Cop 26 in Glasgow in 2021 was a phenomenal event where the nations of this world agreed on a blueprint that should help each nation limit their carbon footprint. On a much smaller scale, let’s say on a household or even individual level. How do you plan to do your bit for the environment, especially with Christmas and new year festivities on it’s way?
In a bid to do my bit by creating more awareness, I think it worthwhile to bring you the following twelve ways you can reduce your carbon footprint over the coming festive period and beyond.
1. Send a Christmas eCard NOT a Christmas Card
In the UK alone, tens of millions of paper-based cards are sent between friends, family and work colleagues. When you add the trees felled, the vehicle used to deliver the cards and other things associated with traditional paper based cards, you are looking at a significant carbon footprint. Why not send a Charity Christmas eCard instead? A charity Christmas ecard will help reduce your Christmas carbon footprint and help a good cause.
2. Embrace a Minimalist Lifestyle
The way you choose to spend your money and what they are spent on can make a significant difference when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. There is an embedded carbon price tag in any new purchase. For this reason, getting thrifty is the most sustainable option in reducing your carbon footprint.
3. Consider Environmentally-Friendly Modes of Transport
People need to move from here to there and transportation is an aspect of life we can not do without. Though all modes of transportation require energy, some are more friendly to the earth than others.
A study found that 75% of the total greenhouse gas emissions is caused by road transportation and the trend is projected to increase in the future if it’s unchecked.
To help in reversing this worrying trend; you may want to consider these transport alternatives and adjustments to your movement:
- Coordinate your errands and cut back on unnecessary trips
- Use public transportation
- Drive less
- Opt for train travel over plane travel
- Bike or walk when possible
4. Eat More Plant Foods
Eating more plant foods and less meat is one of the greatest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. This is because the meat and dairy industries are some of the top contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, it has been suggested that these industries may be the leading cause of climate change.
5. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Every unit of electricity or gas that you use results in carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. If you reduce your electricity and gas usage reduce the CO2 emissions you are responsible for. Look at the appliances in your home that use the most energy, think about how to lower their energy usage and replace any that are more than five years old.
6. Use Natural Cleaning Products
Most cleaning products come in disposable containers, and some chemicals are harmful to the environment or even to you. Switching to eco-friendly alternatives is a great way to go green while you clean.
7. Rethink Your Fashion Choices
The best way to combat fashion-related pollution is to change your buying habits. Below are some of the ways you can reduce your clothing carbon footprint:
- Instead of always getting the latest fashion, try visiting your local thrift store, repairing old clothes, shoes, and accessories.
- To ensure your clothing lasts longer, be sure to launder at lower temperatures and line dry when you can.
- Buy from companies that support a low-carbon future.
- Don’t toss out your gently used clothes but rather donate them or take them to where they can be recycled.
8. Work From Home
Flexibility and work-life balance are certainly some of the most obvious advantages of remote work over traditional office jobs. But work from home jobs also mean that the commute is a thing of the past and less greenhouse gas emissions from transportation to and from work.
9. Switch to Low-Carbon Energy Provider
Switching your electricity provider to a company that uses low-carbon energy is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. For example, renewable energy comes from natural sources such as sunlight, water or wind. It has a lower carbon footprint than energy that relies on the burning of fossil fuels.
10. Reduce Food Waste
A significant share of all the food produced in the world today ends up as rubbish before it even gets to the table. Food when goes to the landfill and rots, it produces methane—a very potent greenhouse gas.
11. Switch from Single-Use to Sustainable
Feminine hygiene products and other single-use items have reusable alternatives that you can switch to in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
12. Support Climate Champions
Share your passion for climate action with people around you: family members, friends, coworkers. Encourage them through your own choices and actions.
You can volunteer with an environmental organization and you can make donations to support climate champions.
Though efforts to lower your personal impact on climate change will likely be so minimal in the grand scheme of things, aligning your everyday actions with your values can have a ripple effect. Others around you can be encouraged to follow your ways by also adjusting their daily activities to help reduce personal carbon footprint which will eventually bring about a real positive change.