Our increasing carbon footprint has had profound effects on the environment. These man-made changes have given rise in temperature, shifting precipitation patterns, change the growth patterns of plants are just a few examples. Rising seas are eroding shorelines and destroying ecosystems.

Carbon footprint is basically the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organisation, or product.

By reducing your own carbon footprint, you are making a personal change in the environment around you. Even small changes can have big effects on both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and motivate others to follow your footsteps.

Here are a few ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint:

Minimize Driving

Try to minimize driving or find other alternative modes of transport. Wherever possible, try to walk for short distances, or use a cycle. If you’re travelling for long distances, try to carpool or use public transportation.

Check the tire inflation

The tires, if inflated properly, improve the mileage by up to 3%. So always check whether or not your tires are properly inflated.

 Avoid getting stuck in traffic

Getting stuck in traffic wastes petrol and gas and unnecessarily emits carbon dioxide. Try to avoid getting into traffic by using traffic websites, or google maps, or by travelling through a different route or by simply waiting.

The Three Rs of the environment

Embrace the three Rs or Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce the amount of waste you produce. Reuse the things instead of disposing of them. For example, use cloth bags for shopping, using plastic containers as lunch boxes, etc. Try to recycle the used products, compost your food waste.

Adopt a minimalist lifestyle

Get rid of the unwanted stuff at your home. Donate it to the charity. Whenever possible, borrow or rent used electronics, house decorations and furniture, cars and other products. Try to own limit amount of things.

Energy efficiency should be the most important consideration when it comes to buying appliances like air conditioner, dishwasher, or refrigerator.

Use energy efficient appliances

Energy efficiency should be the most important consideration when it comes to buying appliances like air conditioner, dishwasher, or refrigerator. Check for the star rating on such appliances and choose the ones having the maximum energy saving efficiency or the ones with low emission.

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Consume locally-sourced and organic food

Buy locally produced, organic, plant-based, unprocessed foods from local farmers and farmers markets. Transporting food would mean using petroleum-based fuels. Also, many fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based. Try to minimise food wastage.

Reduce water wastage

If you have a garden, then use the drip irrigation or sprinkler system for watering the plants. Check the faucets, shower heads and toilets regularly for leaks. Any leaks found should be repaired immediately. Try to use washing machine and dishwashers when they’re absolutely full. Close the tap while brushing and try to use buckets instead of showers. Install rainwater harvesting system on your terrace.

Reduce wastage of electricity

Turn off lights you’re not using and when you leave the room. Install fluorescent or LED bulbs and lights. Don’t set the thermostat too high or low. Turn off the heat/air conditioning when you’re not home, and try not to keep it on overnight.

Alternative sources of energy

Adopt alternative sources of energy like solar. Install solar panels on the roof of your home. Even though these are a little expensive but will eventually cut down on your electricity bills in the long run. Biomass can be burned directly or converted to liquid biofuels or biogas that can be burned as fuels.

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Heena Manghani is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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