Take care of the plant and reduce your carbon footprint, that's how it works!
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Our carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane that we generate in our daily life. Researchers have found that the average carbon footprint per person in the world is 4 tons, and we need to reduce this to below 2 tons by 2050 if we are to avoid a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius. Here are 10 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.
Isolate your home
Installing high quality insulation in the roof and walls of our house helps reduce CO2 emissions. Thick insulation prevents heat from escaping your home and cold air from entering. The insulation not only keeps your home at an ambient temperature, it also saves you money on your heating and cooling costs every year.
Switch your heating over
Heating your home can have a significant impact on the environment, especially if you live in a cold climate, as running a heating system uses a lot of fuel. To reduce CO2 emissions, it makes sense to install a geothermal or air heat pump. These systems use the heat from the earth or the ambient air as fuel instead of using gas or oil. Heat pumps can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 60%.
Get solar panels
Solar panels are usually made from silicon cells that act as guides for the sun's rays. When light shines on the panels, there is a flow of electricity. Heating and hot water systems that keep running solar power are cheaper than those that run on gas or electricity, as the solar energy is unlimited and free of charge. Solar panels require very little maintenance and have little or no environmental impact.
The fewer gaps or holes there are in your object, the better heat can escape through the smallest cavity. Seal cracks around doors, windows, and skirting boards with silicone sealant or bristle draft stoppers. Install energy efficient windows and doors with double or triple glazing.
Thousands of tons of waste end up in landfills every year. We can reduce our carbon footprint by recycling everything we can. Follow the directions on plastic packaging that will tell you whether or not it can be recycled. Your local authority provides rubbish bins to be separated recyclable materials such as paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. Follow the guidelines of the council and do not mix your recyclables. Clean the containers from dirt and smooth boxes, cans and cardboard boxes so that they can be stored and transported more easily.
Live within your means and do not buy more products than you will consume, especially when it comes to groceries. It takes energy and water to grow, harvest, package and transport food, and if we keep wasting food, all of that energy is lost. Wasted food ends up in landfills, where it rots and produces a greenhouse gas called methane. Methane is the second most common greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. It is crucial that we reduce methane emissions as they are responsible for at least 25% of the warming of the planet's climate. Eat reasonably large meals and if you have leftovers make sure to consume them at a later date.
Eat organic or go vegan
Meat and milk production is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report by Oxford University scholars in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), if everyone in the world had a vegan lifestyle, the world's diet-related emissions would decrease by 70% by 2050. The energy used to grow, feed, water, harvest, pack, and transport meat and dairy products is the problem. When you buy local products, you not only support your local community, but you also reduce transportation costs. A vegan diet can also be good for your health, as a diet high in animal products has been linked to various diseases such as cancer.
Think about transportation
Transport has a massive impact on the environment. Vehicles that burn petroleum for energy emit nitrogen oxides and particles that damage ozone and increase global warming. Electric vehicles are the way of the future, and soon it will be a legal requirement that all cars run on electricity. You can do as much as possible on foot or by bike and avoid using your vehicle for short distances. Car sharing with friends and colleagues helps, as does using public transport or investing in one electrically powered car.
Wear the right clothes
When washing clothes made from manufactured fabrics such as nylon, lycra and polyester, they lose fibers. These fibers find their way into water bodies through our sewage system and are ingested by marine animals. Try to buy clothes made of bamboo or cotton and only buy what you need – don't become a slave to fashion and clutter your closet. Wash your clothes by hand or in a washing machine with a good energy efficiency class. Use cool water as most of the energy in a washing machine goes to heating water. Experts recommended that you use a 30 degree cycle. If possible, dry your clothes without a tumble dryer by hanging them on a tumble dryer in the house or on a clothesline in your yard.
Grocery stores are helping the environment by increasing plastic carrier bag fees and offering customers paper bags or reusable grocery bags. You can help by making sure you have a reusable bag with you with every purchase. Alternatively, you can take a storage box with you and load it with groceries. Instead of packing loose fruits and vegetables in plastic bags, buy a reusable fresh produce pouch. Try to avoid buying products with lots of packaging, or at least make sure that every part of it is largely recycled.
Use recycled paper or cotton bags when wrapping gifts. Reuse any wrapping paper and gift bags you received.
Think about everything you do and the impact it could have on the environment and the future of our planet.