Individuals everywhere want to tread a little more lightly on the earth. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, everything has an impact on the environment. In fact, the average American generates 16.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide (C02) each year.
Living a carbon neutral lifestyle may not be the easiest thing to do, but it doesn’t require living in a tiny home with compostable toilets. Instead, you can make plenty of small changes in your everyday life. To start, you’ll need to calculate your footprint, the total sum of greenhouse gas emissions from your consumption. You can find plenty of easy-to-use calculators online. Then, you must make an effort to stay mindful of your choices.
Limit Your Travel
A low-carbon lifestyle requires a serious commitment to a simpler way of life. In today’s society, certain habits once considered extravagant are now standard. For example, people are journeying internationally more than ever. While the benefits of going abroad are numerous, air travel is a carbon-intensive industry.
Whether for work or leisure, traveling by plane accounts for a significant portion of individual carbon emissions. Instead of flying across the globe or to a remote island, explore local areas. If you must go abroad, opt for eco-friendly hotels and activities.
An earth-friendly lifestyle starts at home. While daily transportation, grocery trips and online shopping habits affect your carbon footprint, the energy used inside your home is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. To live a carbon-neutral lifestyle, look at ways to cut emissions, including how you power your home.
Smarter consumption means reducing unnecessary energy supplies and using resources more efficiently. The availability of government incentives for environmentally-friendly energy production is steadily increasing, from solar panels to geothermally heated flooring. A carbon-neutral lifestyle requires investing in a more sustainable future, which often results in significant cost-savings in the long term.
Make Mindful Choices
A carbon-neutral lifestyle focuses on reducing waste. From transportation to the food you eat, paying attention to areas where you can cut back makes a massive difference. For example, the average American wastes 40% of the food they buy. Meal planning, storing products correctly and cooking more at home all contribute to wasting less.
Be mindful of what you eat and where it comes from. Supporting farms that are environmentally-conscious is vital to a low carbon lifestyle. Growing your own food is another excellent way to reduce waste while enjoying an abundant harvest of fresh items.
Think About Purchases
You can’t get around to never making a purchase again. However, you can take a few steps beforehand to ensure you’re limiting your consumption. For example, determine if there’s a green version of the item you need, such as an energy-efficient model. You can also buy second-hand items and give them new life.
You should also research the business you plan to buy from. Does it support eco-friendly initiatives, such as recycling and renewable energy? Does it attempt to reduce waste as much as possible? Most organizations tout their green efforts online, so don’t forget to peruse their websites.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Sustainable change comes from individuals living differently and inspiring others to do the same. More than anything, a carbon neutral lifestyle requires a shift in your mindset.
Feel confident in the decisions you make when it comes to going green. Whether it be starting a community garden or installing solar panels on your roof, know that you’re making a difference. Not only does reducing your carbon footprint benefit the environment, but it also enhances your quality of life.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.