The term “carbon footprint” has been loosely thrown around for years by reporters, politicians, and college kids, but what does it mean? A summarized definition of the term would be the amount of CO2 (or Carbon) an individual or company puts out on a daily basis.
Day-to-day operations such as driving, home heating, garbage production, utilizing certain cleaning chemicals, and even a person’s choice of food can affect the overall severity of their carbon footprint. Living a more environmentally sound lifestyle can help to reduce the production of harmful greenhouse gasses.
Large businesses and corporations can also take steps to lower their impact on the surrounding environment. Here are a few simple ways to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of an individual or household as a whole.
Augment energy usages.
Every day, our lives require us to utilize the power of electricity, but we should do so in a conservative fashion to reduce our carbon footprint. Change light bulbs to compact florescent bulbs.
Install an automated thermostat to stabilize the internal temperature of a home. Invest in Energy Star approved appliances. Unplug all electronic device charges while they are not in use. Even though nothing is charging, the box is still pulling energy.
Transportation methods matter.
Driving an oversized SUV two miles to work every day is not the best use of resources. Investing in an environmentally friendly car will not only benefit the environment, but it will benefit the buyer financially when tax time comes around. The government is quick to grant tax cuts to those who invest in the wellness of our planet.
If possible, try carpooling a few days a week to take at least one car off the road for a day. People who live in large metropolis areas can invest more time in public transit resources and take the bus or the train.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Recycle every bit of trash possible. Whether it is a business or a family home, we humans produce a whole lot of trash, most of which can be recycled. The slogan “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” prompts conscientious citizens to reduce the amount of waste they produce, reuse whatever materials possible, and recycle qualified materials regularly. These three rules are ideal for reducing one’s carbon footprint on the planet.
Buy food that is locally grown.
Buying food from local farmers and vendors saves on fuel expenditure. Foods in most grocery stores are shipped in from afar on big diesel-burning trucks. When more people buy locally, it cuts down on the number of trucks on the road. Not to mention, locally grown food is typically healthier and cleaner than the genetically modified, mass produced counterparts.
Try buying less meat.
The same type of concept applies to purchasing significant amounts of meat products. It takes a whole lot of natural resources to raise, slaughter, and ship meat. By not contributing to this cycle, a person lowers their individual impact on the environment.