The level of carbon emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere is currently at an all-time high, and there are many countries at present that are not doing enough to tackle this issue. The USA produces the second most amount of CO2 gases in the world after China, totalling around 5.3 billion tonnes of emissions each day. Over the past few years, Australia has also set record highs in their greenhouse gas emissions, and despite efforts to use renewable energy such as wind and solar, the country is falling short on its deal with the Paris Climate Agreement. Here are eight of the most effective ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint:
Go vegan or eat less meat
One of the biggest causes of carbon emissions comes from the agriculture business, as the greenhouse gases that are emitted from beef and lamb pose more of a problem to the world than the use of fossil fuels. Switching to a low meat diet or even going vegan is a surefire way to significantly reduce your carbon footprint each year. Making fruit and vegetables a larger part of your diet can help to solve this problem, and it’s also more beneficial for your health.
Buy locally sourced foods
Many of our favourite fruit and vegetables are often shipped in from other countries, and while they may be healthy and delicious, the amount of fuel used to transport them into the country is damaging to the environment. You can lower your carbon footprint by opting to buy locally sourced and organic foods. The closer the food is grown to you, the better, as this reduces transportation and fuel consumption.
Plant a tree
If you want to fight back against carbon dioxide, then you could think about planting a tree in your garden, as it will provide oxygen and give shade as it grows. A mature tree also has the potential to absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and a 10-year old tree produces enough oxygen into the atmosphere to sustain two human lives.
Because of the advancements in technology, we are now less reliant on paper than at any point in history. In fact, most files and documents can now easily be accessed digitally, or on cloud sharing platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Using less paper means that devices such as printers, scanners and photocopiers aren’t needed as much, which lowers electricity consumption.
Landfills are often filled with items and materials that give off many CO2 emissions, and the majority of them can actually be recycled. You should always try to recycle as much as you can, and this includes electronic equipment such as old laptops or mobile phones. For every tonne of mobile phone parts recycled, 10 tonnes of carbon emissions are avoided.
In Australia, around 370 million plastic water bottles end up in landfills every year, which make up around 38% of the country’s entire volume of rubbish. You can lower your carbon footprint and the negative impact if has on wildlife by buying more sustainable water bottle packaging such as glass. Instead of discarding it, you can then reuse it and pour in some filtered water, which saves you money in the long run.
Laptops over desktops
Desktop computers consume a lot of electricity, and release large amounts of heat when in use, especially in office spaces. The best alternative is to switch over to a laptop, as they can be up to 80% more energy efficient than normal computers.
If you swap your traditional lightbulbs with LEDs, then you will not only save a lot of money on your electricity bills, but you will also be doing some good for the environment. 95% of the energy in an LED bulb is converted into light, while only 5% is spent on heat. Making this change at home or at the workplace will drastically lower your carbon footprint, as there are no toxic elements contained in these lights.
CO2 levels in Australia and around the world have reached such a perilous point, that it’s now vital we adopt more sustainable ways of living. The more people that are educated on the matter, the more hope our planet has.
Irma is a keen writer and writes for a variety of topics with her main interests in business, technology and HR. Working with a variety of clients over the years, Irma has a wide range of first hand experience within businesses and technology.