Climate change is something hard to ignore. Anyone with any modicum of environmental consciousness knows that reducing one’s carbon footprint goes a long way toward helping the planet. A good example is proper waste disposal. This helps to reduce pollution and hence less environmental harm. For example, if you search online for “Dumposaurus Dumpsters: advice on how to profit from recycling waste,” you’ll discover that there are ways of protecting the environment through responsible waste disposal while making a buck.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
Several types of gases are constantly produced in the environment through numerous processes. Whether it’s from heavy manufacturing industries or the exhaust of a vehicle, these gases are released into the atmosphere where they corrupt the ozone layer. The ozone layer is a critical part of the earth’s atmosphere that helps to contain harmful rays from the sun, including ultraviolet (UV) rays. The gases that compromise the ozone layer are called greenhouse gases. These include:
- ii) Nitrous oxide
iii) Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- iv) Methane
These are some of the numerous greenhouse gases.
An individual’s or entity’s carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases that they produce. This production could come directly (e.g humans breathing out carbon dioxide) or from using a product or service.
The larger an entity’s carbon footprint, the more greenhouse gases they help to produce. These gases cumulatively help to contribute to heat-trapping around the earth’s surface, a phenomenon known as the greenhouse effect.
Regular folks will leave their carbon footprint as a result of activities like transportation and things like food or housing. Calculating one’s carbon footprint is possible. You’ll need some basic information including:
i)The approximate distances you travel by car, bus, or airplane
- ii) Energy usage at your residence
iii) What kind of foods you consume regularly
- iv) Your shopping budget
Given that no two individuals are alike, people will score differently in each category. Regardless of how much (or little) these elements contribute to your overall carbon footprint, you can always reduce them. This ensures that your carbon footprint has less of an impact on your personal environment.
How to Minimize Your Carbon Footprint
Given that many of the daily activities people engage in will contribute toward leaving a carbon footprint, it helps to know what can be done to reduce it.
Doing the following things will help to reduce one’s carbon footprint significantly.
Automobiles produce contribute greatly to carbon emissions, accounting for a significant percentage of carbon footprint. Up until recently, electricity production from fossil fuels like natural gas and coal was the number one contributor to a huge carbon footprint. However, vehicle usage has surpassed them. This means that every time you hop into your car to drive anywhere, you are contributing to the global carbon footprint and all its associated negative effects.
The solution to this issue is to drive less. If you live in a city, there are other options for transportation. Cycling is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t lead to the emission of greenhouse gases. Of course, avoiding driving completely isn’t an option for many people. However, you can still reduce your carbon footprint by using your vehicle less frequently. For instance, instead of driving to the nearby shopping center, walk there instead. Reserve driving only to your workplace or in case of urgent situations. Even when you operate your vehicle, go easy on the gas pedal. This ensures less energy consumption and hence less greenhouse gas emissions—all good things for a reduced carbon footprint.
2) Being Environmentally-Conscious When Purchasing a New Car or Equipment
If you’re in the market for a new car, always consider its fuel consumption. If possible, go for an electric car instead of one that uses gas. This is because electric cars are as environmentally friendly as they get. Your carbon footprint contribution from driving will be nearly zero when you start driving around in an electric car. However, electric cars are not an option for most people. In such cases, consider a car’s efficiency. For instance, how much fuel does it consume per mileage? What are its ratings as far as efficiency goes? Such questions will help you choose a car that’s very efficient, meaning less of a carbon footprint to be left behind.
3) Flying Less
Many people take several vacations a year, each time using airplanes to fly to distant places. While most people use public planes, an increasing number of wealthy individuals are resorting to using private jets. This means that there are now more planes in the skies than at any point in human history. Of course, with more planes comes more greenhouse gas emissions (and a larger carbon footprint)!
By flying less often, you’ll help to reduce the emission of these dangerous gases, meaning your carbon footprint will also drop. Instead of flying to distant locations, take trips to nearby places. Only fly when necessary. All the money you save by foregoing flying can be invested in environmentally-friendly ventures like helping farmers use more organic fertilizers, and helping to further reduce their carbon footprint.
There are several other ways of reducing your carbon footprint. For instance, you can ease up on using air conditioning systems—significant contributors to greenhouse emissions.
Ultimately, it’s adopting a lifestyle that contributes toward environmental friendliness. This will gradually reduce your carbon footprint.