Make an Earth Day Pledge to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Earth Day is right around the corner. It’s the perfect time of year to do some spring-cleaning and reduce your carbon footprint. The Carbonfund.org Foundation recommends making these changes to work toward a carbon neutral lifestyle.
Only 40% of the average American’s carbon footprint is due to their direct energy use. The other 60% comes from the goods and services we buy and use. The easiest way to minimize waste is to reuse and recycle products whenever possible. Another way to cut back is by removing your name from junk mailing lists. 41pounds.org calculated that junk mail produces more CO2 than 9 million cars. That’s why they offer a service to take your name off mailing lists for a nominal fee. Also buying local and eating less meat can dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Vegetarians produce 3,000 pounds less CO2 per year than meat eaters. Eating one vegetarian meal per week is an easy way to make a big impact.
To reduce the carbon footprint of your travel, regular car maintenance is critical. Keeping your tires properly inflated can save 400-700 pounds of CO2 per year. Accelerating slowly and smoothly is another effective way to use less gas. Carpooling or telecommuting once a week will result in a 20% reduction in commuting emissions.
Making your home more energy efficient isn’t just beneficial for the environment; it will save you money in the long run. Take for example florescent light bulbs that save more than 2/3rds of the energy used by comparable incandescent bulbs. Changing ordinary habits, such as turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, can conserve thousands of gallons of water per year. Unplugging electronics that are not in use will prevent “vampire” energy loss. Finally, purchasing a programmable thermostat that costs around $50 will save you much more than that in the first year alone.
To get involved with an organization working to combat climate change go to greatnonprofits.org.
Brittany Freitas, firstname.lastname@example.org