Everyday we hear about climate change and all of its negative effects on the planet. Once you learn the truth regarding rising temperatures and climbing sea levels you may have plenty of questions. One of which is might even be what can I do about it right now?
Yes, you, as an individual, can contribute to a reduction of carbon emissions and ultimately
reverse some of the effects of global warming. Don’t just wait for your national government to get onboard with policies and endorse clean energy, but take action in your daily routine. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” If you do not take initiative to reduce your carbon footprint, then you are adding to the problem that will irreversibly impact this planet for generations to come.
You often hear about carbon footprints but what exactly are they? To put this in simple terms, it is the total amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by an individual, event, or organization. These greenhouse gas emissions add up and is a primary cause of climate change. So here are a few ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint.
Heating and cooling your home requires a great deal of energy. Properly insulate and seal your house for more efficient heat flow that will reduce not only your utility bill, but also your carbon footprint.
You must abandon your halogen and standard incandescent lights. Compact fluorescents (CFLs) are far more efficient as they consume only 1/3 the energy and can last up to 10 times as long as halogen lights.
-ENERGY STAR Appliances
Household appliances that have a little blue “ENERGY STAR” sticker lower your utility bill while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants. When shopping, try to stock your home with qualified ENERGY STAR appliances to see a significant reduction in your carbon footprint.
For the largest reduction in your carbon emissions, allocate your attention to driving a fuel efficient vehicle. Depending upon your lifestyle and occupation, 20 to 30 miles per gallon is the minimum MPG that your vehicle should get. Some need larger vehicles for varying purposes, but when you have the option, go with a smaller, more fuel efficient car as it will have a huge impact on your greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency “42 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the energy used to produce, process, transport, and dispose of the for we eat and the goods we use.” By recycling, you help to reduce the amount of fossil fuel needed to be burnt in the process of manufacturing. This is because production using recycled materials require less energy (http://www.all-recycling-facts.com/global-climate-change.html). Another reason for recycling is that you divert materials away from waste disposal systems like landfills, reducing pollution.
By focusing on the three areas of RECYCLING, TRANSPORTATION, and HOME ENERGY, you are on your way to reducing your carbon footprint!