12 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Simple changes you can make in your daily routine to help combat climate change

Kaylee Hulse
June 12, 2023
woman being handed an apple at a market with other produce in background

Climate change has become a huge topic of conversation in recent years as carbon emissions have skyrocketed. Basically, the growth in industrial activities has caused carbon dioxide levels to rise, leading to the intensification of global warming. This has led to pollution, extreme weather, and a loss of biodiversity. We know the conversation around climate change can seem overwhelming and hard to navigate, but the good news is that every one of us has the power to make a difference.

Every individual has their own carbon footprint, which represents the amount of carbon dioxide they’re responsible for releasing into the atmosphere. Your personal emissions depend largely on your daily activities and lifestyle choices. The great thing about that is by incorporating sustainable practices into your daily life, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a greener future. In this guide, we will take you through 12 of the best ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint.

1. Eat Less Meat

Or if you're up for it, go plant-based! The process that allows consumers to purchase meat and dairy products contributes to around 15% of the total greenhouse gas emissions globally – that’s more than the emissions from all forms of transportation combined! Instead, center your diet around food groups lower in the food chain. Even implementing more meatless meals into your diet can significantly reduce your personal carbon footprint. Try out some climate-friendly meals here.

2. Drive Less

hands on steering wheel of car with speedometer in focus

Try opting for a walk or bike ride to your destination instead of driving. If you're going a long distance, consider taking public transport or carpooling. Reducing the amount you drive will not only decrease your personal carbon emissions but also decrease the likelihood of traffic jams and the emissions that result from that.

3. Buy in Season and Local Produce

Buying produce that is in season and grown locally reduces the demand for foods that require transportation, fuel, and refrigeration. When you buy locally, you’re not only supporting your local economy but also reducing your carbon footprint.

4. Wash in Cold Water

man selecting setting on white washing machine

Opting to wash your clothes with cold water instead of hot water eliminates around 90% of the energy needed for your washing machine. As a result, switching to cold water for your laundry needs–even half of the time–would eliminate hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

5. Reduce Air Travel

front view of white airplane flying overhead

Traveling by plane, whether for work or leisure, can contribute a large amount to your personal carbon footprint. Airplanes release greenhouse gasses at various points throughout flight travel. If you can’t avoid flying, try to choose non-stop flights as lift-offs and landings release the most emissions.

6. Drive Smart

When you can’t avoid driving, there are ways you can still be mindful of your emissions. One way you can drive smarter is to avoid aggressive driving. Studies show that excessive braking and accelerating causes you to use more fuel than you would otherwise. You can also reduce your time driving by consolidating your errands and avoiding traffic jams.

7. Set Your Thermostat

wall thermostat set to 63 degrees Fahrenheit

Adjusting your thermostat to be lower in the winter and higher in the summer can significantly reduce your energy consumption. Instead of relying on your air conditioning all summer, try and cool off with a fan instead.

8. Work From Home

If your job allows it, try working from home a few days out of the week. Without the commute to and from work, your carbon emissions from driving will decrease. If you can’t work from home, make the case to your boss to offset your workplace emissions. Discover how much of your carbon footprint is made up of work-related emissions.

9. Buy Second Hand

man and woman sifting through bins of second-hand clothing

Buying items second-hand not only saves you money but also prevents hundreds of pounds of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere each year. Buying second-hand clothing, furniture, and other items allows you to discover unique pieces and is a great way for you to do your part for the environment.

10. Turn Off Your Lights

Whenever you’re not home or don’t need extra light, turn your lights off. Try and utilize natural sunlight when you can and eliminate the extra energy lights use.

11. Offset Your Emissions

For the emissions you can’t reduce on your own, purchase carbon offsets to further reduce your carbon footprint. Carbon offsets are linked to environmental projects that compensate for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If you want to calculate your carbon footprint and offset it all in one place click here … or learn more about the benefits of offsetting your emissions here.

12. Get Educated

Learning about the climate crisis and your personal carbon footprint can get complicated and confusing at times, but is essential to living a sustainable lifestyle. For more information on how to be climate conscious and to stay up to date with climate news visit the Aclymate blog and follow us on social media!

Kaylee Hulse
June 12, 2023

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