8 Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

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Your carbon footprint is determined by the amount of carbon dioxide that you emit as you ago about your day-to-day activities. Even the most menial of tasks, like turning on the TV and driving a car, add to your carbon footprint.

Some more obvious contributors, such as air travel, are also a huge burden – air travel alone accounts for 3.5 percent of the human contribution to global warning – but it is more so the compounding effects of continuous simple, mindless tasks, such as turning on the lights in your house, that is making the difference. The following 8 ways to reduce your carbon footprint and save the world are just a few ways you can turn the difference in Mother Nature’s favor.

According to the most recent research, the earth’s glaciers are melting some  ten times faster than previously predicted and greenhouse gases are at the highest levels ever. This has caused species to increasingly go extinct, weather conditions to reach new extremities, sea levels to rise and the incidence of long-term droughts. In 2011, the US set a record with $14-billion worth of weather disasters.

According to the UN, each American is, on average, responsible for some 20 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The world’s average under 10 tonnes per capita. Clearly, Americans can get by on fewer emissions, if the rest of the world serves as an example, and there are many ways to both reduce and offset output.

All it takes are a few simple tips to reduce your carbon overload. Start with these 8 tips:

1. Turn down your thermostat 2 degrees in the winter and up 2 degrees in the summer to save 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (and nearly $100 in heating and cooling bills).

2. Replace three bulbs in your house with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs and save $60 a year. If every household in the U.S. did this, it would cut a trillion pounds of carbon dioxide from the earth’s atmosphere.

3. Unplug electronic devices, even when they are turned off, to save drawing power throughout the day – 1 watt per hour per plug.

4. Weatherize your home. Weatherization is essentially weather-proofing, or protecting the interior from outdoor elements. This can save hundreds of dollars and 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

5. Install double-pane windows to save 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.

6. Buy local produce to reduce the demand for fruits and vegetables that require thousands of miles of transportation to get to your local supermarket.

7. Walk or bike for short distances. For longer distances, try to share a ride or purchase an energy-efficient car. Consider carpooling with a work buddy to work in the morning and home in the evening or with friends when going out to reduce fuel costs and emissions.

8. Offset your emissions by calculating your output at Go Zero, where you can then donate to plant the equivalent number of trees needed to compensate for your carbon footprint.

Photo Credit: Twicepix