Climate change is real, but not unsolvable. There are lots of actionable steps you can take to save the planet from an ever-changing climate. Here are five ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
Reducing Your Carbon Foot Print
1. Learn the 5 R’s: refuse, reduce, reuse, rot, recycle:
Going no waste is a great step towards combating climate change. Practicing the 5 R’s can help. You’ve probably heard of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. But there are two more that are equally important. Lets break it down:
REFUSE: Avoid single use plastics and paper products by saying no thank you, opting for reusables.
REDUCE: Downsize what you purchase, opting to be more mindful of what you really need.
REUSE: Always find a way to keep an item out of the landfill by keeping it in great condition, repairing or upcycling it when it breaks.
ROT: Set up a compost system for your food scraps, or find a food scrap drop off center (like a farmers market, or community garden) near your house.
RECYCLE: Properly recycle any plastic, paper, glass or metal that comes into your life you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse by researching your state’s recycling laws.
2. Bike more and drive less:
Traditional cars put out a lot of exhaust, which pollutes the air. In fact, vehicles produce one-third of all U.S. air pollution.
The toxins emitted by vehicles are also very dangerous for human health, considering the tailpipes are at street level where humans can breathe the air directly into their lungs.
Challenge yourself to drive less and bike more. Riding your bike forces you to utilize your own muscle power.
You’ll get a workout all while helping the environment. Plus, it requires much less energy to produce a bike than it does to manufacture a car.
If you can’t bike to work for whatever reason, take public transportation. It puts less cars on the road, which reduces the amount of exhaust filling the air at once.
3. Conserve water and protect our waterways:
Reducing your water usage is essential: There’s only so much water on this earth, and we can’t make any more of it.
Did you know 96.5 percent of the water on earth is too salty for human consumption? Two thirds of the remaining fresh water are locked away in polar ice, glaciers, and permanent snow.
Here are a 4 ways to help conserve water and protect our waterways:
a. When you brush your teeth, be sure to shut off the water while you lather up. Don’t leave it running: Only turn it on when it’s time to rinse your mouth out.
b. Take shorter showers. A fun way to do this is by listening to a 5 to 10 minute song, then shut the shower off when it’s over.
c. Don’t flush things down the toilet to dispose of them. One flush can waste up to 5 or 7 gallons of water!
d. Host or join a waterway cleanup in your local community. Keep those waters plastic free!
4. Eat seasonally, locally, and more plants:
I love eating seasonal foods! Whenever I go to the farmers market, I’m amazed by the bounty mother nature has to offer with each passing season. All the produce is at its peak, so it’s absolutely delicious.
Try to buy the majority of your food as local produce. Animal products are much more intense as they require more water and resources.
Making the majority of your plate plant-based foods, is healthier and better for the planet.
Eating seasonal also means eating local, which is great for the environment. When you support local farmers, you don’t have to worry about how far your food traveled to get to you.
It doesn’t have to sit in traffic for days, spewing exhaust fumes into the air. It gets to you quickly, without polluting the air.
Better yet, bring some reusable produce bags and totes with you to reduce waste!