Reducing carbon footprint is a mutual responsibility for all of us who inhabit this planet. It is not just your local municipality, state government, a well funded non-profit or national government that can do something significant to help reduce the carbon footprint. You too can do your bit. Read on to find out how!
‘Carbon footprint’ means the amount of carbon dioxide released into the earth’s atmosphere as a result of various activities. Increasing concentrations of this gas are resulting in higher overall temperatures, melting of glaciers and various other changes in the climate that are and will adversely affect the ecology of this planet. Listed below are some meaningful ways YOU as an individual can help reduce carbon footprint:
1. Start with how you use your car
Most people cannot stop using a car altogether but you can reduce your contribution to the carbon footprint by 30% per gallon.
- Always accelerate slowly and as smoothly as you can.
- Stay within the speed limit and drive steadily.
- Always keep your car in good working condition.
- Replace your filters on time.
- Or invest in an Electric Car with zero emissions.
That’s all it takes!
2. Change the way you travel
By taking a handful of smart decisions related to travel, you can make a considerable difference to the emission level due to vehicles.
- Combine errands in one trip instead of many.
- Use a carpool and save up to 20% per gallon.
- Once a week, use a cycle to reach office or take out the bike instead of the car. And if your workplace is less than a mile, why not just take a walk!
- If possible, you can even work from home on some days.
3. Charity begins at home
- Invest in programmable thermostats in order to control the temperature of your home.
- Keep your house in prime shape by regularly maintaining the caulking and the insulation.
- Change your lighting to CFL’s, they cut down the energy bill by two thirds and work for a very long time.
- At all times, keep your heating and cooling systems in good shape to keep energy loss at the minimum.
- Teach your children to keep the faucet off while brushing and shaving.
- When buying appliances, check that it has the Energy Star Label.
- Replace windows that are losing heat. And start looking for solar energy options for the house.
4. When it’s celebration time
- Use recycled paper for sending out invites. Or go one step further and cut out paper altogether; go for a virtual set up for invitations.
- Set a menu having ingredients that can be procured locally and are organic.
- Set the venue outside in the lap of nature to avoid decorations and other fanfare.
- Choose a location that involves very little transportation.
5. Reduction at your workplace
- Shut down your computer and switch off the monitor before you leave for the day.
- Before printing a document, see if it can be given on a pen drive or better still, can be passed on through an e-mail. If you really need to print, do it on both sides.
- Carpool to work or walk it if possible.
- Open your windows to save energy, if you can.
- Carry your lunch from home or walk to the coffee shop; don’t drive just because it has become a habit.
- Only switch on lights you need.
The most important thing to remember is – Reuse, reduce, and recycle.
You can do it! Let’s make our planet more beautiful than we our ancestors left it us for.
The article is by Conor MacGuire, author for Green Energy Scotland Limited, who provides energy saving advice in Scotland. They help people of Scotland to make their home energy efficient so that they can save on energy bills. They also replace boilers under boiler replacement scheme in Scotland.