Global warming is one of the most serious problems that our planet faces in modern times, as the levels of carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere have reached unprecedented heights. Every year in the United Kingdom, the equivalent of 37 million London buses are produced in CO2 gases, or more specifically, 466,044,000 tonnes. Powerhouses such as China, America and Russia are producing even more on a daily basis, which is negatively impacting the environment. Although carbon dioxide is needed for plants and animals to survive, too much of it can kill them. If we all take collective action, we can help to lower greenhouse gases and save the ecosystem. Here are just some of the simple ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint:
If you live in an area that doesn’t really require a car, then you could drastically lower your carbon footprint by either walking or cycling to your destinations. While it’s true that you may often need to travel long distances, a bicycle is always a great thing to have for local or more accessible locations. A typical car produces roughly 404 grams of emissions per mile, which can easily accumulate over one year. Switching over to a hybrid or an electric vehicle is much more sustainable as they release little to no emissions, depending on the model.
Be Economical with Electricity
So much electricity is wasted in households and offices across the country because appliances are left running when they don’t need to be. Just because a device is switched off, it still consumes power if the plug is not switched off, so make sure that you unplug all electronics when not in use, and consider using a power strip so that you can turn them all off at once.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances such as fridges need to be on 24 hours a day, which means that electricity is consumed non-stop. They account for around 20% of your whole electricity bill, but if you switch over to an energy-efficient fridge, you’ll be able to lower costs and reduce your carbon footprint. Washing machines are also heavy on energy consumption, and they generally use 9.5 litres of water for every kilo of clothing they wash. Consider going for an A+++ washing machine, as you could reduce the amount of electricity and water used by up to 21%.
Consume Less Meat
Incredibly, livestock in the agricultural industry is responsible for more greenhouse gases than all of the fossil fuels combined. Beef and lamb are particularly harmful to the environment, and produce five times more emissions than poultry livestock. Lowering your meat intake go a long way to minimising your carbon footprint, and if you want to make a an even bigger impact, then you can switch over to a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Keep Heating Low
During the winter, it’s only normal that the heating is turned up to keep the chill at bay. Thermostats consume an incredible amount of energy in this period, but there are ways to be more economical, without sacrificing too much comfort. When you go to bed, you should always turn the heating down a few notches, and when you go out, you should turn it off completely. You could also invest in a smart thermostat, which adjusts to the daily temperature outside, and they can also be controlled from your smartphone.
When it comes to electronics, most people tend to discard them once they stop working or go obsolete. This means that the parts are then sent to landfills, where all types of toxins are released into the air. If you want to make a difference, then you can contact e-waste companies to see if they can take the parts off you, or you can check to see if the original manufacturers have a buyback policy. Not only will this reduce the amount of CO2 in the air, it also provides a way to recycle the materials into new devices.
Luckily, we are becoming increasingly conscious about how our actions impact the environment. More people are now deciding to go green than ever before, which does provide some optimism for the future.