5 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the U.S. totaled 13.2 trillion pounds in 2020 alone. That already shows a 7% decrease from the previous year. However, it still equates to 40,000 pounds per person if you divide that by the 2020 U.S. population of 329.5 million.
Such hefty GHG emissions are the chief reasons the U.S. has among the highest carbon footprints in the world. Indeed, it’s only second to China.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint, whether you live in the U.S. or elsewhere. And that’s something we all need to do ASAP, as the higher our carbon footprints are, the faster the earth warms.
To that end, we created this guide on how to cut your carbon footprint. So keep reading to discover what you can do to become more environmentally friendly.
- Invest in a Solar Photovoltaic System
Studies found that solar photovoltaic (PV) GHG emissions are much less than coal. Moreover, the process itself of generating solar energy doesn’t produce pollutants. By contrast, burning fossil fuels, such as coal, is one of the leading pollution sources.
Thus, investing in a solar PV system is one of the best ways to help the environment as it has a lower carbon footprint. As a result, switching to solar can cut your GHG and pollutant emissions. As a bonus, this eco-friendly energy source can help you save on or offset your electricity bills.
So, why not search “the best solar company near me” online as early as today? The sooner you install and use a solar PV system, the sooner you can lower your footprint while saving money.
- Switch to Energy-Efficient Products
For a product to be energy-efficient, it must consume minimal energy to complete a task.
A perfect example is a light-emitting diode (LED) lamp. It uses at least 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb. And despite that lower energy usage, it illuminates brighter than the latter.
What’s more, LED lighting products last longer than their incandescent counterparts. For instance, the most durable LED bulbs can last up to 100,000 hours. On the other hand, incandescent lights only last a mere 1,000 to 2,000 hours.
Therefore, consider replacing all inefficient lights with LED to reduce energy use. Aside from lowering your carbon footprint and waste, it also saves you money.
ENERGY STAR appliances, including HVAC systems and water heaters, are also energy efficient. So much so that using them can lower your building’s energy consumption by up to 30%. Hence, with these devices in your home, you can cut your GHG emissions and total carbon footprint.
- Cut Back on Water Use
Water treatment and wastewater plants use energy to clean and treat water. They also rely on power to pump and supply water to consumers. According to the U.S. EPA, these facilities account for about 2% of energy use in the entire country.
That may seem small, but the EPA also says that 2% translates to more than 45 million tons of yearly GHG emissions.
Therefore, the higher your water consumption, the higher your carbon footprint. That’s also why conserving water at home is an excellent way to reduce it.
For starters, ensure your plumbing system doesn’t have leaks that can waste so much water. You can do that by inspecting taps, showerheads, and toilets for leaks and having them fixed ASAP. You should also hire a plumber for immediate leak detection and repairs.
- Minimize Reliance on Motor Vehicles
Transportation is now the primary source of GHG emissions in the United States. After all, a single pound of burned gasoline already produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2). That translates to an annual CO2 emission of six to nine tons per average vehicle.
That doesn’t mean you must say goodbye to your car to be environmentally friendly. However, you might want to drive less to reduce your transportation-related GHG emissions. For instance, consider going on foot or biking to your destination and back.
Walking and biking won’t only help cut your carbon footprint; they can also do wonders for your health. They burn calories, help your heart pump more efficiently, and work out your legs and abs. Plus, because they’re forms of exercise, they can also help boost your mood.
- Aim for a Zero-Waste Lifestyle
Waste contributes to your carbon footprint because of what happens to it after it gets to a landfill. For starters, landfilled waste emits methane, a potent GHG, as it degrades. Moreover, it releases CO2 and low doses of nitrogen (another GHG).
So minimizing the amount of waste you produce can also help reduce your carbon footprint.
You can start with something as simple as not purchasing more products than you need. Food items, in particular, release a lot of methane, so don’t buy them in bulk if you can’t eat them before they go bad.
Another example is cutting back on your paper consumption. Go paperless (i.e., e-mails) whenever possible. You can also use media devices or the cloud for file and data storage instead of printing them on paper.
You should also be mindful of your electronic products; if you can, go with an update instead of an upgrade. If you opt for the former, you can minimize the amount of e-waste you generate. Alternatively, sell, donate, or recycle existing gadgets if you need brand-new ones.
You can also reduce your carbon footprint by repurposing existing materials.
For instance, let’s say you need a new table and you have old wooden cabinets you keep in the garage. Then, why not consider repurposing the old ones to turn them into the new furniture you need? That can minimize your waste and save you money on not having to buy something new.
That’s How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
And there you have it, the many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. From investing in solar panels to cutting your waste, all these can help you lower your GHG emissions. So, as early as today, follow all our tips to become more environmentally friendly.
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