Working as a freelance writer, I had no idea how much my lifestyle contributed to my carbon footprint until writing a series of articles about going green. I love getting outdoors, on the weekends. But was that enough to be considered eco-friendly?
The size of your carbon footprint is determined by how much you contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. In other words, your lifestyle is the shoe that determines the size of your carbon footprint. That size could go up or down depending on your habits.
Gauging the Size of Your Footprint
I used an online carbon footprint calculator to get a better idea of the size of my carbon footprint. Once I realized the seriousness of that number, I decided to make some serious changes. Here are the first six things I did to reduce my carbon footprint.
- Drive Less –
A few days a week I would drive the two miles from my home to the local coffee shop with my laptop. Now I tuck my laptop into a backpack-style messenger bag, hop on my bike, and ride the two miles.
- Winterize –
We can’t afford to replace the windows in our older home. Last year we used clear plastic to cover the windows and seal out drafts. With the money we saved on energy bills, we can now afford new windows.
- Turn Off Lights –
When you leave the room, turn off the lights. You will be surprised at how quickly this makes a difference in your electric bill. Another tip I have is to replace traditional light bulbs with LED and fluorescent types.
- Programmable Thermostat –
This has been a real lifesaver. My wife and I programmed it to turn off the heat or air conditioning when we are not home. When we are home, the temperature stays at a comfortable level year-round.
- Water Usage –
A full bathroom makeover was not an option. So we replaced the shower faucet and toilet with energy-efficient models, and upg
- Farmer’s Market –
Can you imagine the greenhouse grass emissions resulting from the production and transportation of food? Shopping at your local farmer’s market offers healthier food without contributing to your carbon footprint.
How to Shrink the Size of that “Shoe”
Reducing your carbon footprint does not have to mean drastic changes to your lifestyle. Just taking the steps above will make a difference. Once the ones above became ingrained into our lifestyle, my wife and I transitioned to other eco-friendly habits.
For example, before this we would go to dinner and a movie every Friday night. Now we stay in and invite friends over for potluck dinners and couples’ game nights. We’ve met neighbors and gotten to know our friends better as a result.
The best part about reducing our carbon footprint is the sense of empowerment we feel. We feel responsible for our contribution to the environment, and make a conscious effort to do better about adopting green habits.
Sophie Evans loves freelance writing because it often leads to sites like http://www.go-green-solar-energy.com where she can find the latest tips for green living. When she isn’t using working or trying to maintain her eco-friendly home, she enjoys spending time on Balboa Beach with her husband and their two kids.