We, as human beings are keeping our carbon footprints on the environment with everything that we do in our everyday life. The things that we use in our daily life require some sort of energy source. The gadgets, equipments and machinery we use are all run by a power source usually coming from the electric supply, gas, diesel or propane, or some other sort of fossil which emits carbon dioxide when burnt. We are also using up all the natural resources. Everything we do on the planet that involves energy consumption or pollution may have a negative impact on the plane.
What is environmental footprint?
By environmental footprint, we refer to the measurement of our demands on the earth’s eco-system. It measures our demands on the natural capital of the planet. Everything that we do, such as the resources that we use, the waste that we throw away, the goods and services that we buy, the energy we use, and so on, has an impact on the environment.
It is important that we learn to manage our environmental impacts and our consumption of natural resources to minimize environmental footprint. There are ways through which we can lessen our impact on the planet. Little changes in our daily activities, such as using less energy, driving smaller cars, driving less, using eco-friendly products etc. can reduce our carbon emission and everyday carbon production to shrink our environmental footprint.
Tips to reduce the environmental footprint
To reduce our carbon footprint, we can very easily make minor changes in our daily activities. We are able to make these changes very easily that collectively has a long term dramatic effect on the environment to reduce carbon emission and carbon use. Reducing energy consumption and using reusable energy sources are two main keys to reducing carbon emission, and creating a sustainable environment for the future generation.
1. Saving energy saves money
Heating and cooling bills are a major portion of our home utility expenses and can cost a lot of money to a household if the house is not insulated well enough. Therefore, insulating the houses better can improve the home’s energy efficiency and save a good amount of money on heating and cooling bills throughout the year. When you insulate the house, make sure you have no open area on your walls, attic or basement through which heat cool air can escape. Replace your doors and windows with energy efficient and well insulated windows and doors, and seal around the doors and windows. When buying insulation, check the R value of the product. The higher the R value, the better insulation it will provide.
2. Install energy efficient appliances
If your home has a lot of old appliances or fittings, you can reduce energy bills and increase efficiency of your homes by replacing your old appliances with energy efficient ones. Simple tasks like changing your showers with energy efficient shower heads, insulating your water heater and pipes, and changing filters on your air cooler and furnace can reduce a significant amount of energy bill. Have your heating and cooling systems inspected every year with a professional to check for possible leakages or malfunctions. You can save energy by installing programmable thermostats and energy saving light bulbs as well. Install the appliances with energy star models that exceed the federal standards for energy consumption.
3. Turn off electrical equipments when not in use
You can save a considerable amount of money on energy bills simply by turning off your lights and air conditioner when you leave the room or house. Equipments like computers, monitors and printers still draw power when they are turned off. Using a surge protector and switching it off when you are not working can save you on electricity bills and save energy.
4. Grow your own food
By growing food in your own home garden instead of buying from the local grocery stores not only provides you with a supply of freshly grown, great tasting food, but also reduces the carbon emission that is used in the transportation of food.
5. Use transportation efficiently
Try using the public transportation while going to school or office. Also carpooling and using bicycles can be a good alternative if you live in the close proximity. Buying a more fuel efficient car can also help reducing carbon emissions.
Use products that are made from recycled materials. By recycling glass and paper, you minimize the mining of the products. It is also good to reduce throwing away your waste and recycle your garden compost as fertilizers.
Take action now
By making these small changes around the house and using more recycled products and reusable energy sources, we can minimize our daily carbon use and reduce our environmental footprints. We should act now and work together for a cleaner and more sustainable environment for our next generations.