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5 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2020

Intro

We hear all the time about the term carbon footprint and more often the publications are shinning light on major corporations blaming them for the climate change problems we are facing today. Truth is... they are not the only ones to place blame on. Don't be a finger pointer! Check out our Carbon Footprint Calculator here & Here are 5 ways to reduce your carbon footprint today to make your 2020 a more eco year to remember. 

  1. The 3 R’s

Everyone likes a good acronym to keep new practices or information fresh in their heads. 

Reduce, Refuse, Recycle

Reduce- Downsize what you purchase, opting to be more mindful of what you really need.

We all know about the aisle doom at Marshalls & Sephora… you wait in the line for a couple extra minutes sandwiched between all the really affordable goodies. Maybe its pocket sized, a mug with a cute saying or its a nicknack that would look super cute on your nightstand for that perfect snapshot for your IG feed. Say no! Buy only what you absolutely need. The Earth & your wallet will thank me later.

Refuse- Avoid using single use plastics and paper products by saying no!

Some restaurants are a place nowadays where I find myself having to stay no to single use plastic straws. My helpful tip is to be proactive and beat the server to the punch by having your stainless steel straw already on the table ready to go! I have found that they make an awesome conversation starter and a very subtle way to get your point across. Another way to refuse plastic is at the grocery store by simply bringing in your own grocery bags. My life hack is to start using the big reusable ones. I absolutely hate making several trips back and forth to the car. With two big sized reusable shopping bags, I put on in each hand and I am quickly on my way.

Recycle- Properly recycle any plastic, paper, glass or metal that comes into your life.

Here is the deal, in order to really make sure that your recyclable items make it to where they need to go starts with you! You need to make sure you follow the proper instructions on how to recycle each product. I heard people before say “oh, the sanitation people will figure it out” No, no they won’t. You need to do your part to make their job easier, not more difficult.

If you want to take it two steps further you can add

Reuse- Always find a way to keep an item out of the landfill by finding another use for it.

I have to say, since being in quarantine I have really upped my refuse game to a whole other level. I decided to start gardening but quickly realized I had no pots to plant my new seeds in. For years now, I been collecting glass jars from pasta sauces and salsa jars. Now, they have a new purpose, being pots for my plants! It’s a great DIY and they look way cuter than a traditional looking pot.

Rot- Set up a composting system for your food scraps!

Recently, I received a pamphlet for the Boston city recycle and compost system. For this one, you’ll need to do some research in your local area on how to get started. Or you can look up handy tricks and tip on how to compost in your apartment here.

 

2. Say no to automotive transportation when you can

Vehicles produce one -third of U.S. air pollution. Air pollution can cause series harm to our health. To help reduce this try taking a bike ride or a walk when you need to run an errand when you can.

Luckily for me, I always lived near a conceive store or worked in an area where I needed to use public transit or walk. For me, this wasn’t much of a transition. In reality, when you need to run the little errands, it’s typically for milk or the post office. Considering you are not hauling a ton of stuff back get some good exercise and walk. If you live in a city like I do, you can very cheaply rent a bike to run your errands. In Boston we have BlueBike when I lived in NYC I used Citibike, for my brother In D.C. they have Capital Bikes. Do some research in your area to see what alternatives you have!

3. Protect Waterways

Think about how many times a day you need to use water. Hydration, showering, brushing your teeth. Take it a step further washing clothes and washing dishes. We run water all day long. We can contaminate this water when we use products such as shampoos that may have toxins in them. We need to be mindful of how much water we each use and what we are putting into it. Here are a few tricks on how you can use less water

In the morning, the first thing I do is brush my teeth don’t let the water run the entire time. Turn the water on and off as needed

Shorter showers! I know, everyone likes a nice warm shower to wakeup and feel refreshed, some of you may even add in a cool rinse at the end. Truthfully, we all can be guilty of taking a longer shower than we need to. Reduce the amount of time in the shower to conserve water.

Mentioned above, dish and body soaps can have toxins in them. More recently, I seen the Pantene commercial advertising that they now have options that don’t have any of the toxins in them. Check your showers and kitchen sinks and read the back of the packaging to ensure you are using safe products. If not, make the switch ASAP!

4. Eat seasonally & Locally

Truthfully, living in New England I honestly can’t stand buying certain fruits in the winter. Such a hit or miss with certain things. Quite honestly it is such a waste and I don’t enjoy it. Once you find a local farmers market you’ll never go back to finding your fruits and vegetables in a grocery store ever again. When you find a local farmers market you not only are being more sustainable but you are supporting local businesses. Since quarantine, a big emphasis is supporting local business. For lack of a better pun, why not we kill two birds with one stone? You are reducing air pollution by shopping locally and supporting your community.

5. Sustainable clean energy

The U.S. gets 81 percent of its energy from fossil fuels. Fossil fuels consist of oil, coal, and natural gases. When using them we speed up climate change. See my previous blog post to learn more about the greenhouse affect here.

Solutions can consist of putting solar panels on roofs, community solar farm, sign up for energy savings on bills, and support using electric cars.

As a renter, its not realistic for me to put solar panels on my roof. We make sure and review our energy source bill to see where we are being eco or not. We use that as a guide and adjust our daily habits from there.

As for my car, it is fuel efficient. My previous car before that had “eco mode” which was an option you can opt for, now it is automatically in. You can always find away to be better to reduce your overall carbon footprint.

Conclusion

Reducing your carbon footprint is important, but what is more important is how to take actionable steps to get there. As always, links are inserted to gain more information on specific tops as well to use as additional resources.

So what’s the verdict?

Which of these suggestions will you use to reduce your carbon footprint today? Have another suggestion, let us know!

Photo by George Evans on Unsplash

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