1. EAT LESS (OR NO) MEAT
Eating less meat and diary products is the best thing that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Greenhouse gas emmissions from agribusiness is the largest cause of climate change – even more of a problem than fossil fuels. Animal agriculture is the biggest consumer of fresh water as well, which ii severely increasing the problem of clean water scarcity. Start by joining in on the Meat-Free Mondays movement and commit to eating less meat and diary today.
2. DRIVE LESS
Choosing to walk, bike or take public transport has a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint. If you are lucky enough to live fairly close to shops, then choose to take a walk to pick up your daily groceries. Take a stroll in your lunchbreak to pick up that coffee rather than getting in your car. You can also plan your chores and outings to share rides with others and reduce the number of trips you take in your car each day.
3. UNPLUG YOUR DEVICES
When you are not using that charger, TV or toaster unplug it. Even standing idle it is drawing power. Power that is entirely unnecessary – do we really need to see that little red light telling us that our TV is off? Get into the habit of unplugging your devices when you are not using them.
4. SAY NO TO FAST FASHION
Many retailers practice what is know as “fast fashion” where they sell an endless cycle of “must-have” trends at fairly low prices, encouraging us to buy new clothing items each and every month. Clothing manufacture uses huge amounts of water and electricity and much of it is imported which adds to fossil fuel usage in transport. Clothing production (from growing the cotton, to factory production to shipping) is also a major contributor to pollution and introduces many harmful chemicals into our precious water systems. Instead, invest in quality, locally-made pieces that will last and wear them until they are done before buying more. When you ditch your old clothes rather give them away to help others avoid the fast fashion trap as well. And while you are at it, wash your clothes in cold water only – this not only saves power by not having to heat the water but also helps your clothes last longer.
5. PLANT A GARDEN
This is the most fun way to reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you live in a house or a flat you can add some green to the world. Plant a vegetable garden, add some pots of herbs to your windowsill, create an indoor jungle in your sunroom or simply add a couple of beautiful potted plants to your living room. They clean the air, provide oxygen and help the planet (and us) breathe. Having plants around also helps improve mood and reduce stress. You can also add potplants to your office to help that work stress melt away and give your brain that extra boost of oxygen.
6. EAT LOCAL (AND ORGANIC)
Whenever possible try to eat local, in-season produce. This reduces the carbon footprint that transporting food produces – especially with fresh fruit and vegetables as those require fast transport that is cooled throughout the journey. This also has he added benefit of supporting your local economy. If possible it is also great to eat organic, as that helps to reduce harmful pesticides polluting our earth (and our bodies).
7. OPEN A WINDOW
Open windows to create a through-draft in your home or office to help ventilate and cool the area, rather than switching on the aircon.