Published On: Sun, Mar 8th, 2015

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Save the Planet

There are lots of things that you can do when you want to reduce your carbon footprint and, by extension, your impact on the planet. By now most people are well versed in the basics: use reusable shopping bags, turn off the lights, unplug your machines when they aren’t being used, wear a sweater instead of turning up your thermostat. But what if you want to do more? Here are some tips for people who are tired of doing the minimum–even if you might not be able to afford the biggest steps like solar panels, etc.

Switching to Natural Gas

Natural gas is a far more eco-friendly method of powering your home than fossil fuels. Also important, natural gas is more budget friendly than fossil fuels. Making the switch might take some initial adjustments (especially if your home was built primarily for fossil fuel based power). Learn more about how the rates compare by checking out your local power provider comparison site and see how natural gas rates line up against fossil fuels, green power sources, etc.

 photo D. Sharon Pruitt from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA

photo D. Sharon Pruitt from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA

Speaking of Gas

Grill more often. Many people believe that grilling is only a good idea during the summer, when it is too hot to cook over a stove or with an oven. Guess what: grilling is always a good idea. Yes, it is a good idea even during the winter. Grilling reduces the amount of work your stove and oven have to do to heat your food during the winter and, frankly, tastes better than most foods you’ll make indoors. Grilling becomes even more economical when you use a propane grill. Yes there are some purists out there who believe that charcoal creates a better flavor but the science is in: propane is better than charcoal for a variety of reasons.

Give Up or Change Your Car

Okay, depending upon where you live, giving up your car might not be the best plan. If you live in a very rural area and it takes you a half hour to drive to work, for example, switching to a bicycle might not be the best plan. If you live in a part of the world where driving makes more sense, sell your current gas guzzler for a hybrid or electric car. These cars use far less fuel and power than their traditional counterparts. It’s also a good idea to transition into being a one car family if possible.

If you do live in an area that is more urban or in which a car isn’t quite as severe a necessity, you should sell your car (or leave it parked most of the time) and use a bicycle or public transportation instead. Many cities are making the switch to bio-fuel for their transit vehicles and bicycles, of course, use only your own energy for power. Sure you might have to deal with some bad weather from time to time but there are lots of things that you can do to make it easier to bear.

Watch Your Water

Short showers use far less water than long showers or baths. And, if you install a low-flow shower head you’ll reduce that waste even further. In fact, installing low flow faucets and toilets will also do a great deal to reduce the amount of water you waste.

Another technique you can use is to harvest rainwater. This is easy enough to do using open mouthed collection vessels in your yard. To really save water, however, you should hook a rain barrel up to your gutter system so that you can use that water for landscaping, washing your bicycle, etc. Using grey water dramatically reduces you home’s water usage (and waste).

These are just a few of the best ways to reduce your footprint and protect the planet. What are some of your favorite methods?

Author: Ravi Kumarr Gupta


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