Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in 10 Easy Steps

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Holly-Noelle Haworth

We live in a time when taking care of our beautiful planet is essential, but it’s often hard to determine what exactly you can do to fix the multitude of environmental issues. This becomes even more true when you stop and think about the fact that you’re only 1 in 7 billion people on this planet. But, while it may seem as though it doesn’t matter what you do, it is so important that you do your part to preserve our planet and all of its beauty. Here are ten easy ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

1. USE REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES

Does anyone else agree that reusable water bottles are trendy? Every time I go into my favorite store, Paper Source, I see new brands and styles of reusable water bottles. There are Camelbacks, Swells, Contigos, and endless other brands. I urge you to find a water bottle that inspires you to stay hydrated and to save the planet.

2. SAME AS #1, BUT FOR YOUR COFFEE

Your favorite coffee stores are getting the planet’s nudge to reduce and reuse, so take advantage of their eco-friendly changes. Starbucks, and likely other coffee retailers, are selling affordable, reusable coffee cups. Bring your reusable cup and you might even save 10 cents, which adds up — trust me!

3. GO DIGITAL

I’m not saying to never buy a book again. In fact, knock yourself out during your next visit to the bookstore. However, I am suggesting that you reduce the amount of paper you use in other ways. Start by paying your bills online, then maybe skip printing out each and every work or homework assignment. You’ll soon realize how much easier it is to have everything in a digital form, anyway.

4. DRIVE (WAY) LESS

I’m an LA native so I understand why many people drive as much as they do. Most cities are HUGE, but sometimes I find myself driving even if my destination is a half a mile away. If you have the time, consider walking or biking to your next close-by destination. Getting some exercise and helping the planet doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

5.  TURN OFF YOUR APPLIANCES

Did you know that your appliances use electricity even when they’re not being used? Yup, your toaster oven uses energy and electricity even when it is free of burnt toast. Do yourself and the Earth a favor and unplug your appliances when you’re not using them.

planet earth first - reducing your carbon footprint in 10 easy steps

6. MAKE THE SWITCH FROM PAPER TOWELS TO KITCHEN RAGS

I have a love/hate relationship with paper towels. They are efficient at cleaning up messes, but they are expensive and, oftentimes, wasteful. One sheet of paper towel can cost up to 8 cents, which is insane when you think about it. Plus, you have to use so many sheets to clean up just a water spill. Try using a cloth rag or an old t-shirt instead.

7.  USE COLD WATER WHEN WASHING YOUR CLOTHES

According to Energy Star, 90% of the energy required to wash your laundry is used to simply heat up the water, so why not use cold water? Doing so won’t really harm your clothes and you’ll, again, be helping the planet.

8. DON’T FORGET YOUR REUSABLE GROCERY BAGS

Are you tired of the grocery store clerk asking you if you need to buy bags? I know I am, especially when I had my reusable grocery bags sitting by my door. There’s an easy solution to this common problem and that is… put reusable bags in your trunk so that you always have them ready for your grocery shopping.

9.  MODIFY YOUR AIR CONDITIONING/ HEATER USE

Consider saving both energy and money by putting the temperature up higher in the summer. When you’re awake, your thermostat does not need to be at 70 degrees even in the warmer months. Leave it at 78° when you’re awake or not at home and lower it when you go to sleep. Modify your thermostat settings in the winter months, too, but in the opposite direction.

 10. CONSIDER A ROAD TRIP FOR YOUR NEXT VACATION

Airplanes require a lot of energy and road trips are fun, so why not hit the road next time you’re itching to travel? Traveling has got to be more fun when you’re saving money and giving the planet some extra love.

How do you do your part in taking care of the environment?

Holly-Noelle HaworthComment