10 Effective Ways to Reduce the Carbon Footprint at Individual Level

Carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emitted in the atmosphere due to different human activities. It is also the carbon equivalent of other gases such as methane, nitrogen oxides, oxides of sulphur, and ozone. 

With industrialization, the environmental footprint of humans has increased manifolds. The impact includes both water footprint and carbon footprint. The high carbon footprint of individuals has severe consequences. 

This article will give a brief knowledge of how we can reduce the carbon footprint at the individual level. Before this, let’s learn what the average carbon footprint is.


Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon equivalent produced from different human activities

What’s the average Carbon footprint?

The question is quite tricky. Citizens of different countries have a distinct footprint. According to research, an average American citizen produces five times more waste than a Chinese citizen. Furthermore, an average American citizen makes 28 times more waste than an average Indian citizen. 

Greater the waste produced, more will be the greenhouse gas emissions, and so does the carbon footprint. So, the carbon footprint varied with the income of countries. Developed countries have more carbon footprint than developing countries. 

Thank you to Alleksana and Pexels.com for the image!
Thank you to Alleksana and Pexels.com for the image!

Causes of Carbon Emissions

Almost 90 percent of products have carbon in them. A significant fraction of emissions from fuel to agriculture has carbon, which converts into carbon dioxide. According to the IPCC report, the concentration of carbon dioxide has reached almost 400ppm in the atmosphere. 

Production of cement, deforestation, and transportation release many pollutants into the air. Following causes, increased carbon dioxide concentration affects the human and environment. Carbon dioxide is a prominent greenhouse gas. 

In environmental terms, its increased concentration causes ocean acidification that disturbs the aquatic ecosystem and water cycle. A high concentration of pollutants absorbs incoming solar radiation; resultantly, the temperature of the earth increase. This leads to global warming, acid rain, and climate change in the long run. 

Impacts

Humans are negatively affected by these changes. Respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, reproductive and genetic disorders have increased due to air pollution. Moreover, the increased temperature is favourable for several pathogens to grow, spreading disease in humans and animals. The high temperature affects the yield of plants as well. 

In short, industrialization impacts humans and their environment. The consequences are long-lasting, and most of them are irreversible. However, we can make changes in our lifestyle to get toward sustainability. 

So, without further ado, let’s get into some that we can practice at the individual level to reduce our carbon footprint.

  1. Switch to Renewable Sources 
  2. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle
  3. Use Public Transport or Cycle
  4. Insulate Your Home
  5. Change Dietary Habits
  6. Eliminate Single-Used Plastic Products
  7. Switch OFF the Appliances
  8. Save Water
  9. Use Compost for your Kitchen Garden
  10. Don’t buy Fast Fashion 

Switch to Renewable Sources 

Renewable sources will cut carbon emissions awfully. We use energy a lot. From the kitchen to our personal gadgets, energy is consumed everywhere. Substituting the energy source with renewable energy sources could help to reduce carbon emissions. Solar energy, wind energy, and hydropower are affordable and clean sources of energy than fossil fuels. 

 

Reduce-Reuse-Recycle

This is one of the best and scientifically proven practices to reduce emissions at an individual level. By reducing, we mean minimalism – reducing the use of resources. To name a few, minimize electricity use, reduce water consumption, change eating habits, etc. 

In addition to it, reuse is also a best practice. Using the same product over and over can help to minimize carbon emissions. Use a clothes bag instead of plastic so that you can reuse it. 

Lastly, recycling means converting a product into the same or another. Recycling has been widely practiced across the world.

 

Use Public Transport or Cycle

According to an estimate, people prefer to use private vehicles even for the distance of a block’s length. This attitude of individuals increases the emissions exponentially. Public transport would be a better alternative, isn’t it? 

Cycling is another sustainable solution to cut down the entire carbon footprint of individuals due to transportation.

 

Insulate Your Home

A considerable amount of energy is consumed to heat up and cool the house. By insulating the home, little to no power will be required to heat up the house to reduce your household emissions. 

 

Change Dietary Habits

We usually consume two types of eating products; Plant-based diet and animal-based diet. An animal-based diet is not sustainable since meat and dairy products require land, water, and food to produce. Methane is a major by-product that is a potent greenhouse gas. On the other hand, plants comparatively produce fewer greenhouse gases. Also, using local products support the local farmers.

 

Eliminate Single-Used Plastic Products

Every individual uses a considerable amount of single-use plastic products. Straws and packaged food etc., are used for small-time, but they have a HUGE impact on the earth. The processing of plastic produces greenhouse gases. We can replace plastic with paper products to minimize our effects. 

 

Switch OFF the Appliances

Switching OFF the appliances where necessary can help you cut down your energy usage. This is a simple yet effective way to reduce the individual carbon footprint. Installing automatic lights at home can save energy. 

 

Save Water

The water we use is not a single product. It took a lot of energy to process the water and remove impurities. All those processes require an ample amount of energy. Therefore, don’t wastewater. Harvest rainwater, reuse and recycle the water to efficiently use it. 

 

Use Compost for your Kitchen Garden

Everyone loves to have food from their garden. It looks really cool, right? Instead of using fertilizer for the garden, you can make compost at home that could save your fertilizer cost and reduce the amount of waste produced. Simply use the fruits and vegetable peels to make it happen, and yes, that’s done. 

 

Don’t buy Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is a trend that lets individuals buy a lot of shopping products that end up in their wardrobes after a single-use. Instead of fast fashion, a shift towards sustainable fashion could help to save money and also help to reduce the impacts on the environment in terms of water and carbon dioxide. 

 

Conclusion:

Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon equivalent produced from different human activities. This includes our dietary habits, travelling habits, energy use, and many more. The high carbon footprint is affecting humans and their natural environment. By making small changes in our life, we can simply reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. To name a few, shifting to renewable energy resources, saving water and energy, using public transport, and a plant-based diet are effective ways to reduce the carbon footprint. This will ultimately lead to sustainable living. 

 

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