If you are concerned about the effects of climate change on our world, you are undoubtedly always on the lookout for ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle with a smaller carbon footprint. However, it can be hard at times to find ways of doing so, or to know exactly how a particular change will affect your footprint. Understanding the best ways to reduce carbon footprints is an important part of making the shift to a greener lifestyle.
There are a lot of simple things that you can do to make your carbon footprint smaller and make less of an impact on the Earth. By implementing some of these changes in your day-to-day lifestyle, you can start to make a real difference in how many resources you use and how much carbon is emitted as a result of your daily activities.
Transportation Accounts for Nearly Half of Noxious Air Pollution
One of the activities that has the biggest impact on your carbon footprint is transportation. If you commute to work every day by car, you are responsible for a large amount of carbon emissions. By reducing the amount that you drive, you can really start to reduce carbon footprints.
If you can’t cut down on your daily commute, buying a more fuel-efficient model is a good way to reduce your gasoline usage. Even an improvement of just a few miles per gallon can really add up over the course of the year, depending upon how much you drive.
Carpooling is another good way to reduce your annual mileage. By starting a carpool with other employees at work, you can cut the amount of gas you use by as much as three-quarters. Having four people share a single vehicle, rather than having four cars on the road, can really have a big impact.
Taking public transportation is another good way to reduce your carbon footprint. If you live in a city that has a good bus or light rail system, you may be able to rely on this for your commute or for just getting around town. You may find that a lot of your daily transportation needs can be taken care of by just riding the bus.
Of course, for errands that are closer to home, you may not even need to use a vehicle at all. If you are heading somewhere that is just a mile or so from home, just slip on a good pair of shoes and walk. Not only does walking dramatically reduce your carbon footprint, but it helps you get in good shape at the same time. Biking is another good choice for longer trips.
A Matter Of Illumination
In addition to your transportation choices, there are a lot of things that you can do around the house to cut down on your carbon footprint. For example, if you have not yet replaced your old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs, now is the perfect time. These newer bulbs use a lot less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they last a lot longer as well.
CFLs can last for several years, and LEDs can last for decades. You may never have to change a light bulb again after making the switch to the newer, more energy-efficient models. Over the course of a bulb’s lifetime, it can save you a lot of money and use a lot less energy.
Home Heating and Cooling Energy Consumption the Earth Smart Way
It can take a lot of energy to heat and cool your home, so making sure that you are doing so in the most efficient manner is a good idea. Have your furnace and air conditioner tuned and maintained on a regular basis to make sure that they are not using more energy than they need to. This will also help you identify any problems before they become too serious.
If you need to replace either your furnace or your air conditioner, look for the most energy-efficient model that you can find. The less energy that it takes to heat and cool your home, the smaller your carbon footprint will be.
Set your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. Even a degree or two can add up to a lot over the course of a year. If you feel cold in the winter, don’t just automatically bump the thermostat up. Instead, put on a sweater. During the summer, use fans to help yourself feel cool rather than always turning on the AC.
Stop Using Electricity Needlessly
Remember to turn off electronic devices and unplug them when they are not in use. Many appliances still use energy as long as they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. Unplugging them at night or when you are away will reduce the amount of energy they use.
These are just a few of the ways in which people can reduce carbon footprints. Give these a try, and keep an eye out for other ideas.
I would love to hear your comments. Do you have any new earth smart ideas for the rest of us?