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Easy Changes You Can Make Today To Help Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

You’ve decided you want to lower your carbon footprint. But how?

It can feel overwhelming—after all, you’re just one person. Reducing atmospheric carbon should be the entire world’s concern. Still, it starts with individual people doing their part. You can make a difference.

Eating

Changing the way you purchase and use food is one of the simplest ways to lower your carbon footprint.

Eat Local

Instead of heading to a chain grocery store, get your food from local sources as often as you can. While it’s true that you can’t find locally grown Pop-Tarts, you can probably find farms in your area that sell meat and produce.

Search for farms in your area. Go to local farmers’ markets. You might even find foods that surprise you, like local olive oil, jam, honey, and more. You’ll know that gas-guzzling trucks didn’t transport your food across the country (or from other countries).

Here’s another bonus: Since you purchase local produce when it’s in season, it tastes better.

Don’t Waste

Food waste is a problem that arose along with modern life. In the past, and in some places even today, it would have been unthinkable. Nowadays, it’s easy to let things rot in your fridge before you remember to eat them.

Keep track of the food you already have, and make a point to use it in creative ways before it goes bad. Meal planning can help in this area. And always eat your leftovers.

Clothing

Skip Cheap Trends

Inexpensive clothes that follow current trends aren’t made to last. Called fast fashion, they live up to their name: They deteriorate fast and often look dated within months. Classic, higher-priced clothing is a more significant investment but costs less over time.

Go Thrifting and Buy Vintage

The easiest, least expensive way to reduce your carbon footprint in the fashion realm is to buy used clothing. Some people worry that it’s dirty, but there’s a simple solution: Just wash it. Others fear that used clothing will already be worn out, but you’d be surprised what people get rid of. If you go thrifting regularly, you’ll find barely-used clothes that people donated after only a few wears.

Buying

Minimalism

Give minimalism a try. If you follow lifestyle trends, you’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo, an organization expert. She advises people to pare down their possessions. Her advice is to keep only items that are regularly used or spark joy.

Reusable Bags

Why collect or throw away hundreds of plastic bags a year when you can use the same cloth bags over and over again?

Packaging

Choose items that have less packaging instead of more. Buying in bulk often helps with this by reducing the proportion of packaging to product.

At Home

Light Bulbs

Use LED bulbs. They cost a bit more when you purchase them, but they last far longer than incandescent bulbs while using less energy.

Lights Off and Electronics Unplugged

When you were a kid, your parents probably chastised you if you left the lights on when leaving a room. They had a good reason! Even LED bulbs eat up energy. There’s no good reason to leave them on when you’ve left the room.

You should also unplug electronics when you aren’t using them—even if you’ve turned them off. Many people are surprised to learn that, even when you’ve pressed the off button, electronics still take up energy if you leave them plugged in.

Water

  • Turn your water heater down to 120 F°.
  • Install low-flow showerheads.
  • Shorten your showers.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.

Heating and Cooling

The human ability to control our environmental temperature is pretty new, and people survived long before we could do it.

  • Turn down your thermostat.
  • Don’t turn your air conditioning too low.
  • If you’re hot, use fans. They don’t gobble up much energy.

Driving

Drive Less

Depending on where you live, you might need to drive. But you can still cut down on how much. Even if you live in the middle of nowhere, running all your errands at once will reduce driving time.

If you live in an area where you can take public transportation or walk to destinations, do so. As a bonus, walking might improve your health.

Cruise Control

Breaking and acceleration use more gas. Cruise control will allow you to keep at a steady speed without constant adjustments.

Car Care

Car care reduces your carbon footprint in multiple ways, but here are two:

  • You won’t have to get repairs as often—which means you won’t need to replace parts as often.
  • If your car uses gas, a car in tip-top shape will stay gas-efficient longer.

Steer Clear of Traffic

The longer you sit in traffic, the more gas your car wastes. Apps like Waze or Google Maps can often help you avoid traffic jams by directing you to alternate routes.

Flying

The simplest way to reduce your flight-related carbon footprint is to skip it entirely. However, if you can’t avoid flying, choose nonstop flights. Since they don’t divert to an unnecessary location before arriving at your final destination, they use less fuel.

Conclusion

Though there are complicated or expensive ways to lower your carbon footprint—like starting your own garden or buying an electric car—they’re not the easiest things to do. If you can’t manage huge steps, you can still do lots of little things. Taking even just some of the steps above will significantly lower your carbon footprint.

Tips for creating a low/no waste kitchen

Typically, the largest trash can you find in your home is in the kitchen. The reason for this is because most trash is often produced from the kitchen. From food scraps to containers to spoiled food and more, there is an abundance of waste produced in this room. To help reduce the waste, there are many ways that you can work to create a low waste or no waste kitchen.

