Each of us has a carbon footprint. The way we eat, travel, and live in our homes has an impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Ever wonder what your carbon footprint might be? The Nature Conservancy helps calculate areas you are expending the most greenhouse gases and encourages ways to reduce your carbon footprint. The Nature Conservancy also tells us that the average carbon footprint of one individual in the United States is 16 tons.
Creating ways to reduce your carbon footprint will not occur overnight, but growing in awareness and making conscious changes will contribute overtime.
How to reduce your transportation footprint:
How often do you travel? Driving contributes a substantial portion of greenhouse gases. In fact, driving creates 2.6 tons worth of carbon dioxide, according to a study done in 2017 at Lund University and the University of British Columbia. In 2018, the 28 percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States were transportation related.
- The next time you need to buy a car, consider the gas efficiency and electric features that limit fossil fuels.
- Ride a bicycle to work or walk on small grocery store visits when possible.
- Carpool to work and events.
- Drive the speed limit and avoid accelerating when possible.
- Take a less busy route to avoid sitting in traffic.
How to reduce your home’s footprint:
According to a 2020 study, 20 percent of residential emissions are related to heating, cooling, and powering homes. Energy efficient appliances are becoming more popular, but it isn’t enough to move percentages of emissions down.
- Seal drafts in your home including around windows and doors, and make sure you have sufficient insulation.
- Choose energy efficient appliances the next opportunity you upgrade.
- Program your thermostat for day and night temperature control.
- Replace lightbulbs with LED bulbs and don’t forget to turn off lights when you don’t need them.
- Go solar.
- Hang-dry your clothes.
- Limit water use while washing dishes.
- Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
How to reduce your food footprint:
Did you know that 13 percent of emissions are created by transporting and producing our food? The amount of water and petroleum-based fuels required to supply our food contributes to our food emissions and 83 percent of carbon emissions come from the storage and growth of our food.
There are several ways to make a shift in this area:
- Eat local produce by shopping at farmer’s markets.
- Grow a garden.
- Eat less beef and dairy products.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Go vegetarian or vegan.
- Recycle packaging or limit the amount of waste from groceries.
- Eat in-season produce.
Working to reduce your carbon is the first step in reducing the greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. But, when you can’t reduce your footprint to zero, you can still make a positive difference by offsetting your remaining carbon usage.
We offer carbon offsetting for car travel, plane travel, and utilities. Your usage is translated into a dollar amount with our calculations – see the calculations here. By donating this dollar amount, you increase the number of residences that receive energy efficiency services from Energy Resource Center. On average, each house that receives upgrades removes ### pounds of carbon from the atmosphere.
See the impact you could have by calculating your offset here.