A carbon footprint is defined as:
The total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities, usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).
In other words: When you drive a car, the engine burns fuel which creates a certain amount of CO2, depending on its fuel consumption and the driving distance. (CO2 is the chemical symbol for carbon dioxide). When you heat your house with oil, gas or coal, then you also generate CO2. Even if you heat your house with electricity, the generation of the electrical power may also have emitted a certain amount of CO2. When you buy food and goods, the production of the food and goods also emitted some quantities of CO2.
20 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Here are twenty ways to cut down on your carbon footprint. Even small changes can have big impacts on both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.
- Reduce energy use.
- Reduce water use.
- Minimize purchases of new products, especially resource-intensive or heavily-packaged products.
- Buy or borrow used clothing, electronics, house decorations and furniture, cars and other products whenever possible.
- Buying locally sourced, organic, vegetarian or vegan foods.
- Recycle as much as possible and buy recycle-able packaging.
- Compost your food waste.
- Switch to a renewable energy option through your utility or a certified renewable energy provider.
- Green your transportation.
- Fly less and, when you do fly, purchase carbon offsets.
- Reduce standby power consumption by taking the zero-volt challenge.
- Calculate your carbon footprint and buy carbon offsets from a certified provider
- Reduce your junk mail.
- Pack waste-free lunches.
- Choose low energy-intensive activities.
- Choose and encourage green hotels.
- Support climate action organizations.
- Promote a carbon fee and dividend policy to provide incentives for companies and individuals to reduce carbon emissions.
- Learn more about climate change and share what you learn with others (Recent Findings on Climate Change and What You Can Do at Home).
- Encourage and support greenhouse-reducing practices in your community:
o neighborhood (join with neighbors to walk through the excellent Resilient Neighborhoods program)
o hold a junk mail reduction party with your neighbors, friends and family