What You Can Do To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
We have all witnessed a devastating start to 2020. We have all felt the heartbreak and helplessness but through this pain we feel this year is the year of action. The best way to play a more active role in ending global warming is by reducing your carbon footprint.
There are small changes we can all take to reduce our ecological footprint on this beautiful planet. We really have pushed her too far and it is time we all collectively do simple things that will have a far reaching and wide impact.
We will continue to share ideas with you that are tangible and easy to do for all of us.
For now here is a list of 10 things we can all do today:
1. Plant A Garden, Plant More Trees
Plants and trees absorb carbon dioxide - it is one of the best things we can all do right now to help reforest areas as well as take out excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When choosing plants or trees for your backyard or balcony or if you are a business and want to sponsor the planting of trees, choose native species. They are more likely to thrive in the climate you are in, need less water and will provide a habitat for native wildlife especially the bees.
2. Be A Conscious Consumer
Collectively, we need to look at our choices, redefine what we thought we knew and work towards expanding our awareness through rigorous inquiry towards owning products that have transparency, the lowest environmental impact and a deep sense of compassion and social justice.
Every dollar you spend is a choice you are making about the future of the planet and a statement of the life that you are living. In the textile industry alone greenhouse gas emissions from textile production stands at around 1.2 billion tonnes annually. It is so important to know what fabrics you choose, how they were made and processed - you will be shocked at how detrimental bamboo actually is to the environment even if the bamboo plant was originally organically grown.
This is the time of enquiry, your own research and understanding what goes on behind the scenes from the soils to the waterways to the air pollution.
3. Reduce Your Meat Intake
Livestock farming produce 14.5 % of the worlds greenhouse gases. Try cutting down your meat intake or try going meatless one day a week or more - there are incredible websites for simple tasty and healthy meat free recipes - some of our favourites Nora Cooks Vegan - noracooks.com and Bish Bash Bosh - bosh.tv
4. Reduce Your Energy Usage
Replace traditional lightbulbs with LED lights, use solar lights outside, turn the lights off, switch power points off at the source and switch to energy-efficient appliances and the best one light candles for a candle light dinner.
5. Stop Using Plastic
Take your own bags or baskets shopping - whatever shopping you do take your own bag don't bring home more plastic! If you forget the bags use a cardboard box. Take your re-usable cup everywhere you go. Say no to the straw but if you must use a steel straw - and if you are out and plastic is the only option tell the owners why you don't want the straw. Say no to plastic drink bottles, take your own reusable bottle with you everywhere you go.
Say no to plastic lunch boxes, use steel ones. Say no to plastic cling wrap use bees wax wraps. Say no to produce wrapped in plastic. Buy from bulk food stores and take your own containers. Say goodbye to the plastic toothbrush. Look at what your wear and sleep in and know what amount of it is actually synthetic plastic like what is in bamboo - it is scary what you will unearth! Take the plastic out of your pantry - store your food items in glass jars. Stop using plastic pens! If you can't find an eco alternative use pencils. Say no to take away containers.
Image courtesy of Daily Mail
6. Consider Slower Options For Travel
Transport is a part of everyday life but there are always other options to cute back on the driving and flying and emission of fuels into the atmosphere. the transportation sector which accounts for 26% of all emissions. Change things up where you can - walk, carpool, use public transport, and when you fly purchase carbon offsets when you buy your ticket.
7. Switch To An Ethical Bank
Know where your money is being invested - wouldn't it be better to know it is being invested on renewable energy projects, social causes and towards not for profit organisations helping to make a positive difference? Choose an ethical bank that doesn't invest in fossil fuels. Now is the time to collectively take a stand and make the change.
8. Switch To Tree-Free Toilet Paper
Our favourite is Pure Planet - it is Bamboo & Sugarcane Waste Toilet Tissue. It is 100% plastic-free and tree-free, and is made from renewable bamboo and sugarcane. It is also RV and septic-safe, BPA-free, recyclable and biodegradable, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
9. We Need Our Water
It is a very precious resource especially here in Australia where we do not have monsoons to help fill and restore our water supplies. So reduce your water usage. Take shorter showers, don't waste water when brushing your teeth or washing dishes or vegetables, reuse water in the garden, don't buy plastic water bottles, take a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go.
10. Think Earth and Air Dry
According to World Wildlife Fund one dryer load uses five times more electricity than a washing machine cycle so air-dry your clothes on a line or clothes horse instead of in the dryer and cut one-third of the carbon footprint.
Our earth needs us right now.
Climate change is real and we are seeing the devastating effects. The oceans are dying and filling up with plastic and toxic chemicals, temperatures are rising with fires increasing and the ecosystem is fractured and breaking down from the chemicals and harmful practices in manufacturing methods. This is not a drill.
This is our call to action. This is about making small changes everyday that become habits and it all adds up. So turn the lights off, don't use your car all the time, think about what you are buying and how it was made, try eating more vegetables, know what organisations you use and support and find out who they support and best of all use your voice to help spread the word.
About the Author: Vinita is the Founder of Bhumi Organic Cotton and passionate about an Earth Life Balance