It’s like a snowball effect. If each of us would make as much effort as possible to minimize their carbon footprint soon we would see a huge difference. We, the people, have a big impact, although we are not always aware of it.
For years we’ve been lulled into a fake feeling of being environmentally responsible if we only recycle and buy saving light bulbs. Unfortunately, that’s not gonna cut it, we are in too deep mud. We need to do more, much more if we want this planet to be healthy and thriving for all the life, many years to come.
There is a beautiful quote we all should have in mind;
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
If you think that everything is in the hands of government and big corporations you are greatly underestimating your own powers. There is much more of us than it is of them. And they do respond to what we do. For too long we allowed them to direct our consumer habits with clever and emotional marketing. But it’s time to stop. It’s time we teach them that we had it enough and from now on we demand sustainably and locally produced goods. This will not only benefit the environment but also the economy. It’s crazy that more than 90% of all the production is done by a couple of countries in large factories that are anything but environmentally friendly.
When we turn to sustainably produced, high-quality, enduring products and show that this is what we want and nothing less, then that’s what we will get. There will be no other way companies will either have to adapt or go out of business.
Continue reading to find out exactly which steps you can take to minimize your carbon footprint and spark the change for the better
Four key changes you can make to minimize your carbon footprint
Practice conscious consumerism
Factories that produce non-food products contribute to about 21% of total greenhouse gas emotions. But once you account for energy and transport that number rises rapidly to more than 30%.
These are the changes we all should make to drop that number:
Support small local businesses
Whenever possible choose small businesses that focus on locally sourced materials, production, and selling on location (or very near it).
Turn to slow fashion
Slow fashion should be everyone’s standard these days. Its main characteristics are quality, enduring materials, timeless garments, and locally produced and sold clothing.
Reduce and reuse
- Reduce your waste by avoiding plastic packaging.
- Minimize your use of one-time-use products.
- Buy only what you really need.
- If you need something occasionally, once or twice a year, find a way to borrow it instead of buying it.
- Instead of throwing away, try to fix what’s broken.
- If you don’t need something anymore, see if you can reuse it in some other way, or donate it to somebody who might need it.
Minimalism is the ultimate freedom lifestyle. Why? Because it frees you from the claws of consumerism. Living minimally doesn’t mean living without anything. It simply means that everything you own has a clear purpose in your life and there is no clutter or useless things that are shoved in some closet never to see the daylight again. When you’re practicing minimalism your every purchase is made mindfully. You think carefully before bringing any item into your life. And everything you own either is useful or brings you great joy.
Change eating habits
Food production is one of the biggest polluters in the world. It is responsible for 37% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Of that, more than half comes from the production of animal-based food.
These are the changes you can make to fix this:
Farm to table
Reduce the mileage food takes from the place it’s grown or made to your table.
Reduce food waste
Plan all your meals in advance and buy only what you will eat and exactly how much you’ll eat.
Eat mostly plant-based
Reduce or eliminate the amount of animal products you consume and completely eliminate all processed food.
Reduce energy use
Burning coal and fossil fuels to produce electricity are one of the largest sources of pollution. Electricity and heating make up more than 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why every person should at least commit to reducing their electricity consumption. And this one doesn’t require a lifestyle change.
This is how you can reduce your energy use:
- When buying appliances make sure they are energy efficient.
- Use saving light bulbs and turn off the light when nobody is in the room.
- Isolate your house so the heat or cold don’t “leak”.
- Unplug all the devices that consume energy even when they are turned off, when not in use. That would be TV, anything with LED screen, chargers, audio equipment…
- Keep the freezer full by placing water bottles when there’s empty space for better efficiency.
- Always wash a full load of laundry.
- When sunny and warm dry clothes outside on the line.
- Don’t overuse AC in the summer, it’s summer, it’s ok to be hot.
- Turn down (or off completely) heating when nobody is inside.
When you become aware of your carbon footprint and start to take actions to minimize it you might feel lonely in your efforts. Like many of us do. But don’t let that discourage you. Share your thoughts and knowledge with your people and tell them which actions you’re taking. They will often be encouraged to do the same. And if enough of us do the same we might stop and even reverse the damage before it’s too late.
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