Top seven easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint

1. Conserve energy

The lesser power you consume, the lesser amount of carbon dioxide is released in the environment from the power plants. This way, conserving energy directly helps to reduce your carbon footprint. Some simple ways to reduce the use of energy is by switching to led bulbs, unplugging the appliances at home or office unless in use to avoid standby power consumption and switching off appliances before leaving a room. Using energy saving fans or natural ventilation frequently instead of ACs will also be helpful

2. Drive less

Commuting by public transportation services or carpooling instead of using your personal car will not only reduce CO2 emissions but also turn out to be pocket friendly. Trains, buses or any other form of mass transit releases relatively less amount of toxic emissions and to save time, you could use apps to track timings of buses and trains. Carpooling services offered by Uber/Ola is also a viable option. For running errands locally, walking or using a bicycle to travel is another healthier alternative to lower your carbon footprint.

3.Eat less meat

Meat and dairy products are responsible for approximately 14 percent of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions. So each time you choose to opt out of eating meat, you are progressively reducing your carbon footprint. While cutting off meat and dairy products suddenly is not possible for all of us to follow, you could start by switching to veg dishes on days you previously ate meat dishes on and eventually practise this a few times each week. Many alternatives to dairy products are easily available and are equally delicious.

4.Save water

Doing laundry in hot or warm water for a year produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. The easiest way to avoid this is to wash clothes using cold water. Some fabrics can be used multiple times before putting them for laundry hence not using the washing machine daily will also lead to lesser energy consumption. Opting to dry the washed clothes on a rope instead of using the dryer- which consumes a lot of energy and buying low flow shower or faucet heads, water efficient machines will also be helpful.

5.Recycle often

All the items tossed into waste are going to ultimately release toxins in the landfills- carbon dioxide being one of them. The simple steps by which you could decrease the volume of your waste is by recycling as many items as you can. You can find out the types of items which can be recycled and contact a local recycler to give away various types of paper(example- your newspapers, used notebooks, magazines, etc.) and plastics. Doorstep recycling services are also provided by the recyclers on request.

6.Reuse often

We all are aware that “less is more” but it is more easily dismissed than preached. You could start by using eco-friendly items and later avoid buying new items until the first one is thoroughly used. Buying fast fashion indirectly contributes to the release of CO2 gas, hence one could opt to shop locally manufactured garments or buy second-hand clothes. You could use a reusable bag while shopping, buy items with minimal packaging and opt for a laptop over a desktop since it takes less energy to charge.

7. Grow plants

One of the easy and direct ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to grow plants in your house. Placing pots of a few plants like aloe vera, rose, tulsi or of the ferns is very common, you could also follow various DIYs tutorials on the internet to plant various types of fruits, vegetables, sprouts in your own house and use the produce for daily use. Going on treks with NGOs for tree plantation campaigns is also something to look forward to in order to reduce your carbon footprint.

AUTHOR

Janaki Talekar