I heard about an awesome project where a bunch of bloggers were sharing different ideas on how to IMPROVE your life in 2016. I knew this was something I wanted to be part of, and I thought it would be great if I could talk about ways to not only improve your own life, but also make a real difference in the process. You can check out the other bloggers’ ideas at the end of this post!
Want to be kinder to the Earth this coming year? It’s a great resolution that can benefit you, your children, your wallet and the environment. A great way accomplish this is to take steps to reduce your carbon footprint in the new year. There are some very simple changes you can make in your daily life that can reduce your carbon footprint. You can make a big difference with a minimal effort.
What is a carbon footprint?
Carbon footprint is defined as” the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.” We contribute to the emission of carbon dioxide every day through our transportation choices,energy usage, and even the trash we throw away. Learning about your carbon footprint is the first step in finding ways to reduce it.
Here are 10 things you can do right now to reduce your carbon footprint.
Think about how you can spend less time behind the wheel next year. Can you get where you’re going on foot or by bike? Can you carpool with a friend or take public transportation? Any time you can avoid driving altogether or combine trips with friends or co-workers, you will be reducing your carbon footprint.
Replace your light bulbs.
Switch out your incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents this January. On average fluorescent bulbs use approximately 70% less energy. This not only reduces your carbon footprint, but your electric bill as well!
Eat less meat and dairy in 2016.
Factory farming uses a tremendous amount of natural resources like water and land. Animal agriculture is also one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
There are a wide variety of plant based milks and vegetarian food options available at the grocery store these days. Choosing plant-based foods more often is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Try participating in Veganuary to start the year off and commit to doing Meatless Mondays to further reduce animal consumption in 2016.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
The less garbage that ends up in landfills, the better it is for the planet. Reducing use of consumables, and recycling materials like plastic and glass are easy ways to protect the environment. Invest in a refillable water bottle – you’ll save money and stop contributing to the amount of plastic in the landfill.
Another great way to recycle is to sell your used clothing, furniture, etc on sites like Craigslist. You’ll make some money and keep your used items out of the garbage. If you’re not interested in selling, you can give things away on Freecycle, or donate your used items to Goodwill or your local thrift shop. Keeping all your stuff out of the dumps is an even better way to take care of the Earth.
Unplug electronics when not in use.
Right down to our phone and computer chargers, keeping our small appliances, computers, phones, etc. unplugged when not in use is a good way to reduce our carbon footprint and lower our energy bills.
Invest in a water filter.
If you’re not crazy about your tap water, invest in a good home water filter system. This way you can use that refillable water bottle! We know using your own tap water keeps tons of plastic out of the landfills, not to mention the energy it takes to produce bottled water. By eliminating your contribution to that industry you will be reducing your carbon footprint.
Hang your wash out to dry.
Why run your dryer on a nice sunny day? Put up a clothes line in your yard, or get a drying rack if you have a small outdoor space like a balcony. Let your clothes air dry outdoors to save lots of energy.
Replace older appliances with newer, more energy efficient ones.
Look for the Energy Star logo when purchasing appliances. Many times the newer appliances will pay for themselves in months when you factor in reduced utility bills, plus you’ll be doing the environment a favor. Of course you probably can’t run out and replace all your appliances this coming year, but it’s good to keep in mind for future purchases too.
Opt for a laptop when purchasing a computer.
Not only are laptops more compact and totally portable, they use up to 80% less energy than a desktop computer. If you’re in the market for a new PC go with the laptop for the sake of the planet.
Eat in season produce.
We all know fresh, seasonal produce tastes better, but it also doesn’t have to be shipped in, adding carbon dioxide to the air during transport. If you stick with produce that’s in season, chances are it is locally grown. It’s fresher when it gets to you and you are reducing your carbon footprint when you enjoy it. If you’re not sure what’s in season when, check out this simple guide.
Start reducing your carbon footprint today
You don’t have to wait until January 1st to start reducing your impact on the environment. Some of the things on this list are easy to do right now. What will you do in 2016 to reduce your carbon footprint?
Don’t forget to visit these awesome bloggers who are helping us all improve our lives in 2016! From reducing your carbon footprint to becoming a better parent, they’ve got it all!
Improve Your Photography – from Slap Dash Mom
Start a Budget in 2016 – from Life on Deer Run
Improve Your Relationship With Your Teen – from Five in Ohio
6 Easy Ways to Improve Yourself – from Bits of This and Pieces of That
5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight – from Walking on Sunshine Recipes
7 Ways to Eat Better in 2016 – from Wendy Ilium
2016 is My Year to Forgive Myself – from Witch Weigh
Stress Less About Cleaning – from Ooh Shiny
Be a Better Mom – from It’s a Kono Life
Be a Great Mom With a Physical Disability – from Parsimonious Pash
Making Better Time with Twins – from Twins and Testing Things
Fall in Love With YOU – from Crazy Bloggin Mom