It’s 2021 and everyone is realizing the effects of years of irresponsible use of the Earth’s resources. We should all be doing our best to incorporate environmentally friendly practices in our life. If you’ve never given this much thought, here are a few ways you can start.
Collect Rainwater To Reduce Energy Waste
The government needs to spend a lot of energy to deliver water to the faucets in your home. If you are able to reduce your water consumption, and also to use a different source of water – you would effectively reduce your carbon footprint. All you need to collect rainwater is a few rain barrels and the best downspout diverter you can find. Because harvested rainwater is zero-energy, it significantly reduces energy waste and thus your carbon footprint. Remember that this water is not potable unless filtered and treated properly, but you can use it for non-potable uses.
Switch To Reusable Whenever You Can
Shopping bags, paper towels, plastic wrap, plastic straws, disposable cups, and everything else that is single use puts a strain on the environment. You may think that you are doing your part by recycling paper cups, but keep in mind that most recyclables still end up in a landfill (or the ocean) for a variety of reasons. If you can find a reusable alternative to anything, then don’t hesitate to switch. You’ll also find that even though the reusable option costs you money upfront, it is cheaper in the long run. On that note – stop buying plastic water bottles. Get a dedicated bottle and refill it as needed.
Use Public Transportation, Or Get An Electric Vehicle
If you can afford to buy an electric vehicle, this is clearly the more environmentally friendly option. Note that electric vehicles have come a long way, and affordable models are now functioning as well as high-end cars like the Tesla. If you can’t afford to buy one, then opt for the bus as much as you can – or the subway. Any form of public transportation is relatively easier on the environment because more people are using the same amount of fuel to get from point A to B – instead of each person burning fuel in a separate car. Ideally, you should also walk (or ride a bike) for short distances instead of using a car anyway.
Buy Local, Seasonal Produce
A lot of the food we buy travels great distances to make it to store shelves. Buying local produce eliminates this problem because it doesn’t need to travel far to reach you. Also, seasonal produce usually means there was no extensive refrigeration involved in storing the food, and it is much healthier for you.
Cook Zero Waste Meals
There’s no point in buying local produce if you’re going to throw it all out anyway. Try to use as much every part of the food you buy. Vegetable scraps can be made into stock, beef bones make a delicious demi-glace, and leftover chicken can be spruced up for a new dish.
It isn’t difficult to reduce your carbon footprint if you set your mind to it. Once you develop these habits, you won’t think twice before doing them.