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How to Make Your Carbon Footprint Smaller

How to Make Your Carbon Footprint Smaller

Companies and people who are committed to permaculture, like Sandia Area, take steps to reduce their carbon footprint in their daily operations and activities. We’ve all heard of a carbon footprint, but what is it? Your carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are created from the products and services you consume. You can calculate your estimated carbon footprint using this calculator from the University of Berkeley.

Whether your results from the calculation showed you are truly living green,

Travel Less by Car

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. If you live close to your job, try biking or walking to work. Don’t live close enough to bike or walk? Try taking a bus or even car-pooling with a coworker.

If you have to take a car, there are some ways you can cut down on your emissions.

  • Go easy on the gas and brakes — driving efficiently can help to reduce emissions. Drive “like you have an egg under your foot,” recommends Brian West, an expert in fuel and engine research from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which researches energy use and solutions in the United States.
  • Regularly service your car to keep it more efficient.
  • Check your tires. Keeping tires pumped correctly can reduce emissions. “Low tire pressure will hurt your fuel economy,” Mr. West said.
  • Cut down on air conditioning as often as possible.
  • Use cruise control on long drives — in most cases, this can help to save gas.
  • Don’t weigh your car down with extra things that you don’t need on your trip. 

What’s In Your Fridge?

What you have in your fridge can have an impact on how large or small your carbon footprint is. Do you have a lot of red meats and highly processed food? Then chances are the amount of carbon emissions you contribute may be higher. The farming of cows and other livestock takes a toll on the environment due to the land and feed required to sustain the animals, and methane gasses the livestock produce. If green eating is something you could be interested in, it’s fairly simple to start. Adding local fruits and vegetables to your diet not only promotes your own health, but the health of the environment.

Make a Green Home

There are some things many homeowners would never think of. A simple and quick fix to make your home more eco-friendly is to switch your lights over to LED lights. LED bulbs use up to 85% less energy and last up to 25% longer than incandescent lights.

Do you use a laptop or desktop to access the internet at home? Experts suggest to use a laptop if possible, because they take a lot less energy to charge and function.

What You Wear

According to Business Insider, the fashion industry emits more carbon than international flights and maritime shipping combined. 20 items of clothing are manufactured per person, per year. As an example of the resources required for this, it takes 2,700 liters of water to produce one cotton shirt.

One way to be more sustainable when getting new clothes is thrift shopping. Not only can you find some really cool and unique clothing at a fraction of the cost, you are helping to take non-biodegradable items out of the cycle of being consumed and ending up in a landfill.

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