How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The carbon footprint of an average Australian is estimated to be about 15 tonnes of CO2 a year. The recommended number is 2 tonnes per human. However, it’s not solely Australian’s that have been surpassing their carbon footprint numbers. All around the globe, there are increasing global emissions and pollution which leads to a decrease in the health of the planet’s oceans and animals. A great thing to consider is making small changes in your routine that can have a positive effect on the planet.
Before you can change your behaviour and decrease your personal footprint it’s important to understand what a carbon footprint actually is. A carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of human’s daily activities. The primary greenhouse gas that is generated by human activity is carbon dioxide. When excess gases get released into the atmosphere the gas gets trapped because of the heat from the sun and in turn, warms the Earth. The process has an effect on weather patterns, oceans, and all life on Earth.
More than 60 per cent of Australia’s electricity is produced from burning coal, so even turning the lights on plays a part in most people’s carbon footprint. Things such as driving or disposing of trash also produce greenhouse gases. Of course, these are things that everyone must do so it’s inconceivable to change your daily routine to the point of completely erasing your footprint. However, there are small things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint.
Reduce food waste
Food waste affects emissions due to the energy used to grow, process, transport and sell the produce. Furthermore, although it’s organic, when produce becomes waste it releases methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon. By being more careful about shopping, and only purchasing what will be used you can reduce the amount of food waste. Save leftovers and if you’re ambitious, consider composting.
Change your lightbulbs
Changing the type of lightbulbs you use is such a small thing to do, but it can reduce your environmental footprint and your energy bill each month. Try using long-lasting LED bulbs if you’re not already.
In the digital era, there is a very simple way to limit your amount of paper waste. Most energy providers, insurance companies, and other businesses offer a paperless option so that you can opt-out of receiving bills in the mail. Most bills can be paid online, and often there is a discount for doing so!
Limit plastic use
Choose paper at the grocery store or bring your own tote bag. If you’re fine drinking without a straw when you go out to eat then don’t use one. Buy a reusable water bottle to carry with you. When a large number of the population begin altering their routine in these small ways it can have a huge effect.
This blog was originally published on Glenn Duker's website.