Easy Ways to Lower Your Carbon Footprint in 2020
From blazing fires in Australia to rising ice melting and rising seawater, it’s clear to see that the planet is experiencing chaos in 2020. In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, it’s imperative that we all come together to make a difference. If your goal for 2020 is to be kinder on the planet, we’re here to help.
In this post, we’ll discuss some easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint this year.
Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose
If you consider yourself an environmentalist, you’ve likely heard of the “3 R’s” reduce, reuse, and recycle, but there’s another “R” that can help you reduce your carbon footprint this year. Repurpose! Here’s how you can demonstrate each:
- Reduce: Stop buying things you don’t need! Food waste is one of the biggest offenders of climate change. As we continue to buy more and more food, we’re signaling to farmers and manufacturers that we need more than we’ll actually use. More food production means more equipment used and more energy wasted. Try to make a habit of going to the grocery store more frequently so that you only need to buy the amount of food you need for a few days rather than a whole week or more.
- Reuse: Instead of relying on the convenience of single-use items, consider buying things that can be reused. A reusable water bottle or a reusable shopping bag can limit how much you rely on plastic items on a daily basis. Plastic is bad for the environment for several reasons, but two of the main issues are that its production contributes to carbon emissions and standard plastics are not biodegradable.
- Recycle: Speaking of plastic, it’s time to start recycling! If you haven’t been recycling already, what are you waiting for? Cities and states all have their own guidelines for what is and isn’t recyclable, so be sure to check with your place of residence before mixing non-recyclable items into your recycling receptacle. If your residence doesn’t provide recycling services, you might consider using a private recycling service.
- Repurpose: The last time you decided to throw away or get rid of a piece of clothing or toss food, did you take the time to think about how else you could use the item before ditching it? Repurposing is an easy way to reduce your waste. Let’s say you have a dress that doesn’t quite fit right anymore, think about turning it into a t-shirt instead of tossing it right away.
As for food, oftentimes we’re too quick to throw out items that still have a shelf-life. Wilted greens, for example, can be mixed into smoothies, cooked into an omelet, or frozen for later. Next time you’re thinking about getting rid of an item, think carefully about whether it could actually have a second life.
Consider alternative energy
If you want to take a stronger approach to fight climate change, reconsidering how you source energy is a great place to start. There are many different types of alternative energy solutions these days, including solar, wind, and hydro energy. Solar energy is by far the most common for residential use and it is easy to implement. What’s more, solar energy is good for the planet and your wallet!
There’s a big misconception that installing solar power is way too expensive and labor-intensive, but there are several resources out there that can help you make the transition. PACE financing is one option that homeowners can take advantage of to help them afford the upfront costs of transitioning to solar energy. There are also a number of tax benefits that can help lower the financial burden.
Another really effective way to do your part for the planet is to drive less. Whether you use public transportation, walk, bike, or use a carpool service, having one less vehicle on the road will certainly make a difference!
If you needed any more motivation than the safety of the planet, there are even apps that pay you to walk to work.
In this time of climate crisis, it’s important that we come together as citizens of the world for the longevity of this planet. Use these tips in your day-to-day routine and convince some friends to join you in your mission!