7 ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Green feet in the grass

We all talk about plastic and it’s really great but the biggest environmental issue we are facing, as a species, is global warming and we really need to act now to reduce our carbon footprint before it’s too late…

I discovered the concept of climate intertia recently and it’s terrifying.
Basically all the environmental effects, like the waves of heat, increases in droughts & floods…, we experience right now are due to the greenhouse gas emissions of 30 to 40 years ago and sadly we all know that CO2 emissions rose continuously during this period. 🙁

What should we do to reduce your carbon footprint?

Here are 7 actions that you can do, the first one is a bit “hardcore” but it’s by far the most effective one when it comes to lowering your carbon footprint. Please don’t stop reading early just because you disagree with this one. 🙂

If you still doubt about the urgency of lowering or greenhouse gas emissions, please have a look at this summarized report from the IPCC.

Before reading, please also remember that it’s important to try and that a small move in the good direction is already great. So start by the actions you can easily do and see if you can progress to lower even more your greenhouse gas emissions.

These recommendations are not true only in the Philippines. 🙂

  1. Don’t make (more) children
  2. Reduce your meat consumption
  3. Walk or bike, use public transportation and carpool
  4. Save energy and/or go solar
  5. Buy less and locally
  6. Don’t waste food, compost
  7. Lobby, join associations & vote wisely

1. Don’t make (more) children

It’s a tough one but from an environmental perspective it’s very efficient, if we all have less children, we “remove” the equivalent from the future consumption and emissions, it’s a big deal if you focus just on the numbers…

After I know that there are many considerations when it comes to having babies and that the environment is probably not high on your list but it’s worth mentioning it. 🙂

See below the evolution of the carbon dioxide emissions per person since 2000.

2. Reduce your meat consumption

Consume less meat to reduce your carbon footprint
This is probably the second biggest change you can do at your level, I already explained why in my short list of 6 actions you can do to be green if you want more details.

There is a big difference in terms of carbon footprint between a Vegan diet and a regular one so try to eat more vegetables and fruits and less meat… The planet but also your body will thank you for this. 🙂

It’s even worse if you consume beef since cows also produce a lot more methane*.

3. Walk or bike, use public transportation and carpool

By order of preference, try to switch from using your vehicle to using your feet, a public transportation or to carpool as much as possible.

Walking & biking are healthy and you should try when you go somewhere not too far or between 2 different means of transportation.

Traffic in the Philippines

Public transportations are a good choice too, one can argue that they pollute a lot, mainly jeepneys and sadly they’re right… But it’s still “better” than if you add your own car’s emissions and they’ll be on the streets anyway so we’d better use them.

When commuting or traveling, try to carpool, if a car is used it’s better if it’s full. You can share the expenses and then it’s lighter on your wallet too.

Next to this:
Walking, biking, using public transportation & carpooling will help fix the traffic problem we face in our cities.Tweet this Click to tweet

4. Save energy and/or go solar

Light bulb
Try to save on your energy consumption generally, be frugal. Use the fan rather than the aircon. If you can’t, make sure that you close doors & windows so that the fresh air is not wasted.

Take the good habit of turning off your devices when they’re not in use: TV, lights… Put your computer on standby or turn it off too if you don’t use it for a long time.

If you can afford the installation, you can try to go for solar energy for your house.

It’ll make a big difference mainly if you’re not living in Mindanao since our energy mix is primarily based on charcoal in the rest of the country.

5. Buy less and locally

As for energy, be frugal, consume less and more wisely, you can join groups to help you embrace minimalist & zero-waste culture like Buhay Zero Waste & Upcycle This PH.

We can greatly reduce the waste we create if we all do this! And we’ll have to do something anyway about our garbages since we can’t send them to China anymore. It ruined their environment so much that they now banned it, read this article for details.

Being minimalist is often associated with negative concepts like poverty & thriftiness but it does not have to be this way. You can do this for positive reasons, for example, you can just say you’re embracing the zen culture. 🙂

Next to this:
If you unclutter your home, you will eventually unclutter your life!Tweet this Click to tweet

Woman at the market
Buying less is great, you can also try to consume locally-made products. The less something has to travel, the better it is for the world.

When a product makes thousands of kilometers to reach you, it’s easy to figure out that it’s not only polluting but it’s also inefficient as it’s a big waste of resources.

Try to buy seasonal fruits, it’ll also save you money and there are less chances they’re imported. 🙂

6. Don’t waste food, compost

US food waste

The food that ends up in landfills produces a lot of methane* as it decays there.

Try to buy less and to waste less, give the remains to pets or street animals.
If you garden, you can use the the scraps for compost. It gives quality soil and is organic.

7. Lobby, join associations & vote wisely

Industral pollution
At our level we’re limited, we do our best but it’s great to amplify this. One of the good ways to make your voice heard is to be part of a group (not only on Facebook :)) and help spread the good word at higher levels.

You can also show your appreciation, or lack thereof, to politicians by voting only for those that support the causes that matter to you. Trust more their actions when in office than their words during the campaigns by the way. 🙂

If the environment becomes an important issue for the voters, it’ll become an important one for the politicians too.Tweet this Click to tweet

* Methane matters a lot too as it’s even worse than carbon dioxide when it comes to greenhouse effect. It stays less long in the atmosphere but it absorbs way more heat.

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