Guest Author - Heather Grant
Carbon footprints measure the amount of CO2 you produce in your daily life. Everything from electricity use (turning on a light, blow drying your hair, and using your computer or turning on the TV.), to water consumption (taking a shower, washing clothes), to fossil fuel use (driving your car, and heating your home) affects your carbon footprint. Every product you purchase, even the food you eat (unless it is grown, harvested, and transported completely by hand) contributes to it.
Here are a few things you can do to help reduce your carbon foot print.
Buy locally or grow your own fruits and vegetables. You can find just about anything at the local farmer’s market. Plus you will be supporting your local economy. Eating less meat will also reduce your contribution to greenhouse gases. Methane is another of the gases that contributes to our ozone problems and is one of the biggest by-products of beef production. And again, buy locally. Many farmers will sell their beef to you personally, or to a local locker that processes meat for a price much, much lower than supermarket costs.
Reduce the amount of electricity you use. Invest in low energy light bulbs; they will save you in the long run; and turn them off when you don’t need them. Turn off the T.V. an extra hour. Turn your computer all the way off instead of hibernating or putting it on stand by.
Reduce the amount of water you use as well. If you have only a half load of clothes to wash be sure to adjust the level of water it fills up with. If you take a bath instead of a shower you will also save water. If you plant a garden you can collect rain water in a barrel instead of running a sprinkler. Plant native grass in your lawn and you shouldn’t need to water at all unless there is a bad draught.
Ride a bike to work instead of driving or taking a bus. If you have to drive, try to do as many things as you can in one trip, and carpool. If you fly anywhere, try to reduce the amount of trips you have to take.
Make sure your house is sufficiently insulated. Some states have agencies that will help you make your house more energy/heat efficient. Check with your local Health and Human Services Department. You would be amazed at how much energy is lost through cracks under the door or through loose window frames.
Reduce, reuse, and recycle. It never gets old. More and more recycling places are taking more than just aluminum and metal.
These are just a few things YOU can do to help with our greenhouse gases. Imagine what we could do if we all joined in the fight against our global footprint.
*side note – The USA has the largest per capita carbon footprint than any other country with Texas being the highest carbon producing state.