9 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

A sign that reads: "One World" with a picture of the earth*This is a feature article by a Scholars' Life writer. To find out more about Western Scholars or to get involved in our programs, visit the content contributor page.

Written by a Thrive Online Guest Writer

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Climate change has grown tremendously to become one of the most pressing issues facing our world today, and major changes are set to take place in the next decade to reduce our environmental footprint. Advocates like Greta Thunberg are been pushing for political action on this issue, and nations around the globe are planning ways to reduce their environmental impact. These plans include: reusable plastic bags, carbon taxes, and many plans to stop the sale of natural gas vehicles as early as 2021. Furthermore, at the individual level, many people are becoming more conscious of their personal environmental footprint, and are figuring out ways they can make a difference.

Although many are concerned about the world’s climate, it’s often hard to figure out what parts of your lifestyle contribute the most to emissions. Here’s a quick and easy way to determine your environmental footprint and find the ways you are contributing to climate change the most.

To start you on your journey to being more green, here are nine things that every person can do to reduce their environmental footprint. Here are nine things you can do to reduce your environmental footprint.

1. Eat Less Meat: 

The amount of energy and resources it takes to raise farmed animals is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions today. Choosing to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet can have a major impact on these emissions, but if that isn’t for you, you can still cut down on your contribution to emissions without totally cutting out meat. You can choose to eat smaller portions of meat, eat meat with fewer meals, or sneak some veggies into burger patties, meatballs, or any of your other favourite dishes!

2. Unplug Your Devices:

Everything that’s left plugged in still uses energy, even if the device is powered off. Unplugging your devices when they’re not in use will cut back on the energy they use, saving the planet and lowering your energy bills at the same time.

3. Carpool, Bike, and Walk More:

I’m sure you’ve all heard this one before: cars are a major source of emissions today. It’s not always easy to walk everywhere, but try to push yourself to take greener transportation! Walking and biking not only saves the planet, but it’s great for your mental and physical health too!

4. Ditch Single-Use Water Bottles:

One of the easiest ways to reduce your impact is to get a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. Even if you recycle all your plastic bottles and single-use cups, tons of recycled items still end up in landfills. To reduce waste as a whole, use reusable water bottles, reuse your plastic ones, and try to throw things out as little as possible.

5. Shop Clean:

From plastic bags to product packaging, groceries are one of the world’s biggest creators of landfill waste. By avoiding overly packaged foods and using the bulk section, you can prevent a lot of packaging from going to landfills. You can also avoid plastic produce bags by getting a set of reusable ones, or ditching bags altogether. You can make a big difference by simply changing the products you buy, so grab your reusable grocery bags and get shopping!

6. Get a Plant:

Plants are a cute way to brighten up your home, and an amazing way to clean the air that you breathe.

7. Donate Old Clothes:

Clothing waste due to fast fashion has become a huge source of landfill waste today. Instead of throwing things away, you can give back to the community by donating your old clothes (and other items) to those in need.

8. Home Changes:

You can save a lot of energy by making some small changes at home! Using energy efficient light bulbs can reduce the emissions created by powering your home. Keeping the lights and other appliances off whenever you aren’t using them. Lastly, you can insulate your windows and water heater to reduce the amount of energy you burn heating your home.

9. Be Politically Aware:

Although we can all make a difference on an individual level, there is only so much we can do. To initiate change for the climate crisis on a national level, vote for members of parliament who strive to make improvements regarding how we are affecting our planet.


Published on