We have officially entered into 2015 and a new year gives us renewed determination to improve our lives. People are making resolutions this month and it is the perfect time to consider how your everyday actions affect the health of our environment. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and live a greener life, you have come to the right place by reading my blog. Small, everyday actions can have a serious impact on our own health and the health of our environment. We don’t need to make huge changes in order to live a greener life! Every baby step counts on the road to an eco friendly existence and now is the time to get started! If you want to reduce your carbon footprint this year, here are a few simple ways to do it!
Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Life
1. Recycle everything you can! Check out Earth911 to find out where you can recycle things in your area. Think beyond glass, plastic and aluminum! Look into recycling cardboard, used building materials, food waste, and anything else you would normally throw away.
2. Rethink your grocery shopping. Buy organic and local whenever you can. Look into local farmers markets and cook from scratch rather than buying things pre-made. Stop buying things that are individually wrapped.
3. Get rid of disposables. Stick to reusable plates, silverware, straws, and napkins.
4. Eat less meat. Join the meatless Monday trend and look into some great vegetarian meals.
5. Make every dollar you spend count! Make sure you are buying things you truly need. And when you do spend a few dollars, do it on a credit card that will help offset your carbon footprint like Sustain:Green!
Sustain:Green has developed biodegradable MasterCard credit cards that enable individuals and organizations to fight global warming with every dollar they spend. With the first use, you will reduce your carbon footprint by an initial 5,000 pounds and then an additional 2 pounds for every $1 you spend. All money spent offsetting carbon helps fund rainforest preservation. With the Sustain:Green MasterCard, cardholders and organizations can set goals and track how much carbon they have eliminated using their personal carbon footprint page. You can then invite others to join the fight against global warming and spread the message one purchase at a time!
If you are curious to find out what your personal carbon footprint is, I encourage you to check out the Sustain:Green Carbon Calculator. Answer just a few simple questions and you will know what your carbon footprint is on this planet. Then, as you make changes in your life, go back and calculate your carbon footprint again to check your progress. As you reduce your carbon footprint throughout the year, you will see the results in actual number form! And remember, you will be offsetting that carbon footprint with every purchase made on your Sustain:Green MasterCard! Learn more about the Sustain:Green MasterCard by following them on Twitter and Facebook!
Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Home
1. Install energy efficient lighting. Ditch the traditional incandescent bulbs and replace them with energy efficient LEDs.
2. Get your heating and cooling systems checked. Replace filters and repair as needed.
3. Install a programmable thermostat to save on heating and cooling when you are asleep or away from home.
4. When replacing appliances, look for energy efficient models that use less electricity or reduced water usage.
5. Seal off drafts to keep your home a comfortable temperature and save you money.
6. Unplug electronics that are not in use. Even when plugged in, many appliances are using energy even if you aren’t actively using them.
7. Consider greener energy choices. Solar energy is a possibility in some areas of the country. Do some research to see if it is the right choice for your home.
8. Consider eco friendly home renovations. Large projects like installing better windows and more insulation can save you large amounts of money and reduce your carbon footprint over a longer period of time.
Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Outdoor Areas
1. Install solar lighting outside your home. Spotlights and driveway lights make your home safer and more attractive but they do use energy!
2. Mulch trees, shrubs and garden beds to reduce the amount of water they use to stay healthy.
3. Consider your outdoor cooking area. Propane may not be the most environmentally friendly cooking method. Also, choosing sustainably raised meats, organic foods, and locally sourced products will help you reduce your carbon footprint at your next cookout.
4. Rethink your watering. Water your plants first thing in the morning so that the water is absorbed into the soil rather than evaporating under the sun’s heat. Plant native grasses and shrubs, add stone walkways and consider other ways to reduce the water needs of your yard.
5. Skip the artificial pesticides and fertilizers and go with organic and natural choices instead.
6. Choose recycled or reclaimed materials for outdoor storage areas, patio seating, children’s toys, etc.
Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Office
1. If you work out of the home, look into carpooling! You will save yourself a significant amount of time, money and hassle while you reduce your carbon footprint.
2. Reduce your paper usage. Print on both sides of the paper, print only when necessary, use recycled paper, and recycle all paper that needs to be discarded.
3. If you work out of the home, brown bag your lunch. Eating out at restaurants is not only expensive and usually unhealthy but it has a very large carbon footprint.
4. Cut down on energy usage. Turn off lights that are not in use, unplug printers and shut down computers at the end of the day, open windows when the weather is nice and replace old electronics with newer, energy efficient models. Make sure you investigate electronics recycling for your old electronics.
5. Recycle ink cartridges. Most local office supply places offer this service and many even pay you a few dollars to do it!
Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to mean a lot of major changes in your life. Every small change you make in your life can add up to a major drop in your carbon footprint over the course of an entire year. Now is the perfect time to get started!
How will YOU reduce your carbon footprint this year?
Disclaimer: This article has been sponsored by Sustain:Green but all opinions expressed here are my own.