Carbon Footprint Reduction. Megan Samson. How people can reduce their carbon emissions?. 1. Buy organic and local. When possible buy organic. You have a better chance the food was grown in an eco-friendly way. Try eating at restaurants that serve locally produced or seasonal foods.
1. Buy organic and local.
When possible buy organic. You have a better chance the food was grown in an eco-friendly way. Try eating at restaurants that serve locally produced or seasonal foods.
2. Pay attention to packaging.
When out shopping, try to go to stores that keep packaging to a minimum. You can also take reusable bags to the grocery store.
3. Ditch bottled water.
Bottled water has a huge carbon footprint — it's bottled at one location in small plastic bottles and shipped all over. Buy a reusable water bottle or canteen for your water. Many plastic water bottles are recycled, but most are not, making the footprint even bigger.
4. Energy-proof your home.
Make sure all of your windows close properly and that the attic in your home is properly insulated. Keep your heating and cooling systems properly maintained, and switch to reusable filters when possible. Try switching from incandescent to compact florescent light bulbs.
5. Go native.
Use native plant species to landscape around your home or business. The plants grow better in a familiar environment. Green plants are a good way to offset carbon.
6. Window shop.
Try window shopping or browsing first, when you have the urge to shop. This helps ensure you are only buying things you really need, or really want, and you're not just impulse buying.
7. Take a direct flight.
If you need to travel by airplane, try taking a direct flight when at all possible.
8. Switch water heaters to vacation mode.
Most water heaters have a "vacation" setting for when you are away from home for an extended period of time. Switching to that "away" mode still keeps the water warm, but will not use the energy it takes to keep a tank full of piping-hot water.
9. Unplug it!
Unplug appliances that you don't use frequently. Cell phone chargers, laptops, televisions, stereos should all be unplugged when not in use. Use a power strip for groups of electronic items.
10. Keep your car.
With gas prices always on the rise, you might want to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle. But if your older-model car is in good condition, you're better off keeping it in good running condition. Try more eco-friendly modes of transport when possible, like buses, trains, a bicycle or even walking.
11. Chuck your microwave.
It costs more to freeze foods, ship them cold, display them frozen in the grocery store and keep them frozen in our homes. Cook fresh food when you can, and you'll also find yourself eating out less often.
12. Use cold water.
Try using cold water to launder things that don't need to be cleaned in hot or warm water. Most major detergent makers sell detergents designed to have the same cleaning power as with regular soap. Try washing mixed loads in cold water, too.
13. Have the family over.
Family gatherings are a good way to spend some quality time with loved ones, with very little carbon impact. Cooking and entertaining for larger groups is more efficient and, per person, a lot less expensive.
14. Make time for errands.
A lot of us try to run errands in-between work and other commitments. Try bundling errands together to reduce how far you need to travel.
15. The Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
It seems like something from a kid's sing-a-long, but sometimes we lose sight of just how much we buy. Try buying less, and reusing and fixing things when you can instead of buying new. And for a lot of people, recycling is as easy as rolling the trash bin to the curb. Just remember to do it at work, too.
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