Five Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

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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?

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  • http://jesswedeharts.blogspot.com Jessica

    Great post! We all need to work on being more green!

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  • http://asktinu.com Tinu

    Additions:

    Unplug things you’re not using when you leave a room. It also makes you more mindful of what you’re using. I put all the items I use in my room on a power strip that I put in an area convenient to unplug when I’m leaving the room. I started doing it not to be green, but because my sister cut her power bill in HALF in ONE month doing this.

    Use music to time your showers. I program 3 songs I love followed by one I hate. When the one I hate comes on, I get out of the shower thinking, wtf is that song on for? lol

    You can also do this with things you love though, program in 3 songs at full volume, followed by a video podcast you need to watch to appreciate. Then you’ll have to get out of the shower to properly consume the content. (I do this by plugging my iPod into speakers.)

    Start an errand pool. It’s more fun to go on an errand with friends. Meet up once a week and do all your errands together. Save gas, have fun, watch a move after.

    Amendment to #5: Put your computer on a schedule. I pick a time when I know I’ll be asleep, say 3 am (ok, Most nights). So when I go to bed at 2 am it might still be on if I got lazy, but it’ll be powered off soon. You can also make it wake up at a certain time. I know I’ll be starting working by 10 if I went to bed at 1 or 2 am. So I set the computer to wake up at 9:55 am. So it’s all booted up and waiting for me.

    Granted this is easier to do on a Mac, but it’s worth learning.

  • Nicole

    The single biggest thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to call ALL American troops wherever they are home NOW and stopping all our wars of aggression. Any idea how much fuel our legalized murderers burn through every day?

  • http://www.healthyhomesofrochester.com Brenna Hartmann

    I love all these tips! We have done all of the items you have posted. Thanks!

  • http://www.pureplanetrecycling.co.uk data destruction

    Use public transport more often and turn off all electrical items instead of setting them to standby!

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