how to improve your carbon footprint
Posted in: Healthy Living, Sustainability

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With 13 Simple Habits

A healthy planet means a healthy you! Learn 13 simple ways you can reduce your carbon footprint with this handy cheat sheet.

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With the environment in constant peril, it’s crucial to do your part to reduce your carbon footprint every day. However, cutting down on emissions isn’t just good for the earth—it’s also good for your wallet! The good news is, making an environmentally-friendly change can be easy and inexpensive. From eating more locally-grown food to switching to eco-friendly cleaning products, here are 13 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint today.

This post is all about 13 easy habits that will help you reduce your carbon footprint.

how to reduce your carbon footprint

13 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

One of the main ways you can help make the world a better place to live in is reducing your carbon footprint. That refers to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the environment due to human activities.

Approximately 1/3 of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States come from homes and offices, with the most significant contributor being home energy use.

While cutting down on carbon emissions may seem like an overwhelming task, it’s much easier than you think if you take small steps toward reducing your carbon footprint daily.

Check out this free carbon footprint calculator, and read on for great tips!


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Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Home

Energy-efficiency is your number one priority!

1. Turn off or unplug everything that is not in use.

You might not think about how much energy your fridge uses, but it’s responsible for 9% of an average home’s electricity usage.

Consider using surge protectors for other electrical appliances. This simple task will allow you to turn off many things at once. Make it a habit anytime they are not in use.

2. Choose energy efficient appliances.

You might not think about how much energy your fridge uses, but it’s responsible for 9% of an average home’s electricity usage.

So, selecting an ENERGY STAR®-rated model is a simple step you can take to reduce your carbon footprint.

Not to mention, you could get a tax incentive for your efforts.

3. Also, consider installing solar panels.

4. Get a Tankless Water Heater

If you’re considering installing a new water heater, one good option to consider is getting a tankless water heater.

These devices use less energy than conventional heaters and help keep your home environmentally friendly.

Use as little energy from the grid as possible, and you will shrink your carbon footprint.

reduce your carbon footprint

5. Keep the A/C and Heat on Energy-conserving Settings

Reducing your carbon footprint is essential and something that everyone can do. Luckily, it isn’t as hard as you might think.

Simply turn down your thermostat in winter and increase it in summer so that you’re not wasting energy throughout the year. You will adapt!

For extra points, use a programmable thermostat so that you can set temperatures based on what time of day they are.

Natural gas is more efficient at heating the home that electricity. And finding ways to conserve energy is super important. EcoWatt Pro is a device that helps you save electricity wherever you live.

Consider solar panels (nothing beats a renewable resource like solar energy)! This drastically reduces the cost of heating and cooling your home.

6. Make Some of Your Products

f you’re looking for seriously simple way to reduce your carbon footprint, start making more things from scratch. You eliminate one more thing that was packaged and shipped by someone else by doing so.

This will reduce plastic waste. Furthermore, you will know how it was made and what is in it!

A Few Things to Make Instead of Buy

Household Cleaners

Beeswax Wraps

Candles

Soaps, Lotions, Lip Balms

Bread, Tortillas and Pasta

Beverages

Yogurt and Cheeses

Pickles and Kombucha

Cookies, Muffins, and Granola

Plant or Nut Milks

reduce carbon footprint thrifting

How Shopping Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

7. Buy Almost Everything Second Hand or Thrifted

Do you need yet another sweater, pair of jeans, or even furniture for your apartment? Probably not.

Get your fix at thrift stores. This keeps fast fashion out of the landfill a little while longer. Also, if we buy fewer things new, the demand decreases and fewer things will be produced over time.

Bonus points if you buy eco-friendly goods (organic cotton, bamboo, wool)!

Buying almost everything second-hand is an easy way to reduce greenhouse emissions. Moreover, you will save a ton of money. Did I mention that it is FUN to find something awesome at a thrift store?

When you look for eco-friendly items in shops, beware of greenwashing! Click to learn more.

Have fun with it, and you can resell or donate the items once you are finished. Thrifting is a great way to live a sustainable lifestyle!


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8. Buy Local

Staying local helps reduce your carbon footprint because you’re not shipping your produce across an ocean. It reduces greenhouse gases from food production. And, it is great for zero-waste and low-waste lifestyles.

Buying locally also helps support local farmers and economies by lowering global demand for cheap fuel.

