Are you constantly worried about our environment and thinking of ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Global warming is no longer a speculation; it is happening all over us. The temperatures are rising, and so are the sea levels. Glaciers are vanishing and the arctic ice is melting. If we don’t reduce our carbon footprint, soon (within the next 50-100 years) almost all coastal cities and island nations will be submerged under water and the inlands will be hit by long-lasting droughts.
Reducing your carbon footprint means releasing less and less carbon and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. When you use electricity and power, when you travel in vehicles and when you run factories and industries you are releasing huge quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and this is damaging our environment irreparably.
As an individual you must be thinking what can you do to curtail global warming, but it’s the individuals that will finally make an impact. After all we make up the entire population of the world.
Things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint
- Use less electricity. Lots of coal and oil is used to produce electricity. The more you use, the more power needs to be generated. Use electricity efficient lighting devices and appliances. Switch off the light bulbs and electrical appliances (even your computers and laptops) when not in use. Regularly conduct an energy audit of your house to see how you can save power. Read how to save electricity at office and how to use less electricity at home
- Reduce your consumption. By reducing your consumption I don’t mean eat less food. Don’t buy things you can live without. All those gadgets and appliances you keep buying, there is no end to them. They harm the environment (they use lots of resources in production and packaging, and even delivering). You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your materialistic cravings. OK, even food. If you are throwing away most of the food you are causing great harm to the environment. Cook as much as you can eat. Buy as much as you can consume. Production of food too increases your carbon footprint.
- Telecommute. Convince your boss that you’d like to work from home. Just think about how much fuel is burnt going to office everyday and to do what? Sit in front of your computer and laptop all day? Can’t you do the same thing at home? And with advances in technology (there are good sides of technology too) you can also conduct meetings and conferences from home using Skype and webcams.
- Move to smaller cities and towns. Living in bigger cities and metros means living a lifestyle that demands a heavy carbon footprint. So much travel, so much rush, higher prices of everything, where do you get a chance to think of ways to reduce your carbon footprint? If we move to a smaller city you’ll be able to enjoy life more and put less pressure on the environment.
- Walk or use a bicycle for shorter distances. Are you using your car even to fetch stuff from your neighborhood market? Why not just walk or use your bicycle. It’s not only healthy it also helps you significantly reduce your carbon footprint.
- Use seasonal and regional fruits and vegetables. Lots of power is used to keep out of season and out of region fruits and vegetables fresh. After all our grandparents used to thrive on local foods. Why screw up the planet just because you want to eat an exotic fruit or vegetable?
- Eat less meat. Eating meat is definitely healthy but make vegetables and fruits your staple diet. You can’t imagine how much deforestation happens to create and maintain pasture land to keep meat producing animals.
- Use less paper. Do you get a newspaper that contains scores of pages and 60% of it is advertising and you are not even going to open that section? Billions of trees are cut to feed the paper industry every month. If you have a computer and an Internet connection why don’t you access the online addition of your favorite newspaper? The same goes for books. If you can afford, you should by e-book readers instead of purchasing paper books. You should also recycle paper that you already have.
- Use less plastic. It’s not possible to ditch plastic altogether, but use it as little as possible. Discourage people from using polythene bags and other plastic packaging. Carry your own bag when you are going for shopping.
- Make your kids aware of the importance of reducing their carbon footprint. Perhaps the most important thing you can do keep this planet inhabitable. It’s the future generations that are going to have to live on this planet in whatever condition it is. Our parents surely didn’t do a good job and that’s why the world is the way it is right now. But we can make a difference by teaching our children how to take care of our planets, because as if now, this is the only place we have.