Guest Post: 7 Ways You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

I believe we aren’t doing enough to protect our planet. I created to educate the public and help people get smart about climate change. I’m very passionate about encouraging people to take action. I think that an informed, engaged public is the only way to save the planet.

– Neil Stawski <>

Practically everything you do creates carbon emissions. These greenhouse gases come from human activities and end up having an impact on the environment.

With over 7.6 billion people alive on this planet, that impact adds up. The call to action for humans to become more environmentally friendly is stronger than ever. Every individual has opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint by making changes in what they do in the community and at home.

1. Community Garden
Living in an urban area doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own garden. Community gardens are a special treat for green thumbers who want to grow their own vegetables and fruit. Community gardens are a piece of land shared by multiple people, so in the absence of a yard, you and your neighbors can do your part to reduce air pollution and add oxygen to the city air. If that’s not possible, buy fresh food directly from farmers.

2. Trade Agriculture
If you’re going to grow your own produce, then why not share with the other growers in the community? Your tomato crop will likely yield an excessive amount of tomatoes, so trade tomatoes for some of your neighbors’ cucumber and onion crops. Everyone can have tomato, onion and cucumber salads for lunch all week, ensuring that you all eat healthy and reduce food waste.

3. Eat Less Meat
The single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact is to eat less meat. You don’t have to become a vegetarian, but cutting down your meat consumption to a few days a week could make a big environmental impact. Meat and dairy account for 20 percent of greenhouse emissions. Animal agriculture uses up a great deal of water, land, energy, and other resources. In addition to water usage and sewage production, factory farming requires more land to operate than other types of farming.

4. Go Green at Home
As a homeowner, there are many ways you can implement eco-friendly changes at home for energy and water conservation. Consider recycling your organic materials (food scraps and uneaten groceries) into a soil conditioner known as compost. Install solar panels to reduce energy consumption. Switch to energy-efficient appliances and low-flow toilets. Save your rainwater for other uses by building a rain garden, collecting water in a rain barrel, or adding permeable pavers to prevent stormwater runoff. Even renters can find ways to go green by growing houseplants and using eco-friendly fibers and cleaning products.

5. Recycle
Recycling is an act that most people can do without even trying. Many public places have recycling bins next to the trash cans and some even offer composting options. Check with your residential trash service to see if they pick up recycling at your home. If you can’t have your recycling picked up with the trash, there’s also the option of taking everything to a recycling center. Visit Ecoscraps for a full list of recyclable items.

6. Walk, Bike, or Bus
Motor vehicles are responsible for the majority of carbon monoxide emissions, and that’s not accounting for the other greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants that come from automobiles. Reduce your transportation footprint by ditching the car and taking public transportation or carpooling. If your destination is local and the weather is nice, opt to walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Another bonus is that you can get some exercise during your commute.

7. Clean Vehicles
Hybrid cars use a combination of a gas engine and battery power. As the motor runs, it also acts as a generator to charge the batteries, which help to power the vehicle. Hybrid cars use less gas than a traditional gas-powered vehicle, thereby reducing air pollution from driving. If you’d like to go a step further, you can go fully electric with a gasless car that gets its energy from a plug-in charge.
Everyone has a role in protecting the environment and preventing climate change. If we all take action in whatever little ways we can, the collective positive impact on the environment could be massive. The Earth gives us life, so let’s do our part to preserve the precious resources that we depend on for survival.

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