With each passing year, it’s more and more apparent that our actions have an impact on the planet. How we eat and what we wear influences the Earth. The brands we follow and companies we support make a difference. As a result of poor choices, climate change has caused significant damage. Fortunately, there’s still time to change for the better. Take a look at these small ways to reduce your carbon footprint drastically.
1. Buy Local Produce
When you buy a carton of strawberries in the middle of winter, that fruit has traveled far and wide to make it into your hands. Unfortunately, our agricultural system isn’t sustainable.
These processes contribute around 9% of the U.S.’s greenhouse gas emissions. Many industrial farms optimize product over practice – and they waste necessary resources along the way.
But you can fight back. Try to shop for your food locally. Explore farmers’ markets and local farms and buy directly from the source. You’ll receive quality fruits, vegetables and grains, all while you give your town’s economy a boost.
2. Switch to Reusable Products
Plastic waste continues to enter our oceans at a rapid rate — 8 million tons annually, in fact. The cause of this problem lies in our everyday routines. We drink iced coffee with plastic straws in plastic cups. We shop for packaged groceries and carry them in plastic bags. There’s a constant supply of this material at all times. As a result, our ecosystems suffer tremendously.
Buy a few canvas bags and washable cups and containers. If you order a drink, don’t take a plastic straw — use a metal one instead. Switch to reusable products so that you can slowly eliminate plastic from your household. When you’re out at a store or restaurant, opt for package-free products. These steps are hugely impactful.
3. Make Your Car Green
It’s not always feasible to buy an electric car, but you can still drive in an eco-friendly way. To reduce your vehicle’s carbon footprint, practice regular engine maintenance and use driving best practices. Cars burn excessive oil and gas when you don’t look after them properly. Similarly, if you go faster than the speed limit, you’ll erode your MPG over time.
Take more sustainable approaches so that you reduce your vehicle’s carbon footprint. You can also set up a carpool system with friends, family members and co-workers. Additionally, you should only drive your car when it’s absolutely necessary. Choose to walk or bike instead.
4. Limit Water Consumption
Do you leave the tap on as you brush your teeth? A lot of us can relate. If you take excessively long showers, it’s time to stop that as well. Unfortunately, these are terrible habits for both the environment and your bank account.
Around the world, many countries struggle with water-related issues. They don’t have access to water that’s safe enough to use to cook, bathe or drink. Although water continually recycles over time, our planet’s population has exploded throughout recent decades. Even if water covers 70% of Earth, humans and some animals can only consume around 2.5% of it.
So turn off your faucets when you brush your teeth and wash your hands. Take shorter showers and baths. These efforts will reduce the gallons of water you and your family consume.
5. Eat Less Meat And Dairy
Animal products contribute to greenhouse gas emissions too, to the tune of around 5.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. These elements heat our atmosphere and thereby play a major role in climate change.
It’s incredibly easy to limit your intake of these foods. You don’t have to go fully vegan, either. Simply choose a “meatless” day of the week and go from there. For example, on Fridays, you might consume only plant-based dishes.
Or, go for a more straightforward approach and don’t order meat or dairy when you’re out at a restaurant. There’s a ton of delicious alternatives on the market, from vegan cream cheese to frozen “chicken” tenders.
If you need to consume these foods for dietary purposes, do your best to buy them locally with your produce. This way, you’ll still make a huge difference!
Use These Suggestions To Live Green
There’s no better time than now to reduce your carbon footprint. Use these tips and tricks to make an impact quickly! Your wallet and the environment will thank you for your efforts.
Dylan Bartlett blogs about health and wellness on his site, Just a Regular Guide. Follow him on Twitter @theregularguide for frequent updates on his work!