The threat of climate change is imminent, and big corporations have turned the attention away from themselves by promoting individual responsibility. However, we must hold them accountable for unnecessarily high carbon emissions as a society by getting involved in environmental activism. But as individuals, it is our job to reduce our carbon footprints. 

Going green doesn’t mean changing your entire life around or draining your wallet. Instead, you can make simple changes that hardly affect your day-to-day life. All the small choices you make add up. And once you’re comfortable with your progress, you can slowly implement the more extensive changes listed in this article over time. 

Calculate and Track Your Carbon Footprint

Before you can work on reducing your carbon footprint, you need to get to the root of the problem. A carbon footprint is the measurement of carbon dioxide and methane emitted by individuals, households, corporations, and countries. So, it is basically a gauge of your contribution to climate change. 

Carbon footprint calculators will give you a visual representation of the areas of your life that need to be adjusted. Once you start making these adjustments, you can recalculate your footprint and track your progress over time. 

Eat Less Processed Foods

Changing your diet is a challenging task, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your body and the environment. Creating processed foods emits a ton of greenhouse gasses. When you eat more organic and fresh-grown food, you reduce the demand for harmful products.

In addition to eating healthier, you should consider shopping at stores that sell locally-sourced food products. You’ll reduce the demand for heavy transportation of fruits and vegetables often sprayed with preservatives. Plus, you’ll contribute to the local economy instead of large corporations who already have more money than they need. 

Buy Clothes at Thrift Stores

Thrifting is something small that you can do to stop supporting big box stores and fast fashion, which contributes to masses of landfills. Additionally, by shopping for clothes at thrift and overstock stores, you have the opportunity to buy designer or vintage clothes for just a few bucks.

But, of course, if you like to stay current with trending styles, ensure that you don’t throw clothes in the trash when you’re done with them. Instead, donate or sell them to consignment shops. If you decide to donate, request a receipt to get tax deductions. 

Recycle and Compost

Where you decide to throw your waste is essential for reducing your carbon footprint. By choosing to recycle and compost, you’re not putting in extra work, and you’re making a huge difference. Landfills are disgusting, and they contribute largely to the Earth’s pollution. 

Composting takes a little more work than recycling, but only initially. First, you have to gather a compost bin, yard waste, natural food waste, and water. Some examples of things you can throw in are fruits, vegetables, nuts, paper, leaves, twigs, animal poop (if they’re vegetarian), eggshells, and even tea bags. The final result is a natural fertilizer that you can use or donate to a local community garden.

Use Less Electricity

We all use way more electricity than we realize. However, there are a few simple tasks that significantly reduce the amount of electricity we use. First, shut off the lights when you leave the room, use energy-efficient bulbs, and unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Then, during the day, open the windows to let in the natural light. Sunlight is good for your body, so you’re gaining more than one benefit here. 

Next, consider washing your laundry in cold water. It will still be clean, and you’ll reduce the amount of electricity it takes to wash your clothes. If you’re willing to go further, consider line-drying instead of using an electric or gas dryer. 

Consider Other Modes of Transportation

Gas cars contribute heavily to air pollution, and there are times when it may not be necessary to drive. For example, if you live in a city, walking or biking may be quicker than sitting in traffic while your car drains its tank unnecessarily. Plus, you’ll get more exercise by choosing other forms of transportation, so there are multiple benefits in this scenario. 

Shop Smart

When shopping, only buy what you know you’re going to use to reduce food waste and freeze any perishables that will quickly spoil if you decide not to cook a recipe. Additionally, instead of plastic, use paper or reusable grocery bags. And suppose you want to optimize your shopping trips to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible. To do so, you should consider switching to eco-friendly brands that sell biodegradable or reusable products.

Switch to Solar Power

Powering your home with solar energy is a great way to make your household more environmentally savvy. Not only does it raise the value of your home, but it lowers your utility bills drastically. Plus, there are significant tax incentives for switching to solar power. Therefore, you’re winning, and so is the Earth. 

Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to be complicated. You can make small changes and slowly add more as you become more comfortable living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Plus, many of the changes are not only good for the environment, but they’re good for your body. Therefore, by going green, you gain more than you give up.