Actual Ways To Offset Your Footprint
Climate change is overwhelming. Tackling today’s environmental issues is a large task but there are little changes you can make in your daily life to make an impact. To reduce your carbon footprint, you can make small adjustments to your diet, shopping habits, and lifestyle, which helps limit the amount of gasses released in the atmosphere.
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What Is A Carbon Footprint?
Before we dive into the how-to’s, let’s discuss what a carbon footprint even is. A carbon footprint isn't just about carbon– it is the total measure of greenhouse gas emissions generated by one’s actions; this includes carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluorocarbons (to name a few). According to The Nature Conservancy, The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world– globally the average footprint is about 4 tons.
Why Does It Matter?
The greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere contribute to climate change and becoming aware of your footprint helps mitigate that change. Keeping our environment stable allow us to have an earth that is habitable to humans, animals, & plants alike.
Reducing Your Footprint 👣
Here are a few simple ways you can adjust your lifestyle to help tackle the threats facing our environment for a healthier natural world.
Change Your Diet
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It’s no secret that going plant-based can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so try eating low on the food chain! Livestock (or meat & dairy) is responsible for about 14.5 percent of manmade emissions, so cutting down to even one portion of meat a week can make a huge difference.
Try eating seasonally & locally. In short, it takes a lot of resources to transport and preserve foods that come from far distances, so eating seasonally can benefit not only the environment, but your health as well. So forget eating strawberries in the winter! For more details, check out my article here.
Adjust Your Shopping Habits
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In the fashion industry there are 52 seasons a year, meaning new clothes come out every week. Buying into these flash trends can be a major contributor to pollution as the fashion industry is the number 3 biggest polluter behind fuel & agriculture. Simply- buy quality clothing that can last or buy second hand!
Take care of your clothes and wash them thoughtfully. Washing your clothes in cold water not only saves on carbon dioxide, but your detergent is actually designed to work better in cold water.
Repair, don’t replace. Taking care of your wardrobe will save on resources and will save you money. The next time you lose a button or rip your pants, take them to the tailor or try repairing them yourself!
Make Smart Transportation Decisions
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Keep your car serviced and check the tires! A well-tuned car is much more efficient and having perfect tire pressure will benefit your fuel economy.
Carpool. This is the simplest way to divide emissions in half!
Avoid flying when you can. Air travel is likely the largest portion of your carbon footprint so driving or taking the train may emit fewer gasses. If you are taking a flight, fly nonstop as takeoff and landing use the most fuel.
Offset Your Carbon!
Carbon offset is paying for your emissions to be captured or destroyed from the atmosphere. Offsets also promote sustainable development and increase the use of renewable energy. The next time you are hopping on a plane, consider paying a little extra to offset your emissions.
To find out how large your carbon footprint is, check out this carbon footprint calculator by The Nature Conservancy.
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