Climate change is a huge, sometimes scary reality that many people may think they have little control over. The reality is that we can make small changes that, together, make a big difference:
Imported Vegetables Are A-OK
The idea that the transportation of fruits and vegetables from countries outside the U.S. is the largest source of carbon emissions is incorrect; the production of red meat and dairy is incredibly carbon-intensive and has a larger impact on greenhouse gasses. Eating less red meat and incorporating more chicken, fish, and vegetables into your diet will help reduce your carbon footprint, even if the vegetables are imported.
Use Public Transportation
There’s a thing called a ‘carbon budget’, which is how much carbon dioxide we can safely emit during the year without an enormous negative impact on the environment. If you commute by car each day, by yourself, you’re using your entire ‘carbon budget’ for the year through emissions from your vehicle. Taking the bus sharply reduces the amount of carbon you use for your personal transportation on a daily basis. Even better would be working remotely, biking, or walking to the workplace if you can.
Clean Your Plate
When you were younger, your parents more than likely admonished you to eat everything on your plate. This turns out to be good advice for helping us to reduce landfill waste, and the emissions it creates from decaying food. Every time you throw out uneaten leftovers, excess or expired food, you’re contributing to the amount of methane being released into the environment. Try only to buy what you know you’ll use at the grocery store, and pay attention to your portions – the earth will thank you for it!
Don’t Buy A Second Car
Cars take a lot of energy to manufacture, and add to the emissions that build up in the atmosphere, adding to global warming. Though it may sound great to buy a newer, more fuel efficient vehicle, try changing your driving habits first: anything you do to improve mileage will reduce your carbon output. Make sure you’re up to date on maintenance, check your tire pressure regularly, and drive defensively. These small changes will help increase your mileage, and lower the number of new vehicles car manufacturers build each year.
New products, like laptops, take energy and resources to create, adding to your overall carbon footprint. Think about the next purchase you have planned and whether you need it or not – you may find that what yo have works just find, and lessening your reliance on consumer goods can lessen your impact on carbon emissions. It can also lessen the impact on your wallet!
These are just five steps out of many we found that you can take right now to start reducing your impact on Global Warming, as well as helping you become a better consumer and better steward for the Earth.
*This summary is information in an article is from The Upshot, by The New York Times. The original article contains seven ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and can be read in its entirety here.