Carbon emissions have become a big issue in the world. Countries everywhere know they need to reduce their carbon footprints, so they are implementing plans to reduce and eventually eliminate emissions.
But those plans won’t come easy. The world continues to increase carbon emissions yearly, despite last year’s increase being much lower than previous years.
If you’re a consumer that wants to reduce your carbon footprint, this post will help. Keep reading to learn 11 things you can do to reduce your carbon emissions.
- Eat Less Meat
While meat is one of the most common staples in diets, that doesn’t mean it’s great to produce in mass. Cows, for instance, need tons of infrastructure to raise and ship to customers. Much of that space can be used for wildlife or other purposes.
You don’t have to cut out meat entirely, but you can probably cut back on what you currently consume. There are countless plant-based alternatives for protein you can use. Here are a few to consider:
- Plant-based protein
- Meat replacements
- Textured vegetable protein
Many of these options also cost less than meat alternatives. Start learning alternative recipes to lower your food bill and contribute to the environment.
- Drive Less
Transportation is one of the biggest producers of pollution there is. It’s hard to travel to any part of the world and not see cars everywhere. On top of that, you have ocean travel for cargo and tons of plane exhaust in the sky at all times.
You may not be able to remove car travel at all times, but you can reduce it by a lot if you live in a city. Check your public transit options to see if you have bus or subway routes.
Some cities are also bikable as a way to transport. If you live close to the places you usually visit, think about getting a bike and using it to travel instead of driving your car. Even if a city isn’t built for bikes, you may still be able to ride without an issue.
- Install Solar Panels
There’s a big push to reduce the use of dirty energy, but it may be some time before we can start seeing the impacts of that trend. Dirty energy is still used everywhere to power infrastructure. But that doesn’t mean you need to use that energy.
Solar panels are cheaper than ever. In many cases, you can get your installation completed for under $10,000.
That means solar panels are within reach of ordinary people. You can make your money back in less than 10 years and reduce your reliance on the grid. In many cases, you can completely eliminate your need for grid power by installing a battery system to store the excess energy your solar panel installation produces.
- Stop Using Single-Use Items
Single-use items are one of the most significant contributors to landfill waste. People constantly purchase paper plates, dinnerware, water bottles, and other single-use items. Why do that when you can buy something one-time and never use single-use products again?
Spend a little money to buy kitchenware for your home. This will cost more upfront, but it’s a one-time expense you won’t need to do again. Even if your kitchenware gets damaged, it probably won’t happen until well into the future.
The more people do this, the less demand there is for plastic and other wasteful products. That will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
- Monitor Your Energy Use
Solar energy can offer a lot to homes to reduce power use from dirty energy sources, but it may not be enough for everyone. That’s even if you can afford solar panels. Not everyone can use solar energy because they rent or because it still costs a lot.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce your energy use in your home. You can invest in efficient lighting, use smart thermostats, insulate your home, and much more.
Read up on how to reduce your energy use at home to stop drawing so much power from the grid. You’ll help the environment and save money at the same time.
- Recycle Where Possible
Even if you can’t completely reduce your home’s waste, that doesn’t mean you have to throw everything in the trash. There are countless home products that companies can reuse to reduce the waste that ends up in landfills.
Recycling items helps this process. Instead of throwing everything into the trash can, get a recycling bin and put them there. You can recycle things like cardboard, plastic, and glass. The packaging for these products will have a recycling symbol if you can recycle them.
Most locations have recycling pickup and will provide a recycling bin. Put those products in that bin to reduce the chance of them ending up in a landfill.
- Eat Local
Eating less meat isn’t the only thing you can do food-wise to reduce your impact on the environment. If you buy food that gets shipped across the country, you’re adding to carbon emissions because of the transportation cost. Since so much food travels far distances, that can significantly impact the environment.
This is where shopping locally helps. Look for farmers’ markets and local farms to purchase your meat and vegetables. If you can buy directly from a farm, even better.
Going this route means your food won’t go through huge supply chains to end up in the grocery store. That’s far fewer pollutants going to the atmosphere.
Additionally, you’re supporting local businesses instead of giving money to giant corporations.
- Watch Your Clothing Purchases
Clothes are unfortunately one area where people make big mistakes with the environment. It’s easy for most people to see something they like and make a split-second decision to buy new clothes.
The problem is that clothes often go ignored and get thrown away. That leads to a lot of waste for the environment.
Try to avoid buying new clothes when you can. If possible, shop thrift stores for used clothing to avoid adding to the new clothes market. On top of that, you can donate the clothes you don’t need instead of throwing them away.
- Shop Wisely
The companies you buy products from can play a significant role in reducing your carbon footprint. Many companies don’t do enough work to reduce their carbon footprints. Their only goal is to make money, so they’ll cut whatever corners to increase profit.
But that doesn’t mean you need to buy from those companies. If enough people stop buying products from businesses that don’t care for the environment, it puts pressure on those companies to begin doing more. Your goal should be to only purchase products from companies that show they don’t contribute to climate change.
Check for things like Climeworks direct air capture, electric cars, sustainable resources, and other environmentally friendly practices.
- Vote at the Polls
There’s only so much you can do independently to reduce your carbon emissions. Much of the emissions in the world come from companies. It would take almost every person coming together to change that trend.
But you can influence your local and national policies by putting people into office who care about climate change. You won’t be able to do this by ignoring elections. You’ll need to find people running who talk about these issues and are willing to push policies that reduce carbon emissions from everyone.
It’s also possible to email and call your current representatives to ask them to do more. The more pressure you put on the government, the better the chance of action happening.
- Conserve Water
Modern homes use a lot of water. You use it for toilets, showers, gardening, dishes, and countless other things. The problem is that you probably use appliances and fixtures that use more water than necessary.
There have been many droughts over the past several years, which means the ability of many people to get water is reduced. You can help by conserving water as much as possible to prevent water reserves from going too low.
You can buy low-flow toilets and water fixtures and not use sprinklers for your lawn. This will help you drop your water usage and reduce your overall water bill.
Now You’re Ready to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
It’s no secret that global warming is becoming a more serious problem. You’re seeing more extreme weather events that happen more frequently and the sea level rising worldwide. It’s hard not to want to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint.
Luckily, there are many things you can do as an individual to offset carbon in the environment. You may be unable to make a significant impact because of how much emissions companies produce. But enough people who individually make smarter choices can greatly impact the environment.
Are you wondering about other things you can do to make a bigger impact on the world? Check out the blog to read more tips.