How to reduce your carbon footprint
We all have a carbon footprint. The size of it varies from person to person (just like your normal shoe size), depending on the way you live. Important factors are your diet, your travel behavior, what kind of clothes you buy and basically all your other lifestyle choices. We are happy to provide you with a list of options to make some changes to your daily routine, thereby effectively reducing your carbon footprint.
To reduce your own carbon footprint, you will have to take a critical look at your own methods of mobility. The mobility sector is one of the largest sources of CO2 emissions. For travelling short distance, people often use the car. People should consider using a bike or public transport. If you depend on a car, consider replacing your fossil fuel car with a more sustainable model, such as a hybrid or electric car.
Long distance travelling is often done by plane. This might be “the easy way”, but the CO2 emissions are enormous. A return flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona easily leads to about 0,5 tonnes of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere. In comparison, the average monthly emission of Dutch inhabitant is 0,875 tons of CO2!
We recommend travelling by train as much as possible. Lots of the international train options are pretty quick, and the difference in terms of CO2 emissions is huge.
Meat and dairy
The meat industry is responsible for approximately 8% of the total CO2 emissions in most countries. A simple way to reduce CO2 emissions is to eat less meat and dairy. Ideally, follow a vegan (or vegetarian) diet. First of all, there is the animal cruelty. Furthermore, growing agricultural crops and raising animals leads to enormous CO2 emissions. The livestock industry uses huge amounts of food, increasing the carbon footprint of all animal products. In short, if you want to reduce your CO2 emissions significantly, think about meat substitutes!
Wasting food is a pity. Once CO2 is emitted to get your food on your plate, it's a waste to throw it away. Prevent wasting food and reduce your CO2 emissions by keeping a few small tips in mind next time:
- Check what you have left in the fridge before you go shopping;
- Regularly check the shelf life of products in the refrigerator and pantry;
- Don’t throw away leftovers, but keep them in the refrigerator or freezer; and
- Prevent bread from going past its date by storing it in the freezer.
Avoiding wasting energy is a simple way to reduce CO2 emissions, and it saves money. A win-win for both your wallet and our panet. Consider:
- Turning off electrical appliances, lights and heating when you leave the house or go to bed;
- Installing LED bulbs instead of low-energy or incandescent ones;
- Not running the washing machine for a few items, but wait until you have a full load; and
- Don’t let the shower "get warm" and don`t shower too long.
Buy local, buy less, buy sustainable
What you buy, how it is produced and where it comes from are important factors in terms of CO2 emissions. When something is produced abroad, and has to be transported, this significantly adds up to the CO2 emissions. Consider finding the same item closer to home, with no additional emissions. Furthermore, this is good for the local economy!
By buying less, there will be less production and consequently less CO2 emissions. There are products that we simply need. However, it is worth a try to buy the sustainable alternatives. This way, you can take an extra step in sustainability. How to buy sustainable?
- Buy products with a sustainability certificate;
- Buy second hand products;
- Always bring your own bag(s) when you go shopping;
- Sell products you don’t use anymore; and
- Buy from companies that value sustainability.
Climate Lifestyle Choices & Sustainable Business Choices
Regreener offers individuals, families and businesses the opportunity to compensate their carbon footprint through our unique partnerships with Eden Reforestation Projects and the Rainforest Partnership, and through our green energy and renewables projects. In addition to compensation, we actively encourage our users to reduce their carbon footprint. In order to encourage our community, we have added ‘Climate Lifestyle Choices’ and ‘Sustainable Business Choices’ to our user’s profiles. This way, we want to show our community that reducing your carbon footprint is absolutely essential. Let's not just compensate: we encourage all Regreeners out there to go the extra mile to reduce their carbon emissions.