1) Avoid Plastic Bags

One of the most often purchased products in a grocery store is the plastic bag. These items make life more convenient because they are a quick solution for taking food on the go. They allow you to fill them up with your favorite food and then throw away the bag. This prevents the need for washing any containers.

While plastic bags are convenient, they are terrible for the environment and make up the majority of our kitchen waste. Try eliminating these bags from your shopping list and purchase reusable containers instead. They make take extra time to wash, but they are worth the little extra effort.

2) Shop In Bulk

Another great way to reduce waste in your kitchen is to shop in bulk. Shopping in bulk allows you to bring your own containers with you and fill them with the food ingredients you are looking to buy. You can find everything from pasta to spices to flour to coffee and more. If you choose to shop in bulk make sure you bring your own containers so that you can avoid using the plastic bags that are offered at most stores.

3) Use No Waste Containers

We all have leftovers at some point during the week. Since it is very hard to cook the exact right portions of food, we often cook too much. Rather than throwing away your leftovers, it is important to save them and eat them later. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day or even another dinner. If you do have leftovers it is important to save your food in no waste containers.

This means that you should avoid using one time containers, like plastic bags. These items will get thrown in the trash and not allow you to have a no-waste kitchen. Try using tupperware or other containers that can be washed and reused over and over again.

4) Compost

Another ideal way to help reduce the waste that you have in your kitchen is to compost. You can easily dispose of your food waste, like banana peels, by composting them. Simply fill a trash can or other container with all of your leftover food waste. You can even add in some materials, like coffee filters. Plant this in your garden and let the nutrients naturally release into the soil. This will help you achieve more nutrient-rich soil that you can use to grow your own foods.

If you are looking to do what is best for the environment and want to help reduce the amount of food in the landfills, try using these tips for a low or no-waste kitchen.

Best eco-friendly pet products

Many eco-friendly products for pets are currently available in the market place that you can confidently use to care for your pet, while also doing your part to make the world a better and healthier place. Most eco-friendly pet products are made from recycled materials by brands that are conscious about the state of the environment.

Here are some great pet products that are not only great at what they do, but have an environmentally friendly outlook as well.

Keeping a healthy pet depends largely on the quality of food, bedding, gear, and treats that are available to it. Fortunately the majority of environmentally friendly pet products you will come across are also better quality and better for your pet as well!

Here are some eco-friendly products to consider for your pet that will also help keep the environment safe:

Cat scratching post from Delxo

It is important to provide your cat with enough toys to play with and scratch to keep them healthy and entertained. To ignore this will basically guarantee at least some of your furniture and other items will get damaged or destroyed. Cats usually have a lot of pent up energy and one way of releasing the energy is through scratching and active play. This scratching post from Delxo will help save your furniture from the claws of your feline friend, as well as help them exercise their claws in a healthy way. It also comes with a fish toy attached to a string that your cat will also enjoy playing with.

Rope play set for your dog from EarthyPaw

Do you have a puppy that enjoys a good game of tug of war? If you do, then this 12-piece rope set will be bring a smile to both your faces. The play set has 12 different toys that are made from materials that are non-toxic and sustainably sourced, thus making both friendly to the environment and fun.

Ball toys for cats and kittens from Wool Felt

Cats absolutely love toys that they can chase and pounce on. Kittens notoriously love these types of games and if you own a cat, you have probably discovered their love for strings and woolen fabrics.

These ball toys are made from materials that are non-toxic and renewable. This is an eco-friendly toy you can be sure that your cats will be having a great time playing with every day.

Dog Harness with maximum comfort and control from EcoBark Max

This dog harness is designed to help you control your dog without harming it. It has a no-pull design to protect the torso of your dog, and a no-choke design to prevent the dog from choking through constriction of the trachea.

The harness is made from materials that are friendly to the environment in general with straps made of recycled materials. The product is available in different patterns and colors, allowing you to pick the ones you like depending on your preference.

Bamboo toys for dogs

Some pet products contain substances like lead and other toxic substances that may cause underlying health conditions in your pet. Unfortunately these problem develop over time and often the damage has been done when you start to notice symptoms. It is important to start off your pets with non-toxic toys and surroundings at as early an age as possible.

The toys made from bamboo are among the best eco-friendly toys you can get for your dog. Bamboo is a highly renewable substance that is ideal for many uses. Using these types of toys and products can keep your pets entertained and still safe. Non-toxic and renewable toys that are friendly both to the environment and to pet health are widely available and a great way to keep your pets and your planet safe.