Monday, December 18, 2017


Put Your Foot Down! Simple Ways To Reduce Your Personal Carbon Footprint.

August 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThySistas.comHave you thought about your choices in life that will impact the generations that follow? A lot of us are well within our rights to think that we don’t necessarily need to deal with these issues just yet as we are young. But the fact is there are certain lifestyle choices that we all need to make. And a lot of businesses are touting the fact that they are using renewable energy, but we don’t have to try and make big changes in our lives per se. It’s all about the habits we form to cut back on our carbon footprint. And if you haven’t thought about this before here are some approaches, some minor, some major, to implement in your life.

YOUR DRIVING…

Yes, a lot of ways to cut back on your carbon footprint is to avoid driving altogether, either by walking or riding a bike. But there are other options for those that need their car, and there are so many of us do need a vehicle to get from A to B. So here are a few things to try.

Drive A Low Carbon Vehicle

This includes things like the electric car, but a lot of us are better off with a hybrid or in fact a high mileage car depending on where you live in the States.

Change Your Driving Style

This is a key part of reducing unnecessary revving which will cut down on your emissions and therefore cut down on your carbon footprint. If you drive a manual car, you can cut down on your emissions by making clever gear changes and anticipating the road ahead. Cruise control is also another thing to try.

YOUR EATING…

According to research by 2050 emissions from the agriculture industry will eat up (pardon the pun) the world’s carbon budget if we don’t start to change our habits towards our diet. The most logical approach is to go vegan, but this is not something the vast majority of us would be happy doing, so here are a few different options.

Cut Back On The Beef And Dairy  

Depending on where your beef comes from they could have been grazed on lands that were formerly a tropical forest but had been cleared for specific agricultural use. As deforestation is one of the big contributors to carbon emissions, and therefore climate change, it’s best to try and avoid beef and dairy where you can. If you need your protein hit in the short term, it’s may be worth consuming fish. If you look on the Global Salmoning Initiative services website, you can see that on the feed conversion ratio chart that as far as sustainability is concerned in comparison to chicken, pork, or cattle, farming salmon is more sustainable currently.

Eat Organic And Locally Produced Food  

The transportation of food is a big contributor to greenhouse gases, and it has been estimated that approximately 13% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US from the production and transport of foodstuffs. This is because transporting food requires fuel for the vehicles, as well as fertilizers, are fossil fuel based so if you can eat locally sourced items then it’s a sensible approach.

YOUR HOME…

The place we spend most of our time can emit more energy than we realize, so it’s in our best interests to cut down on our carbon footprint which also helps to cut down on our household bills (which is a great initiative for any of us)!

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

A lot of appliance suppliers are very hot on this issue right now by making environmentally friendly products. But if you can make energy efficiency a big consideration when choosing items like a dishwasher, refrigerator, or air con unit, this will have a big impact. Look for the products with the Energy Star label, as these are ones with more efficiency over the standard items.

Lights Out!

Make sure that you turn the lights off when you leave the room, and you can also replace your standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or LED ones.

Insulate Your Home

If you have a drafty home, you can reduce this as well as cut down on your air leaks with insulation, weather stripping, and caulk. Depending on where you live, there are programs and incentives to help you with this. But you can easily insulate your loft with a few rolls of insulation material for a cheap cost. Not only will it cut down on your heating bill it will make your home nice and warm in the fall and winter months.

Set Your Thermostat

If you can program it to come on when you need it and to turn off when you leave the house this will help to cut back on unnecessary wastage. It’s also important that when you are at home to set it at an optimum temperature, not too high or too low. If you can find the right balance, it will reflect in your energy bills.

THE OTHER WAYS…

If you aren’t already doing so if you can get into the habit of reusing items and recycling your packages, this has been shown to be a big contributor to cutting back on greenhouse gases. And as it has been estimated that 29% of greenhouse gas emissions from the US result from what is termed the “provision of goods” which includes the disposal of packages, this is a big thing for you to start doing. Turning your food into compost instead of putting it in the garbage is another great approach, but also if you cut down on your water usage, this will also help. This can be done in simple ways such as using water efficient shower heads and bathroom appliances as well as basic things like not running the tap for too long while brushing your teeth.

It’s said that we have to all do our bit to help the planet, and granted we all can’t live in solar paneled huts, but we can start to think more about how we can reduce our own carbon footprint in our everyday lives.

Staff Writer; Shelia Long


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