“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I have to admit that it is only since the past 2 years that I have become conscious about my carbon footprint. I, assumed like most of us, that making changes would either entail costs or as an individual act, it will be an absolute insignificant contribution.
On the contrary, each of us can make a remarkable difference in reducing our carbon footprint by being sensitive and conscious of our food & travel habits, how we use technology and making change in our lifestyle.
Below is a small list of ways I have been trying to adopt to reduce my carbon footprint and I would love to hear from you on more ways. Please feel free to add your ways in the comment section.Day to day life
- Switch from incandescent to compact florescent light bulbs, it save more than 2/3rds of the energy of a regular incandescent.
- Unplug electronics and appliances you’re not using – TVs and cable converter boxes, mobile phone chargers, geysers should be unplugged because they can draw or “leak” as much as 40 watts per hour even when they’re off.
- Hang your washing out on the clothesline rather than using the dryer.
- Use both sides of the page to print or copy.
- Use reusable bags for grocery shopping and say no to multiple plastic bags offered by vendors.
- Whether you’re text messaging or sending an email, doing so from a cell phone or other mobile device uses more than 30 times less energy than using a computer.
- Activate your computer’s power sleep mode, which can save up to $75 in electricity each year. By lowering your computer screen brightness, you can save a substantial amount of energy.
- Go without ATM receipts. Thrown on the ground almost as much as gum wrappers, ATM receipts are one of the biggest sources of litter on the planet.
- Clean Your Air-conditioner’s Filter. When the filter gets clogged with dust, it makes the unit work harder to intake air and responsible for up to 10% of the power your air-conditioner uses.
- Stop your newspaper when you go for a vacation.
- Let the hotel know that it’s not necessary to change your sheets and towels every day.
- Take a direct flight whenever possible during overseas trip. Your impact is reduced when you take one flight and you might also feel a little less harried when you arrive.
- Use train or bus for short distance, I have consciously made a switch from taking cabs to buses between Pune – Mumbai.
- When possible, buy organic and local. Organic foods have been produced without synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, growth hormones, and antibiotics which means is emission free. The transportation of food accounts for over 30,000 tons of greenhouse gas per year. If it’s locally grown, it didn’t have to travel that far.
- Buy in season products as out of season requires more energy to refrigerate and more fuel to ship in from places where it is in season.
- Don’t boil a full kettle to make one cup of tea or coffee, only boil what you need.
- Use a toaster to toast bread instead of under the grill.
- Defrost your refrigerator as this will ensure that it runs efficiently.
- Don’t waste food. About one-quarter of all the food prepared annually in the U.S. gets tossed; producing methane in landfills as well as carbon emissions from transporting wasted food.