Top ways you can personally reduce your carbon footprint

By Ellen Fitzpatrick / November 16, 2020

The world is facing its biggest challenge yet and as people are becoming more eco-conscious, we’re all still wondering what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint.

Sustainably living is not as easy as it sounds and while it may be what we all strive for, it’s not always as accessible as it could be.

Rather than changing your entire routine, it’s so much easier to make gradual smaller changes, and you’ll still be doing your part in combating climate change.

No matter how big or small your effort is, anything you can do to make a difference is a good enough start.

Global warming is when gas gets trapped in the earth’s atmosphere and heats the globe, causing an abundance of damage to the planet.

We measure our own impact on global warming as your carbon footprint, but we have ways you can reduce your own.

Live more minimalistically

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Fast fashion and the way we dispose of our old clothes impact the planet more than you know. With clothing mass-produced and more often than none, these items are left in landfills once they’re out of season.

Try a year, or even six months, without buying new clothes and restyling what you already own. It can be a lot easier than you think to revamp your own wardrobe.

Or by switching to second-hand fashion or purchasing our clothes from vintage and online stores like Depop, we can not only help the planet but also save on our spending, it’s a win-win.

Reduce food waste and switch to compost

rsz grow food home banner article

The consumption of meat and dairy and the way in which we get it to stores across the country is having a significant impact on the environment, but it’s also the food we throw away that poses a greater issue.

The ideal way to combat this is to go vegan or plant-based, but that isn’t always an option for everyone.

Cutting out meat, particularly red meat, is the best way to make a difference for our planet.

Buying less food to begin with will not only help this issue but also save you on your grocery bills.

Rather than simply throwing away our food, invest in composting and creating more from your leftovers.

And if we can’t convince you, maybe this quote from Sir David Attenborough can: “We must radically reduce the way we farm. We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters.”

“I haven’t been a doctrinaire vegetarian or vegan, but I no longer have the same appetite for meat. Why? I’m not sure. I think subconsciously maybe it’s because of the state of the planet,” Attenborough also said in an interview with The Telegraph.

Switch to reusable plastics

how to live a greener life

We all know how damaging single-use plastic is, and while it is only small in comparison to other issues, it’s an easy place to start.

By remembering the 3 R’s, reduce, reuse, recycle, we can reduce how much unnecessary plastic we use daily.

Simply switching to reusable food wraps instead of clingfilm, recycled packaging and washable water bottles and coffee cups, the small changes will go a long way.

Switch to solar energy

How to get a driving license in Ireland, man driving car. carbon

As we saw at the start of the year when we all experienced the first lockdown, the world thanked us.

By switching to electric or solar panel energy to fuel our lives, we can reduce fossil fuel emissions if we keep up with this regularly and get into a good habit of doing this.

Investing in solar panels or wind energy to keep your home going, the change can be almost seen overnight.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on an electric car, it can be another great way to reduce your car emissions.

A typical car emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, whereas an electric car can emit 30% fewer emissions.

But if this isn’t an option for you, try keeping the heating on for less time and the doors closed to keep in the heat, the bills will drop and so will your carbon footprint.

Where we fly

Juneyao Air will launch flights from Dublin to Shanghai

Juneyao Air flights from Dublin to China’s largest city to launch in 2020 (Source: Dublin Airport)

While we may not be travelling anywhere anytime soon, where we do fly when we eventually can makes a huge impact on the emissions we produce.

A family of four flying from Dublin to Paris produces the same emissions as driving for six months, according to RTE.

A solution to this is flying less, and if we do opt to travel by air, choose a holiday destination closer to home.

Sticking to a staycation or travelling by ferry can create a much needed change to save the planet.

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Ellen Fitzpatrick

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