Hidden Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The term ‘carbon footprint’ has been bandied about for years, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, it’s a way of representing the total emissions caused by a person or organisation translated into a carbon dioxide value. People who fly regularly, eat plenty of meat, buy a lot of new clothes and don’t make an effort to recycle will have a larger carbon footprint. Those who put effort into recycling, eat a plant based diet and seldom buy new products will have a smaller carbon footprint.
Nobody’s perfect, but everybody can try to shrink the carbon footprint they leave on the Earth. Here are some simple and accessible ways to do so, some of which you might not even have thought of before!
Staying In is the New Going Out
Sometimes, it really is as easy as choosing a night in as opposed to a night out. Whilst hitting the town every once in a while is a great way to socialise with your partner or friends, if it’s too common an occurrence then you could be increasing your carbon footprint significantly. Establishments that open in the evening time – like bars, clubs, casinos and restaurants – typically use more energy staying lit up in the dark night and adjusting the temperature indoors to suit patrons. Although some restaurants are starting to wise up to the damage that food waste can do, most regular eateries will be generating tonnes of the stuff, and cooking for the masses often means abandoning the idea of a carbon neutral supply chain.
You can do your bit by choosing a cosy night in a little more often and making use of your own, carefully cultivated facilities rather than enjoying massive energy-zapping corporate ones. If you fancy something different for dinner, you could try something like a groobox.co.uk full of freshly picked veg and grown on a certified carbon neutral farm. Whilst, obviously, you’ll still be using energy to cook, it will be vastly reduced compared to a restaurant and you can cook enough delicious grub to keep your household going all week. For entertainment, there are plenty of online alternatives to your favourite brick-and-mortar establishments. Pokerstarscasino.com can fulfil all of your card game needs, and spotify.com covers all the best music you could possibly hope to hear. We’re not saying that you should ban nights out, just consider a little more carefully how often you really need one.
No Fly Zone
Now, this is a bit more of an obvious one. We’re all aware how damaging flying can be; the amount of fuel required to power an aeroplane is incredibly high and these airborne vehicles kick out tonnes of other nasty chemicals too. All in all, air travel dramatically contributes to leaving a big carbon footprint with a far-reaching impact. So, what are we supposed to do instead? Travelling to different parts of the world can be an enriching and rewarding experience, one that many of us would not give up lightly.
The answer lies in finding alternatives to the flight-heavy package holidays and long-distance trips that we’re all encouraged to take. Rather than three holidays abroad in a year, flying every time, why not take a slightly longer trip to interrail around Europe or the US? It’s affordable and fun, plus trains leave a much smaller carbon footprint than aeroplanes. You’ll find yourself experiencing parts of a country that a package holiday could never offer you, and, if you’re careful with the accommodation you book and the food you eat, you could lower your footprint even further. This approach may take a bit more careful planning on your part but you’ll end up with a holiday to remember for a lifetime. You could even go one step further and treat yourself to a ‘staycation’. We’re often so used to the area we live in that we don’t stop to appreciate all it has to offer. Instead of venturing to some far flung corner of the Earth, see what there is available within a 100 mile radius of where you’re based. Whether you take public transport or drive, you’ll still leave a smaller footprint than flying.
Be a Conscientious Shopper
In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to make more ecologically friendly choices as a consumer. From the food you eat to the clothes you wear to the energy company you use, there is always a greener option. We’re not saying that you should try to change everything in your life straight away; rather, next time you have to make a decision about a product or service, consider the ecological impact along with the damage to your bank balance. In fact, choosing the green option can often work out cheaper for you as well as better for the planet.
For example, clothing companies that are dedicated to reducing their carbon footprint often make use of superior methods and practices. They might use organic fabrics or ensure that every worker along their supply chain receives a living wage; they are more likely to want to create high quality products that last, made well by people who are paid well. This is better for the world and for you, the consumer, as it means that you can spend your money on something worthwhile, rather than an item that will last all of one week before it ends up in the bin. The great thing is that companies like this want to shout about all the good work they’re doing in a throwaway industry, so it should be simple enough to track them down online and investigate further.