The carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases produced by routinely human activities. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane tend to trap heat in the atmosphere, giving rise to global warming. We can reduce our carbon footprint by altering our lifestyle and making greener choices. We can start by focusing on wasteful trends at home and our workplace; we shall also improve our habits in regard to food consumption and transportation.
Follow the 5 R’s:
Cut back on Utilities
While you are at home or at work, utilize your utilities responsibly. Many people around the world are living in poverty and have no access to clean water, electricity, or gas. Avoid overuse of air-conditioning and artificial sources of heating. Keep yourself warm or cool by wearing clothes that are more suitable for the season. Turn off all electric gadgets and lighting while you leave the room or the house.
Unplug your chargers and all other devices while they are not in use. Most of our electricity comes from fossil fuels, which are the major contributors of greenhouse gases. If possible, invest in renewable energy sources, such as solar panels.
If you go shopping for new electrical appliances, search for environmentally friendly options. Light bulbs or machines that consume less electricity produce lower greenhouse gas emissions; you will save money on household bills as well. Support products made from recycled materials and stop wasting paper. Shift to digital formats and discourage use of printers/photocopiers.
Say no to littering and throw your waste in garbage bins. Reduce your waste by going green and opting for biodegradable products. Buy organic produce instead of packaged/processed food items. Refuse conventional plastic bags that do not decompose and have become a burden for our landfills; opt for carriers made from natural fabric instead.
Do not keep the water running uselessly while you shower or brush your teeth; use a cup for mouth rinsing and a bucket for bathing. Avoid washing your car and floors with a hosepipe, or control the water supply. Collect rainwater if feasible and use it for cleaning and gardening. Do not waste clean water and refrain from polluting any water bodies in your area, i.e. lakes, rivers, canals, wells, ponds, or the sea front.
Reuse or recycle stuff rather than disposing it off and replacing it with newer versions (unless the newer version is a lot more ecofriendly). Share your old goods with the less privileged instead of throwing them away. Do not take more than you need and utilize everything to its full capacity. If you have too much of something, give it to the needy instead of hoarding or letting it go to waste.
If you do not own a car and make use of public transport, you are doing yourself and the world a huge favor. There are already too many automobiles on the streets; hit and run cases have become a common occurrence. If you are planning to buy a vehicle for daily commute, consider a smart car or bicycle. Walk where you can and never shy away from carpooling. If you are travelling within the country, do it by road if feasible; reserve air flights for considerably long distances only.