Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

We all have impact on the world every day of our lives in small ways that add up over time. This impact is known as our carbon footprint, which consists of the methane and carbon dioxide, usually referred to as “greenhouse gases,” that we produce as individuals. We know that these greenhouse gases are responsible for climate change, but many of us don’t know what we can do about it. We have to live and breathe, and living and breathing leaves a mark.

The Myth of Going Green

Green living is often advertised as making major life changes. We hear about switching to solar power, buying hybrid vehicles and starting our own compost piles. Once you start looking at the costs and work involved in this advertised path of living green, you quickly discover that it’s both expensive and time-consuming. For many people, neither their budgets nor their lives can withstand the strain.

We here at PaydayLoansCashAdvance know how it feels to want to do your part for the environment, but feel limited by the expensive means showcased by the media. Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t require an investment of every dollar you earn or every free minute you have. There are multiple things you can do to benefit the Earth that are both inexpensive and simple. They might seem small, but as one of millions of people doing several small things, even the minor changes you make quickly add up.

The Reality of Going Green

The truth is, almost everything we do each day adds to our carbon footprints. We create emissions when we drive to and from work, when we wash clothes and dishes, and when we heat and cool our homes. The fact that practically everything we do creates greenhouse gases doesn’t mean we can’t reduce our footprints, though. On the contrary, the fact that everything that we do increases greenhouse gases means any positive changes we make automatically reduces them.

A few simple ways to get started on reducing your daily emissions include:

Reducing the use of electricity: Turn off lights, computers and TVs when they are not in use. Save a little extra power by unplugging computers and TVs when they are not on, because both draw phantom power, using up electricity for nothing.

Change light bulbs: Compact fluorescent bulbs use 75-percent less energy than standard bulbs, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website, so if every home in America replaced one standard light bulb with an energy-efficient light bulb, it would reduce greenhouse gases by 9 billion pounds per year. While energy-efficient light bulbs do cost more upfront, each one also saves consumers $6 per year, according to Energy Star, and lasts six times longer.

Go paperless: The paper industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, and also is responsible for deforestation, which reduces the Earth’s oxygen supply. Many organizations have recognized the benefit of a world with less paper and have provided customers with digital options to reduce paper usage. Use these paperless options when they are available. Switch your banking and credit card accounts to online statements. Don’t take receipts when you have the option. Choose email invitations over paper party invitations.

Reducing car usage: Plan your transportation so that you limit the time you spend driving. Start a carpool with people from work. Plan to stop at the store on the way home from work or to run all of your errands in one trip. Don’t leave your car running unnecessarily. Get your vehicle serviced at least every 30,000 miles to ensure your car isn’t creating excess emissions. Or, better yet, walk, ride a bike or take public transportation.

Reducing waste: Landfills are responsible for more methane emissions than anything else in the United States, so reducing the amount of trash you throw away reduces your carbon footprint. Filtering water instead of buying bottled water, using food before it goes bad and recycling are simple ways to reduce the amount of waste you send to a landfill.

Petition for Better Resources: Get on board with community efforts to force local government and businesses to produce better means of creating energy. Right now, our world relies heavily on nonrenewable resources, like natural gas and coal, which create a lot of greenhouse gas emissions and will one day be used up. While you can take many steps as an individual, the larger changes require money and power. Use your voice to make those with both work toward alternative forms of energy, such as solar, wind and hydro energy, proven power sources that renew themselves and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

As you can see, green living doesn’t have to cost you money. In fact, many changes you can make to your lifestyle to have a positive impact on the environment, like lowering your electricity usage or carpooling, will actually save you money. If you have a little more time and money to invest a into living green, you may want to take things a few steps further to reduce your environmental impact even more.

Other Changes you can make:
Your Purchases: Buying eco-friendly products, like organic foods and reduced-chemical cleaning products. They are generally a little more expensive, but going organic and eco-friendly supports sustainable growing and manufacturing processes.

Planting: You’ll spend some money on seeds and materials, and some time on planting, but you’ll put oxygen back into the world and improve the air quality around your home. If you feel ambitious, start an organic garden and you’ll lower your produce costs.

Replace: Replacing appliances with energy-efficient appliances. They cost more upfront, but save money on electric bills.

Going green doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your life. It only requires finding those areas in your life in which you tend to be wasteful and breaking bad habits. You create a footprint every day just by existing. By turning bad habits into good ones, you can make sure the mark you make is a green one.

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