Modern life is full of waste. The average North American generates about 20 tons of carbon dioxide each year while the global annual average carbon footprint is about 4 tons of carbon dioxide . Americans have a larger carbon footprint than the average global individual. Here are ten easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Skip the bath. Taking a bath uses more water than showering so in order to conserve water choose showers over baths and keep your showers brief and functional.
2. Drive a constant speed. Fast stops and starts eat up fuel and driving 55 MPH instead of 75 MPR saves you between 20%-30%in fuel efficiency.
3. Use rags instead of paper towels. Rags can be reused and washed as often as you spill. You can also switch to glass storage containers instead of plastic, which will eventually end up in the landfill. They may cost a bit more, but they will last for years, and you avoid the whole plastics-and-food debate.
4. Use cold water for your wash and rinse cycles. Hot water accounts for 90% of the energy used by dish and clothes washers, and cold water is usually just as effective.
5. Lower the temperature. In the winter, set your thermostats between 65-68 degrees when you are home and wear layers if you’re still cool. Turn your thermostat down to 55 when you aren’t home and at night when you’re snug in bed.
6. Carpool to work. Even if you catch a ride to work one day a week, that’s a 20% reduction in your annual work-related carbon emissions. Keep your car tuned-up regularly, including tire pressure. A well-tuned car can run up to 30 percent more efficiently, which saves both carbon and cash, which is one of many ways to drive smart.
7. Compost. Composting helps reduce carbon emissions in several ways. First, it keeps food, and the methane it will produce, out of the landfill. Second, organic compost reduces the need for petro-chemical fertilizers, which use fossil fuels in their refinement and distribution. You can compost a number of ways, from a pile in your backyard to a tub of worms in your basement. Either way, the carbon savings will add up quickly.
8. Buy locally grown food. About 10% of all the energy used in America goes to farming food, processing food, transporting food, from the seed to the plate. If you can just buy that same vegetable from somebody that lives on the outskirts of your community, the energy savings are stunning.
9. Run Your Dishwasher Full: Decrease Your Carbon Footprint 200 lbs The energy used to heat water, spray it on the dishes and finally dry them can add a lot to your carbon footprint. Try loading the machine completely before running.
10. Get Rid of Junk Mail: Lower your carbon footprint by opting out of mail that you don’t need and you don’t use.