Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With These 7 Eco-Friendly Choices

We each have a role to play in protecting the environment. As climate change becomes a more pressing threat, it’s critical that we take steps in our homes and communities to cut down on the negative effects we make on this world. You can help preserve our planet for forthcoming generations by practicing and promoting these seven Earth-savvy solutions.


1. Banish Plastic Bags and Bottles 

Waste is a devastating issue in our environment. It may be surprising, but each year, humans throw away nearly 8,618 kilograms of plastic. These bottles, bags and containers do not decompose and end up in our oceans and on our beautiful coastlines instead. Make a pledge to stop your plastic obsession by picking up some reusable shopping bags and water bottles. To make an even bigger impact, consider whether a plastic bag ban or tax makes sense for your community, and organize an effort to put a rule into place. Of course, picking up waste when you see it in nature is a wonderful way to clean up our planet, so make every effort to collect litter whenever you see it polluting your favorite beach or park. You can even turn this trash into treasure!


2. Eliminate Food Waste 

It can take up to 182 liters of water to produce a single glass of milk. There are electricity and transportation costs to factor in as well. When you throw away food, you are also throwing away natural resources. Try to cut down on your food waste by planning out meals and freezing items to preserve them longer. In the community, look for restaurants and grocery stores that donate, rather than throw out, their unsold or uneaten food to make a bigger impact on the ecosystem.


3. Switch Out Old Appliances 

If your appliances are outdated, chances are that they use a ton of electricity. Electricity typically requires fossil fuels and petroleum products to produce, which are both bad for the environment. By switching them out for new, energy-efficient appliances, you can reduce your electricity usage while reducing your power bill. If you have a dishwasher or washing machine, consider changing them out for water-efficient appliances as well.


4. Save Water in Your Home 

One of the most commonly wasted resources is water, which takes quite a bit of energy to filter and distribute throughout communities. You can cut down on the amount of water you use by installing low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets in your home. Since showers and faucets use nearly a quarter of a home’s water, you’ll drastically cut down your usage while saving money on your utility bills every month.


5. Change Your Light bulbs 

One of the simplest, most cost-effective changes you can make is to change your light bulbs. Invest in LED or CFL lights all around the inside and outside of your home. Talk to your homeowners association and encourage neighbors to do so as well. These light bulbs use less energy and typically last longer than standard bulbs. If you do opt for CFL bulbs, just use caution when disposing of them, since many contain toxic mercury.


6. Garden With Care 

Gardening can be a wonderful stress-reliever, but it can put strain on the environment. Make sure your personal and community gardens are maintained with green solutions. Use rain barrels to collect rain for watering, and think about composting to help reduce your waste output and to fertilize plants. Don’t use harmful pesticides, which can seep into the ground and pollute water sources.


7. Walk When You Can

Cars are one the biggest contributors to pollution worldwide. Cut down on your share of exhaust and gas usage by going on foot every now and then. Taking a stroll to that nearby coffee shop or park can also help you relieve stress and get to know your neighbors, so ditch driving and get some fresh air while you get from point A to point B.

The fate of the world is in our hands. Reducing your carbon footprint is the simplest way you can cut your contribution to climate change and pollution. Making eco-friendly choices at home and out in the community can help make the world a cleaner place to live in now and for future generations.

This is a guest post, written by Neil Stawski. Neil believes an informed, engaged public is the only way to save the planet. He created to educate the public and encourage people to take action. ClimateWise helps visitors stay up to date on the latest climate change developments--from news stories to information about the latest research to what climate change deniers are doing to mislead the public. 

Ricardo Oliveira