May 02 2016

Shrink That Footprint: Six Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

It doesn’t matter who you are virtually, everyone on our planet has some sort of carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is a representation of the carbon emissions you are responsible for and it indicates how large of an impact you have on our planet.

Just like your actual footprint, everyone’s carbon footprint is unique and varies greatly depending on where you live, how wealthy you are, the lifestyle you like to lead and the types of energy you can access (green energy vs. non-renewable).

No matter where you live, your choice of housing, travel, food, products and services accounts for nearly two thirds of your total greenhouse gas emissions. As you can imagine by investing a little extra time to think about how you access the above luxuries, you can drastically reduce your own personal footprint and help make our planet a little greener.

Here are a few simple tips you can introduce into your daily routine that do just that:

1. Get Some Perspective – Calculate Your Footprint

1. Calculate Your Footprint

Half of the average carbon footprint across the developed world comes from just four sources: driving, electricity use, natural gas (used for heating and cooking purposes), and consumption of meat. By taking the time to calculate your carbon footprint you can start to identify the most effective ways to reduce it. Have a go with free online calculators, here’s one to start with.

2. Cut Your Food Waste

2. Food Waste

In wealthier countries food waste is a major problem. Each year nearly 100 kg/ person of edible food (20% of a person’s total food supply) is thrown away. Taking the time to manage our food purchases and focusing on eating more of the food we do buy can drastically cut our footprint, our grocery bills, and even our trash production.

3. Eat What Comes from the Earth

3. Eat From The Earth

A single serving of animal based food (think red meat or cheese) has a carbon footprint that is drastically higher than a comparable serving of nuts, grain or fruit.  Adding more low carbon foods to your daily diet not only lowers your carbon footprint but can also improve your diet.

4. Let Your Home Chill at 24 ºC

4. Thermostat

In the Middle East, Air Conditioning is a major power drain. In the summer months moving your thermostat just one degree warmer can amount to 6 per cent power savings. This not only translates to a smaller carbon footprint and lower electricity bills but also means less burning of fossil fuels.

5. Learn to Love your Local

5. Less Flying

Flying is without a doubt one of the fastest ways to rack up a massive carbon footprint. Any time you can forgo a flight and appreciate some of the local attractions will help. We know quitting flying altogether is virtually impossible in the Middle East, but just flying less frequently can have a big impact.

6. Buy High Quality Products

6. Quality Products Carbon Footprint

There are lots of things manufactures can use to make their products low carbon, but one of the best is simply making a product that lasts a long time. Choosing a quality product that won’t fall apart after a few weeks is one of the best places to start reducing your carbon footprint.

So there you have it, six simple tips you can implement today to start reducing your carbon footprint; and loads more to discover with a bit of research on your part. If you want to learn more about the latest green news, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and if you haven’t already, check out our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for more updates.