Carbon footprints refer to amount of CO2 we release as part of daily work routine. From turning on the light to going to office for work or making an instant coffee for ourselves, we have been using energy like anything and this energy comes at a cost.This energy is produced by burning fossil fuels like coal, wood etc. all of which produce huge amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. CO2 is one the gases which is directly responsible for global warming as it absorbs the heat from the sun and raise temperatures around the globe.
Nowadays, we use the term carbon footprints to measure the amount of CO2 released in the atmosphere. According to a study conducted by EPA, an average person in U.S. releases around 22 pounds of CO2 every year. All the gadgets that we use at home or at office come at a cost which in a way affect our environment.
There are however many sites which allow you to calculate your carbon footprint in the form of carbon calculators. They take inputs such a monthly power usage or number of miles traveled per day by car and gives the output in terms of number of carbon footprints released by you in the atmosphere.
The next step is to know how you can reduce your carbon footprints. The steps described below can help you to reduce if not erase, your carbon footprint.
Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
1. Renewable electricity: Make use of renewable source of electricity. Renewable energy is available in abundant supply and can be used for many years to come. This way you will be avoiding the use of energy produced using burning of fossil fuels.
2. Make your home energy efficient: Use CFL light bulbs in case of normal light bulbs. CFL light bulbs consume 80% less electricity as compared to light bulbs that are available in market.
3. Use Geothermal heat pumps to store hot water. There is enormous amount of heat energy available beneath the earth. You can use this heat to heat your homes instead of using room heaters which consumes enormous amount of energy. You might have to incur one time cost but you can reduce your carbon footprint up to a great level.
4. If you are going for a short distance, prefer to go on foot or by bicycle. This way you can reduce the amount of fuel that your car would need to drive you down to the destination.
5. Make use of sunlight as much as possible during the day. This will hep you to lower down your monthly electricity bill and save large amount of energy. Open the curtains during day time and let the fresh air and sunlight come in.
6. Eat less Red Meat. Our carbon footprints only determined by the way we use energy or travel or heat our homes. In-fact, the way we eat also determines the carbon footprint. The amount of energy used to produce the food is also included in the carbon footprint. Whether the food is grown through chemicals or grown organically and how far the food has traveled to be available to you, counts in the carbon footprint. Try to intake as much organic food as you can to reduce your carbon footprint.
7. Travel less and if required, take direct flights instead of hoping on to couple of more destinations.You will also feel a bit less tired as direct flight will take you to the destination is less time.
8. Use Hybrid cars. Normal cars use petrol, diesel to run while hybrid cars require alternative fuel sources such as rechargeable battery, solar energy, or biodiesel fuel to run. Biodiesel car, hybrid car, electric car, and Hydrogen car are the most popular types of green cars.
9. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. If you have an old jar or mug try to use them to store cereals, biscuits, or can even be used to grow a small plant. Recycling paper, plastic, glass and metal can help reduce greenhouse emissions.
10. Car Pooling. If you are going to office for work, try the option of car pooling instead of taking your own personal car. This will result in not only in savings but also help in reducing greenhouse gases for e.g.: CO2
11. Plant trees in your lawn or in your balcony. Not only it will enhance the appearance of your home but will also induce fresh air inside. Also, close the water tap when you are not using water. While brushing teeth make sure the water is not running from the tap continuously. In short, conserve water. Don’t waste it just because it is available today.
12. If you are going on a holiday, make sure you switch off all the lights and fans and even your refrigerator, if you are not planning to come home in a week. Also, check all your taps are closed to avoid unnecessary water usage.
13. If you have a meeting with your client or business partner and you need to go outside the city, better to make use of teleconference or video calls through skype. That will reduce the amount of traveling and money that you need to incur on your travel and thereby will help in reducing carbon footprint.
14. Try washing clothes and utensils in cold water. Avoid using hot water as it consumes large amount of energy to heat up water.In short, use cold water where it is not required to use hot water.
15. You can buy carbon credit from companies who are involve in big renewable energy projects. When you purchase these credits, you can actually fund the projects that are contributing towards in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offset, however should not be seen as a way to reduce your carbon guilt.
Although, carbon footprint can’t be reduced all together, steps can be taken to at least reduce it. Below is the list of articles which have mentioned much more ways to reduce carbon footprint. Just go through them and you will find more new ways to reduce your carbon footprint.