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How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: 4 Ways

6 minute read / For the Environment

We all want to take steps to keep our beautiful blue planet healthy and create a better environment for its inhabitants. But when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, knowing where to start might have you feeling a little lost in the woods.

In essence, reducing your carbon footprint means reducing the amount of greenhouse gasses you contribute to the earth’s atmosphere.1 By doing so, you can reduce your daily impact on the planet and start building a more sustainable lifestyle.

Thankfully, there are easy steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint on the daily—from exchanging your gas-guzzler for a 12-speed bike to perfecting your black bean burger.


#1 Say Vamoose to Vehicles 

We know that gas-powered cars are one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. We’re not saying to keep your seriously slick sedan sheltered in your garage all year long, but we are saying to cut back on driving it.

That’s because the average automobile emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year2—and that’s just the typical passenger vehicle. If you’re driving a truck or SUV the size of San Diego, you’re most likely emitting much more CO2.

Cutting back on automobiles may be especially helpful for drivers who live in cities. City dwellers typically live closer to schools, amenities, and their favorite eco-friendly coffee house than people who live in rural areas.

Nevertheless, both groups can reduce their carbon footprints from boot size to ballet slippers by limiting their short-distance drives.

Instead of driving to your favorite pub or supermarket that’s only a “hop, skip, and a jump” away, consider the following modes of transportation:

These three simple options not only help you reduce your personal carbon footprint, but they can also help you get in a bit of exercise or connect with your friends while carpooling.

#2 Opt for Eco-Friendly Products

When trying to find ways on how to reduce waste, the products you use at home can be an easy change. Opting for eco-friendly products doesn’t mean only consuming goods approved by koalas everywhere. Nor does it mean living totally without creature comforts. But it does mean buying and using products that aren’t harmful to the environment. 

That’s because non-eco-friendly products, especially plastics, can leave Hulk-sized carbon footprints.3

Instead of googling how to reduce carbon footprint, you can maximize your efforts by finding products that reflect the following values:

Want an easy way to identify eco-friendly cleaning supplies and products? Look for the Safer Choice logo on the label. This program was developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help consumers easily identify products that are safer for human and environmental health.4

#3 Eat for the Environment

One of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to think less about what you put out, and more about what you take in. In other words, consider your diet

Studies suggest that some diets, especially those high in plant-based proteins, are better for the environment than others.5 This is largely because the carbon emissions from raising animals for consumption far outweighs the emissions from growing vegetables.

If you want to say see ya later to excess CO2, eat like an eco-epicurean by following the guide below. 

Better Foods to Consume

Environmentally conscious eating largely means reducing your contribution to negative agricultural and food production practices.6 Reducing your intake of red meat is an excellent place to start, but you can also build an earth-friendly diet with the following steps:

Foods to Avoid (Or At Least Reduce)

If produce and seafood are always on the environment’s menu du jour, red meat and dairy would be better off nixed. That’s because the animals that produce these foods require a ton of agricultural support that increase carbon emissions. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the environmental impact of these two foods:8

While abstaining from red meat and dairy is the best way to eat with the environment in mind, it’s also helpful to simply reduce consumption. The very occasional bone-in ribeye with garlic butter may be just what you need to keep your diet (mostly) veggie-focused.

#4 Increase Energy Efficiency

Remember having your parents constantly remind you to switch off your lights when you leave a room? As it turns out, they were onto something.

Energy production is a major source of carbon emissions, but minor energy reductions in your home can pay major environmental dividends and help you reduce your carbon impact. 

To help reduce your carbon footprint at home, take the following energy-smart steps:9

ECOS: Live Clean, Live Carbon-Friendly

When it comes to understanding how to be more eco-friendly or reducing your personal carbon footprint, just know that it doesn’t require an entire lifestyle change. From turning off lights to tuning in to climate-positive messaging, you’re doing your part to reduce the global carbon footprint.

That said, you can expand your efforts even further by choosing ECOS. Since 1967, we’ve focused on using cleaner chemistry and greener practices to make fantastic cleaning products that are safer for people and the planet. 

Plus, our entire operation has been carbon neutral since 2013—allowing us to offset more than 28 million pounds of CO2 every year.

Join us on our journey to carbon reduction by using these tips to shrink your carbon footprint and creating a better future for planet Earth.

 

Sources: 
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions 
CNN. These are the most climate-damaging foods. https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/15/world/climate-damaging-foods/index.html
DownToEarth. Plastic production accounts for much larger carbon footprint than previously thought. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/plastic-production-accounts-for-much-larger-carbon-footprint-than-previously-thought-80651#:~:text=The%20global%20carbon%20footprint%20of,Sustainability%2C%20December%202%2C%202021.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle. https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Safer Choice. https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice 
NIH. Carbon footprint of self-selected US diets: nutritional, demographic, and behavioral correlates. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408204/
Oceana. Eating seafood can reduce your carbon footprint, but some fish are better than others. https://oceana.org/blog/eating-seafood-can-reduce-your-carbon-footprint-some-fish-are-better-others/
The New York Times. How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. https://www.nytimes.com/guides/year-of-living-better/how-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint
Energy Star. What Is Energy Star. https://www.energystar.gov/about?s=mega 
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