10 Things Your Family Can Do to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Carbon footprint refers to the net amount of greenhouse gases generated by us or the things we consume, with fossil fuels being a major source. Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and ozone contribute to pollution, ozone depletion, and global warming. A variety of things including the products you chose, how much waste you produce, and how often you drive can all reduce or increase your footprint.
When you think of all the things that contribute to the average family’s carbon footprint, it can seem overwhelming. But if you think one person or one family can’t make a difference, you couldn’t be more wrong! If every person made even just minor changes in their daily routines, it could have a huge impact.
Consider making a few conscious changes from this list to help reduce your family’s carbon footprint.
- Skip the Straws
Americans use an estimated 200-300 million straws each day. Plastic straws are rarely recyclable. They’re one of the most common pieces of trash found in our oceans and waterways. Skip the straw next time you’re dining out, and if you use straws at home, opt for paper or stainless steel straws instead.
- Use Reusable Bags
Americans use 100 billion plastic bags each year. Make an effort to bring your own shopping bags with you to run errands, and consider purchasing a set of reusable mesh bags to use in place of produce bags at the grocery store. If you’re buying fruits and vegetables that you have to peel or wash, you can place the items directly in your cart to save a bag.
- Fill Your Own Water Bottles
Only 1 in 5 water bottles ever makes it to a recycling plant. Ditching just one bottle of water a day can save you $3,400 over the next 10 years, and it’s so easy. When on the go, bring a reusable bottle or use a drinking fountain. You can also request a paper cup for water when you dine out.
- Find Alternatives to Pre-packaged Foods
Packaged foods generate a massive amount of waste. Before grabbing a packaged snack, consider whether there’s a waste-free alternative. This could mean buying a head of lettuce instead of pre-bagged salad mixes, or making brownies, pasta, bread, and yogurt from scratch instead of using boxed mixes.
- Re-think Party Favors
A bag full of junk is not a requirement of a birthday party. Children lose interest in plastic party favors before the car ride home is even over. If you feel like you must give out favors, opt for a book or homemade treat instead.
- Go Paperless
Sign up for paperless billing and make online payments, take notes and make lists on your pc or smartphone, and print only what’s absolutely necessary.
- Revamp and Repair
In the mood for new home décor? Repaint, reupholster, or refinish old furniture before buying new. Repair before replacing things like furniture or tires. Donate instead of trashing the things you really want to get rid of.
- Keep Your Car Parked
Carpooling, biking, and taking public transit even one day per week can make a big difference. Incorporate walking and biking as a family to reduce auto mileage. Driving just 20 fewer miles per week saves over 1,000 pounds of CO2.
- Use Non Toxic Household Cleaners
Air quality inside our homes can be up to five times more polluted than the air just outside our homes. Traditional cleaners are a huge factor, since most are full of toxic chemicals (hence the scary warnings on their labels!). Additionally, the toxic chemicals in traditional cleaners seep into our water, building up over time and affecting wildlife and other natural resources. Changing to non toxic cleaners minimizes your impact on ozone depletion and global climate change with fewer smog-producing chemicals.
- Opt for Non Toxic Skincare, Body, and Other Products
Toxic ingredients in your skincare, body, and other products can be harmful to your health and the environment. Like the toxic chemicals used in household cleaners, the toxic chemicals used in other products can affect nature as well. Look for products with non toxic and organic ingredients from renewable sources and ethical practices.
To learn more about pure haven’s non toxic products, please contact your pure haven Consultant.
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Weber, Carol Ruth. (9Jun 2017). 7 Benefits of Green Cleaning. Care.com.