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10 practical ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, that are generated by your lifestyle choices and actions. To reduce your carbon footprint, identify the largest contributors in your life and make greener choices. Here are 10 suggestions:

Drive less

Can you leave the car at home more often and take public transit, bike or carpool? The alternatives help save time, money and stress too. Plus, walking or cycling is a great way to get some exercise.

Rethink your vehicle

Can you switch to an electric car? Charge your plug-in electric car only at night so there’s little carbon footprint.

Eat less meat

Eat less red meat and more plant-based foods. Feed cattle give off methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. Plus, in some parts of the world, mostly South America, precious forests are being cleared to make space for cattle.

Buy local

Locally grown food doesn’t come with the carbon miles that food coming from places like Mexico and California do. Check where produce is grown and try to eat in season.

Go organic

Organic foods don’t contain synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which are often made with fossil fuels.

Waste not

Food waste creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Try to buy only what you need and eat it all.

Fly less

Flying is carbon-intensive. Instead of a short-haul flight, can you take a train?

Offset your flights

Offset carbon emissions connected to flights by making a contribution towards environmental protection.

Reduce your home energy use

A well-insulated home uses less heat (natural gas is a fossil fuel). Keep homes a little cooler in winter, and use energy-efficient appliances.

Get involved

Speak up and support groups and organizations that are working to lower greenhouse gases. Urge government to support renewable energy and public transit. Change investment portfolios so they support smaller-carbon-footprint companies and organizations.

Read the full article in the spring 2020 issue of Renaissance Magazine.