To reduce carbon footprint, we need to modify our current lifestyles. Our day to day activities and modern lifestyles require usage of fossil fuels and create greenhouse gas emissions; such as using a car/bus etc., heating the house, manufacturing various products via industries or even producing food for consumptions- all of these activities release certain amount of greenhouse gases. But with some simple changes in our everyday life we can contribute to reduce this greenhouse gas emission. Some of the ways are discussed in the next section.
The most common ways to reduce carbon footprint is to adopt reduce, reuse and recycle in every days life.
In order to
reduce or cut down energy use, we need to find out where we waste or use energy
the most. Sometimes a simple energy
audit can reveal different energy saving opportunities. For example, adding
insulation on the walls and covering the leaks in a house itself can save a lot
of energy wastage while heating/cooling the house. Another way to reduce energy
usage at home is using cold water for washing the clothes and then sun-drying
and reuse at home, offices as well as manufacturing plants can also bring a lot
of energy savings. Cities and municipalities should promote waste recycling
(paper, plastic, metal, electronics etc.)
and then try to recover values from that waste as much as possible.
Through these positive and sustainable changes a big step can be achieved
towards carbon footprint reduction.
Another ways to reduce carbon footprint is using more public transportations like buses, train etc. For short distances, using bicycle or walking is even better to reduce vehicle emissions. As travelling by air has a large impact on the climate system, it can be reduce by choosing more direct routes and combining trips.
preferences have a major influence on an individual’s/household’s carbon
footprint. The amount of carbon emission associated with growing, preparing and
transporting the food contribute to its consumption related carbon footprint.
Animal protein (red meat, poultry etc.), heavily processed and packaged food,
food and perishable produce transported over a long distance, high methane
emitting crops like rice etc. are considered high carbon diet. On the other
hand Vegetables, fruit sand plant based proteins grown locally are related to
low carbon emission and preferred as low carbon diet. So replacing animal based
protein with plant based one and increasing consumption of locally grown fruits
and vegetables can reduce a person’s or household’s carbon foot print
significantly. Another advantage of using locally grown food is that it reduces
the transportation related carbon emissions. In addition, throwing or wasting
food also contributes to a individual or household’s carbon footprint as it add emissions related to transportation
of that waste food to the disposal site and the emissions associated with the
food’s decomposition. So food wastage should also be minimized.
gas emission related to electricity usage can be reduced by using energy
efficient lighting and appliances both in individual household and in
commercial/industrial buildings. Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) and light
emitting diode (LED) bulbs are such energy efficient light bulbs that conserve
energy significantly over conventional incandescent lights. Another way to save
electricity is replacing the old appliances with new energy efficient one if
possible. Even electric power usage can be reduced by unplugging household
electronic devices such as computer, television, microwave oven etc. Switching
to energy efficient lighting and appliances not only reduce carbon footprint but
also save money on the electricity bill.
As energy usage is one of the major contributors to carbon footprint, switching to/ increasing use of green and alternative energy sources like wind power, solar power, geothermal heating and cooling, bio-based fuel etc. from fossil fuel based energy sources by households, organizations and industries can help to reduce carbon footprint significantly.
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