Climate change is real. Its effects are tangible and reducing your footprint doesn’t have to be boring. When you come to think of it, there is lack of clarity over how adversely it will impact the future generations.
You need to understand that it is a global problem and be aware of its cause and consequence. But first, you need to look at the major aspects of climate change that’s changing our world.
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Global warming can be described as a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide, CFCs, and other pollutants.
This is a process by which the gases in Earth’s atmosphere are trapped by the heat of the Sun. It makes our planet liveable as less greenhouse gas makes the Earth cool, while too much greenhouse gas makes it warmer, causing global warming.
What is Carbon Footprint?
The dictionary definition of carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community.
Bulk of your carbon footprint will come from three things – how you commute, how you keep your home and what you eat. Reducing your carbon footprint goes a long way into curbing global warming.
Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:
One of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to consume less meat. Cutting down on red meat is a better choice for the environment since its production uses a lot of water, feed and land. Beef gives off a lot more carbon dioxide per service as compared to rice, carrots, apples and potatoes.
Switching to a vegan diet and eating low down the food chain is one of the best ways to curb your carbon footprint and stay healthy. For meat lovers, replacing beef and lamb with chicken is a good alternative.
Eating locally grown food is better than that which is transported from hundreds of miles away. Check out your nearest farmer’s market and buy food from there.
Check your food waste. Organize your refrigerator and take stock of items you need to purchase, make a list before going to the supermarket. Don’t cook more food than you can eat and reuse leftovers before tossing them in the trash cans.
Take the bus instead of driving to your workplace, or take the local train or best, ride a bike. But for those who can only commute with a car, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts which can reduce fossil fuel consumption – Drive efficiently, don’t go hard on the gas or the brakes, check your tires, remove excess baggage from the vehicle and go for carpooling, that way you split your carbon footprint.
Fly a lot less. Taking fewer round-trip flights in a year reduces your carbon emission significantly. And if you are flying, go for economy rather than business or first class because in economy, the flight’s carbon emissions are shared among more passengers and are quite less than those of business class passengers.
Textile wastes is one of the major contributing problems in the fight of climate change. This happens due to trashing of old clothes as a result of trying trendy, cheap clothing. Almost half of what we wear is made out of cotton. Unless specified that it is made from ‘organic cotton’, there’s a high possibility that the cotton used is genetically modified, sprayed with harmful chemicals which can lead to water contamination.
While buying new clothes, it’s always good to ask, ‘how often will I wear this?’ Shop for vintage or recycled clothing styles. Donate old clothes for reuse.
You need to check how much carbon emission your home is contributing each day. Is your home energy efficient? Are you using the thermostat or the air conditioner for longer durations than required? It must be noted that for Canadians, more and more condo developments in Montreal are starting to apply these principles.
Are you making the best use of the curtains and windows to allow natural temperature control in your room? Are you switching off the lights and fans when you’re not in that room? Make sure to unplug your devices even if they are not powered on.
Planting greens is a quick remedy to reduce your carbon footprint since plants absorb carbon dioxide. Create more space for plants, grasses and trees in your house and around your neighbourhood.
Balcony gardens, vegetable gardens and bee-friendly flower plants all help cool down the temperature of your surroundings.
Take these steps in your locality, be vocal for the cause and join a support group that helps spread awareness and importance of reducing one’s carbon footprint. Your small, simple step can go a long way in making a better future.