As Global Warming continues to become a more prevalent issue environmentally, it is more important than ever to make some changes that will decrease your carbon footprint on our planet. A carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment through our day-to-day activities. One may think, “I’m just one person, I’m not going to have a big enough impact”. This is untrue, however. On average, one single American adds 19.2 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. If you’re interested in decreasing your carbon footprint for our environment, here are some ways in which you can do so:
· Where and what kinds of foods you purchase have an influence on your carbon footprint, believe it or not. Purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables not only saves fossil fuels, but they are cheaper, they retain more nutrients, and they taste better too. It is also a great way to support your community and local farmers!
· Eating organic has an effect on your carbon footprint, as well. In general, it is believed that organic produce is more expensive than conventional foods. Studies have conducted, however, and have proved that most in-season organic foods do not cost much more than conventional foods. Other studies regarding organic food have proven that they can reduce nutrient pollution, improve soil organic matter, lower energy use, reduce pesticide residues in food and water, and enhance biodiversity, which benefits farms when unpredictable weather strikes.
· Have you ever thought of bringing your own bags to the grocery store? Think about all the extra bags you have sitting around your house. Those could easily be used for groceries! On average, there are100 billion petroleum-based plastic bags used each year in the U.S. These bags usually end up in landfills, causing pollution and litter to pile up over time. Some stores, such as Aldi, have been encouraging customers to B.Y.O.B (bring your own bag) for about 100 years now. Many other grocery stores, such as Target and Kroger, have begun paying customers who use reusable bags at their stores.
· The easiest way to conserve energy and reduce your carbon footprint is in the comfort of your own home! Some ways you can do so are by: running the hood fan when cooking in the summer in order to reduce the usage of AC to cool the house, defrost food ahead of time in the refrigerator rather than in the sink, cook larger quantities of food and freeze the rest for later in the week, repair leaky faucets, and compost your food waste.
These are some simple and easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint! For more information about ways in which you can help the environment, click on the link below: