Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – Some Sustainable Choices are Harder than Others
Knowing Your Carbon Footprint
The term ‘carbon footprint’ was created by BP, one of the largest oil companies, in 2004. Of course, it was an attempt to shift responsibility from large corporations onto individuals in the battle against climate change. Thanks to this underhanded tactic, you can find countless Carbon Footprint Calculators online.
Armed with this knowledge, not only can you assess your individual damage – which will always be minuscule compared to shady oil companies and likeminded enterprises – you can also find solutions to support green businesses instead. While we focus on your impact and the choices you can make as an individual or family, let’s delve into 5 nuggets of advice we have for you to reduce your carbon footprint.
5 Top Tips to Reducing our Carbon Footprint
1. Remove or reduce meat & dairy from your diet
”But wait,” we hear you say, “Cows produce methane, not CO2!”, and you are totally right. Having said that, the cattle industry is responsible for millions of hectares of deforestation around the world. On average, 2 million hectares of forests are being burned or cut down each month. The beef industry plays a massive role in this destruction to create more space for cattle and to grow monoculture crops solely to feed those cows. With roughly 40% of the Earth’s habitable surface being used for livestock grazing and their feed, eating meat – especially beef – contributes to desertification, increased methane and CO2 emissions, more air pollution, and the extinction of countless species through the loss of irreplaceable, incredibly diverse habitats
2. Fly less, or avoid it if you can
The COVID-19 pandemic taught us which of those meetings really could have been emails. With the use of video conference tools such as Google Meets, Zoom and Skype surging this year, fewer people are travelling by plane to for work. Most holidays have been delayed or cancelled as the increased risk has put people off travelling. That does not mean that we no longer want to go on holiday. Consider taking fewer, but longer holidays. More and more people have also been influenced to ‘staycation’ more; the act of travelling close to home and exploring your surrounding area. This rarely requires you to fly. On the topic getting around your area….
3. Take public transport, bike & walk whenever you can
When you do travel in and around your area, one big way to reduce your carbon footprint is to walk when possible. For further distances, taking trains and buses provide you with an opportunity to travel without a car. Even switching to an electric or hybrid will reduce your carbon emissions AND long-term costs as you will be spending far less for fuel and recharging your car. If you can’t buy electric or hybrid, at the very least make sure you don’t drive with unnecessary weight in the car and that your tyre pressure is right. It all makes a difference.
4. Reduce your internet footprint
Did you know that online streaming, search engine usage, and holding onto all those unread/undeleted emails also have a damaging effect on the environment? Delete all that junk and read a book before bed instead of binging on Dark or Umbrella Academy. Check out Climate Care’s infographic on the internet’s carbon footprint for some rather enlightening info.
5. Avoid fast fashion
This may not sound logical when you may be short on cash, but spend bigger on better clothing. Buying a single, more expensive item of clothing or footwear will save you more money in the long run than regularly paying less for cheaper clothing. Do you now feel justified in splashing out on those Cariuma shoes?
Remember, sharing is caring. Take our advice, mix it with your own knowledge on sustainability, and teach your network how we can all do our part.
Did you know…your carbon footprint and your ecological footprint are two different things?! Check out our other post on Earth Overshoot Day to calculate how many Earths you would need to live your current lifestyle. Has the global pandemic extended your person Earth Overshoot day?