My last blog post about why We Should Care About Hitting 1.5°C + The Resources That Tell Us Why , was pretty heavy.
But I want you to know that the weight of global warming doesn’t rest on the individuals alone. The truth is that 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. Yet that other 29% still exists and we still have the power to change what we do individually and use our voice to slow down what those companies are doing.
And as I always stress: every small step helps!
Here are individual ways you can reduce your foot print:
This is arguably one of the most controversial and negatively associated topics within the sustainability community. But, what we eat and where we source it from matters.
Now I’m not going to jump into an ethical debate about your diet. All I know is that eating less meat and dairy, regularly composting, and eating local and seasonal produce are some of the most efficient ways that we can reduce our carbon footprint. I mean we eat on average 3 times a day with some snacks in between. Shouldn’t we consider the power our choices in each meal has?:
Eat Less Meat and Dairy
Composting at Home by the EPA
Greenhouse Gases and the Role of Composting Fact Sheet by the Composting Council
Eat Local and Seasonal Produce
Due to Urban Sprawl, our society has become greatly dependent on cars as our main source of transportation.
As convenient as cars (and other modes of fossil-fueld based transportation) have been, it’s taken a toll on our atmosphere. We can decrease our greenhouse emissions by walking/biking, utilizing our public transportation systems, carpooling, traveling smarter, avoid flying, and (if we must) drive more wisely. Here are more resources to help:
Use Cars Less
How Does Public Transportation Help the Environment by How Stuff Works
Driving Less by Eco Driver
Go on a Low Carbon Diet by Driving Less by Metromile
Eco-Friendly Driving Tactics by Dummies
Tips for Eco-Friendly Driving by Reef Relief
Flying is Bad for the Planet. You Can Help Make it Better. by the New York Times
Top 10 Tips for Environmentally-Friendly Travel by World Nomads
What is ‘green travel,’ anyway? A beginner’s guide to eco-friendly vacation planning by the Washington Post
It’s easy to leave the phone charger left in the wall all day, maybe forget to turn off the bathroom light as you head out the door, or have the T.V. on as you scroll on your laptop while having all the lights on in your home as you stay in for the night.
I’m going to be honest, I’m guilty of all of these.
But by simply unplugging, choosing more eco-friendly technologies, and (surprisingly!) deleting old emails and photos will make a huge difference to your carbon foot print:
The One Thing You’re Not Doing To Seriously Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by the Huffington Post
21 Tips: No Cost Ways to Save Electricity by BC Hydro
Delete Old Emails + Photos
Invest in Better Tech
Energy-Saving Technologies for Your Home by Ecological Insulation
Start Small, Think Long-Term: Saving Energy by the New York Times
4. Buying Habits
Shopping won’t solve all the world’s problems, but it can help.
A common phrase in the sustainability community is that: we are able to ‘vote’ with our dollars. We have the power to not only support the local economy and small businesses, but we can reduce our footprint by reducing shipping travel, sustainable production practices, and choosing items that’ll last longer. If you’re going to shop, make it count:
Plastic Pollution and Climate Change by Plastic Pollution Coalition
What is the Carbon Footprint of a Plastic Bottle? by Sciencing
Think Quality; Buy Less Frequently
What is a Carbon Footprint? Why Does it Matter for Fashion? by Good on You
17 Ways to Reduce Carbon Footprint (Simple + Effective Tips) by Get Green Now (look at point 5)
5. Using Your voice
The midterm elections have passed, the U.S. isn’t part of the Paris Climate Agreement, and it seems that current environmental policies aren’t enough. But your choice, your action, your voice matters. Only together can we create real change, and it can be intimidating to know where to start.
But creating change can be as simple as staying informed, engaging with local and national governments, hosting your own events, and sharing messages like these to your circle of friends.
What ways will you reduce your carbon footprint?
Let me know!