows could save you about $300 a year in heating and cooling costs. Likewise, a programmable thermostat could mean 10-30% savings on your annual energy bill. There are many more ways to save money and energy.
Use Less Water
You may not know, but according to the Huffington Post, less than 1% of the world’s water is freshwater. Currently, the regeneration of freshwater is slower than the retraction rate. Considering freshwater is an essential resource for the survival of our population, you should reconsider the rate at which you consume it.
To save more water and reduce your bills, install water-saving shower-heads or flow restrictors. You could also take shorter showers or turn off the water when brushing your teeth. These seemingly insignificant changes can reduce your consumption over time.
Reduce Energy Consumption
If your parents ever nagged you about turning off the lights when you were younger, now is an excellent time to listen. When we use traditional forms of electricity, we are burning fossil fuels. This is terrible news for the environment. While everyone isn’t leaping at the opportunity to convert to sustainable energy, you can minimize the effects of fossil fuels by using less energy. Investing in sustainable practices can also save you money, depending on the changes you make.
For instance, shut down appliances that aren’t in use like your computer and idle electronics. To reduce your plug load, invest in a power strip so that all devices turn off at once. Another tip is to change all of the bulbs at home to LED as they use 75% less electricity than incandescent or Energy Star bulbs. Seeing as they have no mercury, they’re likely to last 25 times longer as well.
Sometimes, people can be stubborn when it comes to changing their daily habits to improve climate change, especially if they’re not convinced it can make a difference. Nonetheless, being diligent in your efforts could inspire others to do the same.
Guest Author Bio
Magnolia Potter is a muggle from the Pacific Northwest who writes from time to time and covers a variety of topics. When Magnolia’s not writing, you can find her curled up with a good book.
Blog / Website: Magnolia Potter