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Incredibly Simple Ways to Cut Your Carbon Footprint

March 8, 2016

Reducing your carbon footprint and staving off global warming doesn’t have to mean drastic lifestyle changes.  With these simple changes, you can do your part for the environment.

Eat Less (or No!) Meat

When we talk about stopping climate change, we usually talk about alternative energy.  But it is really our diets which are contributing to climate change the most.  Livestock alone is responsible for about 51% of greenhouse gases! By switching swapping out our least eco-friendly foods for better alternatives, we could almost stop climate change in its tracks.  If you love the planet and want your kids to have a future, you will cut meat out of your diet.  But you love meat too?  Then switch to eco-friendly alternatives like Beyond Meat’s “Chicken” and “Beef” crumbles.

Worms Are Your Friend!

Take a look in your trash cans. How much of that trash is organic material, paper, or other compostables?  By starting a worm farm to compost your waste, you can cut back the amount of trash that ends up in landfills.  The beautiful thing is that, when you compost waste at home, it doesn’t give off methane gas which contributes to climate change.  Worm composting is really easy and takes up so little space that you can even do it inside or on an apartment balcony.  For straight-forward info and videos on how to get started with composting, you can check out the website Crazy About Compost.

Stop with the Plastic Bags Already!

There is a lot of debate about how long it takes for a plastic bag to disintegrate.  Most estimate that it takes 500 to 1000 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate, but the truth is that we don’t know because plastic bags have only been around for about 50 years.  Even if they were capable of disintegrating, it isn’t likely that they would.  Modern landfills are lined and covered daily so trash receives no oxygen or sunlight.  In these conditions, even biodegradables like bananas are more likely to mummify than decompose!

What about those biodegradable plastic bags? Even they take years to degrade in outdoor conditions.  In landfills, those biodegradable plastic bags produce greenhouse gases.  Oh, and many of those “eco-friendly” plastic bags are really made from oil products just like conventional plastic bags.

Start an Organic Vegetable Garden

Growing your own vegetables (even if it is just a balcony herb garden) helps the environment in many ways.  It reduces pollution from the “food miles” it normally takes to get food to your plate.  It cuts back on pollution from food packaging.  Plants also absorb carbon dioxide which is contributing to global warming.  By growing your own veggies, you’ll also cut your food bill.  Just another perk of going green!

Upgrade Your Thermostat

You’ve already heard the advice that you should reduce your thermostat to cut your energy use down (and save money too!).  But how about upgrading your thermostat while you are at it?  Today, there are numerous options for programmable thermostats.  You can program multiple temperature settings to optimize energy use. For example, set a low temperature for while sleeping, set the heating kick on before you wake up and go down again once you leave for work, and set the temperature to increasing once again before you come home from work.

Opt Out of Junk Mail

All of that junk mail you get takes a serious toll on the environment.  One study even found that 250,000 homes could be heated from the energy it takes to create a single day’s worth of junk mail!  Junk mail adds up to the greenhouse emissions of 9 million cars! Did you know that you can opt out of junk mail?  Just go to the Direct Marketing Association website and opt out of junk mail.  It saves the environment and also the annoyance of sorting through all those circulars.

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