It’s completely normal to be anxious about the state our planet is in. If you’re thinking of ways how you can do your part for preserving it for all future generations, you’re probably considering a change in lifestyle and becoming more sustainable. Listed below are nine things you can start doing to lower your carbon footprint.
Switch to renewable energy sources
In case you are looking for a bigger change in your life, you should think about switching to renewable energy sources in your home. For starters, you can look for a green energy supplier. Then, installing a solar panel system that would allow you to power your home on your own is something else you can consider. This approach has become much more affordable in recent years and governments are even giving out grants to homeowners that want to be more sustainable. Other ways you could power your home include using wind and hydro energy.
Insulate your home
Perhaps renewable energy sources are not readily available where you live. In that scenario, you want to make sure you are not wasting precious energy. With that in mind, properly insulating your home is of the essence. First of all, you want to check your doors and windows and ensure there are no cracks where cool or hot air could escape. Then, you also want to check your roof and attic for any leaks. Lastly, look for professionals that will insulate your walls and attic and help your home stay cool during summer and warm in the winter. Not only will you be lowering your carbon footprint this way but you will also be saving plenty of money on household bills.
Purchase energy-efficient appliances
When equipping your home, you also want to pay attention to the energy efficiency of the appliances you get. For example, everything from stoves and refrigerators to dishwashers and washing machines comes in a varying degree of energy efficiency. Look for a rating of A or at least B in order to save energy. Moreover, you should also consider getting LED bulbs once your fluorescent ones burn out. These are slightly more expensive but will help you save money on electricity bills and last much longer.
In addition to using less energy, you also want to use less water. There are different ways you can take on your water conservation efforts. For starters, you can replace all your faucets with low-flow models and get low-flush toilets. They use much less water than traditional models and you will be able to also save on bills. Then, greywater collection is something else to think about. Instead of letting cold water run down the shower drain while waiting for hot water, collect it and use it for various chores around the house like cooking and watering plants. What is more, you can also install a rainwater collection system so that you don’t have to use tap water to water your lawn and garden.
Buy fewer things
Another way you can lower your carbon footprint is by rethinking your purchasing decisions. Reducing the number of items that you buy means that fewer things will find their way to the landfills. So, whether you’re thinking about getting a new pair of shoes that you really don’t need or buying food in bulk even though you know you will not be able to eat it all, stop yourself before making a mindless purchase. Look around your home or ask your friends to see if any items could be given a new purpose.
Eliminate single-use plastic
You should also do your best to eliminate single-use plastic from your home and lifestyle. While it might be convenient to use, it has a detrimental effect on the environment. From polluting oceans and waterways to requiring energy to produce and recycle, single-use plastic can do a lot of harm. Things like disposable cutlery and coffee cups are easy to replace with reusable alternatives that you can even take with you wherever you go.
Look for alternative ways to travel
While using your car to get around town might seem like the most practical option sometimes, it’s time to start looking into environmentally friendly alternatives. For example, have you thought about cycling to work? With such a large selection of road bikes, it will be easy to find a model that suits you. Plus, you will not have to worry about paying for gas and parking. On the other hand, you can also look into buses, trams, trains, and even carpooling. A few colleagues carpooling is a much better solution to everyone going into work with their own car.
Have you ever thought about composting? This is yet another amazing way to reduce your carbon footprint as you will be minimizing your waste. Starting your own compost bin doesn’t have to be difficult at all. There are many tutorials online that will make it quite easy. For starters, it’s important that you know what you can compost. Most kitchen waste can be put into the bin but you want to steer clear of animal products. So, that means no meat, bones, fish, poultry, or dairy products as these can breed bacteria, attract pests, and cause odor problems.
Produce your own food
Having your own compost will come in really handy if you choose to produce your own food. If you have a yard, you can dedicate one part of it to growing all sorts of fruits and veggies that will ensure your trips to the store are minimal. In case you think that doing this will take too much time and effort, at least do your best to shop local and seasonally. That way, the food will not travel across the world to reach your table. Furthermore, you can also consider reducing the amount of meat and dairy in your diet as halving the consumption of these foods could cut agricultural nitrogen losses by over 40% and GHG emissions by up to 40%.
From changing the way your home is powered to looking for alternative ways of getting around town all the way to producing your own food, there is a lot you can do to help the environment. Start making small changes to your lifestyle and in time you might become a zero-waste household.