It’s time to take control of your personal contribution to global warming by making these smart but small changes in your life – with these you can reduce your carbon footprint and help combat climate change and create a cleaner and greener environment for all living species.

Here’s how…

Driving

When possible, you should make the effort to walk or cycle so that you can avoid releasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere entirely. Alternatively, if the distance is too far for you to tackle on foot, then consider carpooling, public transport, or purchasing a low carbon vehicle in order to dramatically decrease carbon emissions.

Ensuring your vehicle is “in tune” will help to reduce your carbon footprint i.e. properly inflated tires, using the right motor oil, and checking your engine is in good working order. Another good tip is to avoid sitting in traffic as this wastes fuel and unnecessarily produces CO2.

Home

There are countless ways of reducing your carbon footprint at home such as reducing drafts and properly insulating so that you use less energy to heat your living space. When it comes to appliances – put energy efficiency at the top of your priority list. Appliances that are recognised for being superior in efficiency are often labelled with the EU ENERGY STAR.  

Turning off lights and using compact fluorescent bulbs is pretty standard for reducing your energy usage at home, as well as regular recycling.

Food

Would you believe that almost 15% of greenhouse gases are the result of food production and transportation? That means that if you eat locally grown and organic food, you would be significantly reducing your carbon footprint.

Another change you can make is cutting beef and dairy from your diet; copious amounts of resources and energy go into the cattle farming industry, especially if the beef comes from cows in countries such as Brazil. Here, the land on which cattle are raised is often where deforestation took place to make room for more agricultural practises. It’s one of the biggest contributors to climate change and carbon emissions.

Other ways…

Wash the car less, install a water butt, shower instead of bathing, and make water-efficient choices when picking out a new shower head or toilet. Have you heard about the water crisis in Cape Town? We need to be more vigilant of our water usage more now than ever.

Using clean energy sources such as solar and wind power as opposed to fossil fuels is possibly the greatest step you can take to reducing your carbon emissions and saving energy – while installing these kind of appliances can be pricey, it certainly saves money (and the planet) in the long run. 

 
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