Our everyday consumption habits directly or indirectly impacts the environment, whether that is through the car we drive, the groceries we eat, or the clothes we buy. However, there are easy ways to actively reduce our emissions by making conscious decisions about we consume.
Sources of Emissions
While individuals are not responsible for all the greenhouse gases that get released each year, we do hold a significant responsibility to reduce our emissions where we can. The main sources of household emissions are:
Transportation is the largest source of air pollution. It produces 40% of household emissions every year. Air pollution is a result of the burning of fossil fuels for cars, trains, and planes.
Housing is the second biggest source of greenhouse gases, making up about 30% of emissions, as our homes burn natural gas to produce heat and consume electricity from predominantly fossil fuel resources.
Food makes over 8.1 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Meat, dairy, and eating at restaurants contribute to the production of greenhouse gases. This includes both the food we buy and the restaurants we frequent.
Waste also has a negative impact on the environment, as it wastes valuable resources and can actually release emissions after it is thrown away. For example, food that is thrown away emits methane as it breaks down in landfills.
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Do Not Drive as Much
This is one of the best ways to lower your carbon emissions. A lot of people have to travel to work, to get groceries, or for other reasons. One way to reduce your carbon footprint is to decrease the amount of time in the car. A lot of cities have buses or trains as a means of public transportation as viable alternatives to personal vehicles. If you still need to use a car, reduce your emissions from driving by going easy on the gas and brakes, cutting down on air conditioning, and using cruise control.
Consume Less Meat
Eating less meat can also reduce your carbon footprint. The production of red meat requires an immense amount of land, water, and feed. In the US, cattle make up a significant amount of our emissions because of the amount of resources needed to raise them, with cattle consuming 36% of total corn grown in the nation. Eating more fruits and vegetables can have a better impact on the environment and decrease our carbon emissions. Vegetarian diets also provide you with health benefits.
It may not seem like it, but Americans waste an average of 40% of the food they purchase. Checking to see what you already have before deciding what you need can save on both waste and money, cooking the right amount of food for yourself and others, and storing leftovers after a meal can significantly reduce your emissions.
Cut Down on Electricity
Significant amount of energy is used to heat households. You can turn down the heat on the thermostat to save energy. Lights should be turned off when you are not using them. LED light bulbs not only use 85% less energy than incandescent bulbs, but they also last far longer.
Of course, one of the best ways you can lower your carbon emissions is by recycling. Paper is the biggest type of waste that people end up recycling and plastic is one of the least recycled waste sources.
The Carbon Down was developed to help you reduce your carbon footprint and become carbon neutral. If you want to become the solution to climate change, download the app and take action today,