Our planet is in trouble. Climate change is a complicated matter and although solutions need to be made on a global scale, there are things you can change and do on a daily basis to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that come from the production, use and end-of-life of a product or service. Instead of sitting back and watching helplessly, here are 5 things you can do to reduce your home’s carbon footprint and help the environment.
1. Gardening and Planting Fruit Trees
By planting a garden you can reduce your home’s carbon footprint. How? You’ll be growing your own food, controlling the chemicals you use on what you grow, and you can recycle waste from your yard and home to use in the garden as fertilizer. When you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you don’t have to travel to the store to get them, and you’ll further reduce your carbon footprint as there won’t be fuel or emissions expended by getting the produce to the market.
2. Don’t Buy Fast Fashion
Fast fashion is one of the main factors contributing to climate change. Fast fashion consists of trendy, cheap items that wear or go out of style quickly. These pieces get thrown into landfills and produce methane as they decompose. Most fast fashion is made in China and Bangladesh, so shipping it to North America requires the use of fossil fuels. Invest in high quality pieces that will last, and shop locally as much as you can.
3. Go Solar
When you make the switch to solar electricity, you play a key role in the fight against climate change. Solar energy is renewable and sustainable and there’s lots to go around. Solar reduces water consumption and withdrawal and reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other dangerous pollutants like sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides. It’s also becoming more affordable to use solar electricity, making it appealing to many homeowners. You’ll also be lowering your energy bills and be protected from rising energy rates.
4. Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water and Line Dry Your Clothes
Wash your clothes in cold water as much as possible. Items like underwear and dishtowels that need to be sanitized should be washed in hot water, but otherwise, wash your clothes in cold water. A hot wash/warm rinse cycle uses about 4.5 kWh per load, and a cold wash/cold rinse cycle only uses 0.3 kWh. You should also limit your use of the dryer as much as you can. Air drying your clothes can decrease your home’s carbon footprint by 1,000 kg per year.
5. Recycle and Compost
In many households, a lot items that are thrown in the garbage could be recycled or composted. Waste leads to greenhouse gas emissions. When trash is burned, incinerators emit carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, which both contribute to global warming. Be conscious of the items you’re throwing in the garbage. Can they be recycled or composted? Make it a priority to recycle and compost as much as possible.