It’s one thing to acknowledge the climate change crisis, it’s another to actually change behavior. So here are some simple ways that I have changed to reduce my personal carbon footprint.
1) Eat less meat: One quarter of greenhouse gas emission have been created by the livestock industry. It takes many, many times the amount of grain to create that one pound of beef or chicken, than one pound of vegetarian food. While I like a great steak still, I have committed to eating vegetarian every other day, and trying to eat meat only once on the days that I do partake.
2) Buy a hybrid: It’s important to pay a little extra to support new environmentally savvy technologies. I did, albeit a Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and it’s 28 MPG local far surpasses the 20 MPG I was getting in my Acura TL. Further my Ducati gets 52 MPG, and is my preferred “off hours” vehicle of choice.
3) Metal or plastic canteen: I’ve got three metal ones now. Carrying filtered water instead of buying plastic bottles represents a significant reduction in greenhouse gas. Americans consume so much bottled water that one could compare it to an additional 500,000 cars on the road.
4) Weatherize your house: Homes are responsible for 21% of greenhouse gases in the United States, so this is a big one. We actually bought a weatherized home right before we got married four plus years ago. Even with high gas prices, the house still rarely sees a heating or electric (AC) bill greater than $100.
5) Shut down your computer at night: If you are a blogger like me, it’s easy to leave your computer on. That way you don’t have to boot up in the morning, right? But you are hurting the environment for those precious two minutes of time. According to MIT, “the surge of power when a computer is turned off lasts a few seconds and is insignifcant compared to the sustained energy used in keeping it on during periods of inactivity.” Admittedly, I forget to do this, but mindful power consumption (including light usage) is a continuing effort in our house.
What would you add to the list?