Even if you can’t find a farmer’s market or local grocery store near you, however, it’s still possible to create a more environmentally-friendly diet.

Simply, shop for foods that are in season. More importantly, these foods tend to be fresher and taste better anyway.

Going local is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save you money. By buying locally, you eliminate transportation costs and support a local small business owner.

Support your community and lessen your impact on our planet!

Here are my favorite shopping totes! They are cotton, durable, and wash well.- Tara

9. Use Reusable Bags

Grocery bags are one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint drastically. Unfortunately, the average U.S. citizen uses hundreds and hundreds of plastic bags each year, most of which end up in landfills or as litter.

By switching to reusable bags (even just a few will make a difference), you’ll not only be reducing your carbon footprint but also helping save endangered sea turtles and other marine animals that mistake plastics for food.

You might not think of your plastic bags as eco-unfriendly, but 12 million barrels of oil are required each year to produce plastic bags for American consumers.

Another byproduct of making these bags is carbon dioxide (CO2), which contributes to climate change. If you carry reusable bags with you when you grocery shop or run errands, you’ll be reducing your consumption of non-renewable resources and reducing your carbon footprint in one fell swoop.

reduce your carbon footprint

How We Choose to Live Affects the Planet

10. Walk or Bike Instead of Drive

Cars can emit harmful gases into our atmosphere, so it’s good to reduce your driving whenever possible.

Try carpooling or taking public transportation if you can, and if you do need a car, drive with it as little as possible.

When you have no choice but to drive, try to get there on foot—walking is better for both your health and your carbon footprint. Plus, as a bonus, walking will also help you burn off some of those calories!

Aim to drive less. Run all your errands on one day, shop closer to home, work from home when it is an option. 

Use a vehicle with better fuel economy, and bonus points if it is an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid!

You know that old saying, Two heads are better than one? Well, it works with cars, too.

Share a ride with coworkers or family members, and you can shave tons of money off your monthly fuel bill. After all, who doesn’t want their carbon footprint to be smaller?

11. Recycle More

It may not sound like much, but recycling plastic, paper, and glass helps save energy. For example, recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 60-watt bulb for four hours.

Energy-efficient light bulbs are another way to help reduce your carbon footprint. If you already recycle at home, consider recycling more – such as used motor oil, batteries, and old electronics.

12. Buy Products in Glass or Aluminum Instead of Plastics

We are at a critical time in history. Plastic garbage is ruining life across the planet. Now more than ever, we should avoid buying anything in plastic as much as we can.

Anything you buy that’s packaged in plastic contributes to your carbon footprint—even if it’s biodegradable or recyclable.

You can eliminate a good portion of your environmental impact by changing your shopping habits. Look for items packaged in glass or aluminum instead of plastic, especially when buying food and cleaning products.


We use these light bulbs in our newly renovated house. I put these in all the lamps and pendant lights. They give a warm glow, which I love. – Tara

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13. Practice Practical Minimalism

No, I am not talking about the trendy aesthetic! Yes, it is pleasing to the eye, but that is not the point.

A great way to reduce your carbon footprint is through a practice called minimalism.

Minimalism involves minimizing possessions, time commitments, and the environmental impact of your day-to-day activities.

With minimalism, you decide what things are essential for your life and reject excesses. As a result, minimalist living provides peace of mind and a reduced carbon footprint

Do you have any others that we didn’t mention? Be sure to share with us in a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

This post was all about 13 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint without too much trouble. Each idea will help improve your impact on the earth – and our planet needs all of the help it can get! What was your favorite way?


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SUSTAINABLE LIVING

Learn About Sustainability

Knowing your food and taking responsibility for how it is produced is the best way to make a positive ecological impact.

Curious about the future of health and sustainability? Read this post about Staying Healthy for insight into causes of chronic diseases and how to prevent them.


You are reducing waste and resources while relying less on conventional agriculture and its use of pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate.


Most importantly, you will be eating the healthiest way possible!


Find out how to be more self-sufficient by growing these essential foods!



A NATURAL AND SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE PROMOTES HEALTH

sustainable living tips

We make decisions on the kind of life we want to live everyday.

Those decisions become habits. Create healthy habits today for a healthy mind and body tomorrow.

Learn tips to make better choices, live more sustainably, and make a difference in your health future and the health of our communities, country, and planet.

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