There are many dimensions of climate change and just how much we as humans have to do with it. The science behind it is complex, and there is still so much to learn about how we are affecting the environment and what we can do about it. However, there are some real-world solutions for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and this guide will walk you through some of them.
For Starters, What is a Carbon Footprint?
It’s important to get clear about what we are talking about. A carbon footprint can offer up clues about where we are headed environmentally. Your footprint measures how much carbon dioxide (CO2) you produce throughout your daily life. These include much of your daily activities including driving to work, turning on the lights, and what you consume in your diet. Each of these relies on the combustion of fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas. When these fossil fuels burn, they emit gases like CO2 that ultimately contribute to global warming. Your carbon footprint doesn’t just include CO2, but other gases like methane (a huge proportion of these emissions come from livestock production), nitrous oxide, and fluorinated gases.
And there are resources out there to help you keep track of and calculate your carbon footprint, like this website.
Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
There are numerous ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and we’ve listed three out for you to get you started on being a positive contributor to the environment.
1. Drive less. This may seem simple, but how many of us spend extra time in our car when we could be walking or biking? Back in 2017, Climate Central reported that transportation is the biggest source of CO2 in the U.S. If for any reason you can’t walk or bike, public transportation is also one of the great ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
2. Eat less meat. A vegan diet is one of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint and combat climate change. Massive greenhouse gas emissions come from the agriculture industry, with the production of beef alone contributing to 41% of the sector’s emissions and cattle milk contributing to 20%. Vegetarianism is also a great alternative diet to consider, and if that isn’t in the cards for you, replacing beef consumption with chicken for one year leads to an annual carbon footprint reduction of 882 pounds of CO2. And even if you don’t take up an alternative diet, there are still ways to reduce your carbon footprint such as adding a meatless dish to your weekly dinner menu.
3. Switch to sustainable, clean energy. The U.S. gets 81% of its total energy from sources like oil, coal, and fossil fuels. These are the fuels that run our cars, give us electricity, and heat our homes. The issue is, these sources of energy are limited, whereas energy sources such as solar and wind power are unlimited. Ultimately, an alternative energy source like solar power will continue to take precedence over time as one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Your Future Carbon Footprint
Just about anyone can make changes to their lifestyle that reflect the ways to reduce your carbon footprint that we’ve listed in this article. While some may be simpler than others, these actions and choices make a difference, and we all share the responsibility of being aware of and implementing ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
And if you’re a homeowner in California and would like to improve your future carbon footprint for the better of the environment while saving money on your power bill, you can start implementing our last tip today! Consider making the switch to solar power for your home, and find out how much you could be saving with this solar savings calculator.