As the year marches forward, people are beginning to think about the goals they want to achieve and the changes they want to implement in their life. As we see the continued decline of the environment, sustainability is high on many people’s lists of ways they want to improve their lifestyles. We all know how important it is to reduce our carbon footprint, and 2021 is a great time to start implementing small changes in your lifestyle that can add up to have a big impact. Here are five easy ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint throughout the year.
While many people have access to recycling where they live, it often becomes a habit to throw most of your household waste in the trash, because it’s easier than taking the extra time to sort out what can be recycled and dispose of it properly. When you both recycle and purchase recycled products, it means less new raw materials need to be used, and less manufacturing needs to occur, thus resulting in less carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere – meaning you’re reducing your carbon footprint. It’s worth taking the extra few minutes to sort and clean any recyclable materials that your household may have and separate them from your regular trash. Having separate containers in your kitchen for your trash and recycling can simplify the process and help you avoid piles of recyclables on your counters or the floor next to your trash can. Recycling is one of the easiest methods for reducing your carbon footprint, and starting today can create a lifetime habit of sustainable recycling practices.
Switch to LED lightbulbs
If you have more than a couple light bulbs in your home or the lights stay on a decent amount of the day, switching to LED bulbs instead of traditional light bulbs can dramatically reduce the amount of power that your lights use by up to 75%. That not only reduces your carbon footprint and the amount of electricity needed to power your home, but can also save you a lot of money in the process. This means that less fossil fuels need to be burned to create electrical power, meaning fewer emissions are released into the atmosphere. LED bulb technology has also rapidly advanced and LED bulbs are generally only a few dollars more than traditional bulbs and can last 3 to 4 times as long. Many of them pay for themselves in under a year in utility savings. Choosing LED light bulbs is an easy way to both save money and offset your carbon footprint!
Reduce Food waste
Currently, food waste is one of the biggest contributors to the waste problem that the world is facing, in addition to the emissions that are created as it breaks down in landfills. This problem is also compounded as many people are concerned about their health, and are turning to takeout to avoid waiting in crowded restaurants. As food breaks down in landfills, it often releases methane, which is one of the most potent greenhouse gases created by landfills. Food waste also requires much more food to be grown, produced, and shipped, meaning that the carbon footprint of every step of the process is much larger than it needs to be. Taking the time to plan meals and only order what you know you will eat, can make a big impact on both the cost of food every month and the waste you create. It’s also a great opportunity to look for creative uses of leftovers instead of just getting into the habit of throwing leftover food away. Meal planning, utilizing more leftovers, and eating-in more often are how many choose to reduce their carbon footprint. You can enjoy great meals, save money, and help the environment.
Cut down on flying and long road trips
Travel accounts for 8% of total global carbon emissions every year. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to significantly reduce your carbon footprint is to cut down on the amount that you travel every year. Instead of taking a big vacation to a far off destination every year, explore what there is to do closer to where you live. Avoiding multiple flights every year or frequent long road trips can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. If you have to travel for work or to visit family, there are a number of options for you to pay a bit extra and offset your carbon footprint for your flight. There are also options available to pay to become a carbon neutral commuter and contribute to a project that will offset the carbon footprint created by your daily commute to work or school.
Start using EcoCart when ordering online
One of the easiest, most affordable ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to use EcoCart when you shop online. Online shopping accounts for a significant portion of the average person’s carbon footprint, due to the amount of products we buy and ship online. When you use EcoCart, you can offset your carbon footprint every time you check out. EcoCart does all the work for you! All you have to do is install the extension and hit the green “make my order carbon neutral” button when you see it pop up on a site you’re shopping at. Then EcoCart will donate on your behalf to carbon offset projects around the world that help preserve our planet’s environment!
Big change starts small
Reducing your carbon footprint can sound like a daunting task, and many people may think that it’s easier to simply not tackle it at all. However, tools like EcoCart are a great place to start making small, sustainable changes in your life. It’s essential for everyone to look for the little ways that they can make a difference, and be diligent to do their part. Change doesn’t occur, when one person makes drastic lifestyle changes, it happens when millions of people start making small changes that add together put a big dent in the waste we create and the carbon footprint we leave behind. Creating a better future doesn’t happen when everyone chooses the easiest option. It happens when we all make intentional lifestyle choices that consider our impact on the planet’s future and the world we want to live in.