If you want to help the planet survive and thrive, you must reduce your carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the number of greenhouse gases that you create as you go about your daily life. Many people don’t realize all of the actions that create this footprint, but it includes the gas we burn to drive our cars, the oil that is burned to heat our homes, and more.
If you are interested in reducing your carbon footprint then you first need to learn how to calculate your footprint so you can see where you stand. Then, you can make the appropriate changes and do your part to make the world a better place.
Understanding Your Carbon Footprint
The first step to understanding your carbon footprint is to recognize how the choices you make around the house could be doing unnecessary damage to the environment. By turning on the lights, heating the home, and powering your appliances, you are using energy created by utility companies.
The problem there is that when energy is created, carbon dioxide is leaked into the air and creates a harmful layer that prevents harmful radiation from leaving the atmosphere. The utility companies also emit other dangerous elements into the air, including nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide, which have been linked to dangerous illnesses in human beings, including cancer and birth defects.
If you want to learn about your current impact, then you can use an online carbon footprint calculator to learn where you stand. Websites like this can tell you how much energy you are producing by allowing you to enter data, including how much energy you use at home, how far you travel by plane, how often you use public transportation, and more. You can also enter how many people live in your household so you can get a realistic answer about your carbon footprint.
You may learn about your energy consumption and want to make a change. However, you must understand the pros and cons of different types of energy usage. For instance, you may be interested in installing solar panels so you can break away from utility companies. However, you must realize that the energy produced by those panels is not always consistent and that even when you are at full strength, you will still need to be connected to the electrical grid. Still, even when factoring in the downsides, a transition to a clean energy source like solar can do a great service for Mother Earth.
Reducing Energy Consumption at Home
While you may be interested in installing solar panels or making another drastic change, it is reasonable to understand that you may not have the funds for a major project. The good news is that by making moderate changes at home, you can make a big impact on the planet.
For instance, you can set a good example and lower your utility bills by sealing the perimeter of your windows and doors. By doing so, you eliminate the possibility of leaking energy when you heat and cool your home. The longer your HVAC systems run, the more energy you waste, and that leads to the production of unnecessary fossil fuels. Your HVAC systems are a major component of your home, so you should have them checked out and maintained every year, so you can ensure that your home is running efficiently.
You can also make little adjustments that can make a big difference. For instance, by keeping your blinds open all day, you can eliminate the need to turn on the lights. Also, by switching from incandescent to LED bulbs, you can also use a lot less energy at night.
When it comes to reducing waste, we tend to focus on electricity and forget that we could also help the planet by reducing our water waste. Currently, countries across the globe are wasting mass amounts of water. You can’t change the entire world, but you can do your part by keeping the water off while you brush your teeth and by installing low-flow showerheads.
Decreasing Emissions on the Road
Many people also increase their carbon footprint when they travel to work or go to the store, especially when using fossil-fuel-powered vehicles. If you can afford to do so, then the best way to make a change is to switch to an electric car. These days, there are more options than ever before, including choosing electric, hydrogen, a hybrid, and more.
As time goes on, this technology is growing by leaps and bounds. New electric and hybrid cars allow you to drive further, and charging time decreases with every new model. Electric cars are also becoming more affordable over time.
If you cannot afford an electric car but you need a new vehicle, then you can still limit your carbon footprint by purchasing a fossil-fueled car with great gas mileage. Some of the most energy-efficient cars on the road today include the Mitsubishi Mirage, Toyota Yaris, and Nissan Versa S, among others.
If you are not in the market for a new car but you still want to reduce your carbon footprint, then you can do so by modifying your driving style. Start by eliminating idle time. Avoid the temptation to warm up your car for five minutes before you leave or keep the car running when you go into a gas station. Instead, turn on your car when you need it and start driving. Also, plan your routes accordingly so that you aren’t in stop-and-go traffic, which wastes more energy. When possible, avoid driving altogether and walk or ride a bike.
As you can see, it is possible to modify your routine so you can lower your carbon footprint and make a difference in the world. Consider the tips discussed here, and others will follow your example.
Guest Author Bio
Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but business, technology, and digital marketing topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or getting into the latest tech.