How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Home

Many people believe that cutting down on travel and commuting is the main way to reduce our impact on the environment, but there's actually a lot more that can be done. By letting go of a few old habits and breaking in some new ones, you can make a huge difference on your own carbon footprint.

The goal

Reducing your carbon footprint can combat climate change, and the solution is pretty simple: live a lifestyle that produces zero emissions of greenhouses gases.  You have to recognize all the ways you contribute to climate change in the first place. Obvious culprits include cars, planes and deforestation. But there are also the ones you don't really think about like air conditioning, single-use plastics, diet and more. By modifying our lifestyle, we can reduce the impact from these things as well. 

Break old habits

You can start your journey of reducing your carbon footprint by looking at some things you can change to help the environment. Here are habits you can start to break.

Eat less meat

Globally, livestock accounts for somewhere between 14% – 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Since this might be a hard habit to break, try reducing meat instead of eliminating it. Pick a few days a week when you allow yourself to go for that juicy burger or those hot wings, but also prepare for vegetarian or vegan times like "Meat-Free Mondays".

Avoid fast fashion

Clothes are more affordable than ever, but they have hidden costs that are harmful to the planet. Garment workers are overworked and underpaid, and they're often underage. The industry has a large impact on the environment, from sourcing materials to transporting clothes to stores. Educate yourself and shift to more ethically sourced clothing. Vintage or second-hand shops can lower your carbon footprint even further — and are a great place to donate your old clothes.

Form new habits

Now that you've let go of some habits that were increasing your carbon footprint, you're ready to create new ones. These habits will help you live more sustainably by minimizing waste and offsetting the rest.

Carry Reusables

Most people know that plastics are a serious problem for our planet, but they're so commonplace that it's hard to avoid using them. Start by keeping reusable shopping bags in your car to use in the grocery store. Reusable water bottles or coffee mugs are also much better than single-use options, and if you really want to commit, bring reusable containers to restaurants when you'll be taking home leftovers.

Make your home energy efficient

There are lots of easy changes to make around the house to make it more energy efficient. Try replacing incandescent lightbulbs with LED bulbs, which last longer and use less energy. If you get a lot of sunshine, use window film or curtains to keep the heat outside, and consider investing in solar panels for your roof. For home computer use, laptops are more energy-efficient than desktops. And lastly, unplug appliances when you're not using them because they can drain power — even when they're not in use or in sleep mode.

Buy carbon offsets

It would be hard to change all of our habits immediately. Travel lovers wouldn't want to stop flying, and keeping it cool in your home during the hot summer days is pretty important. Luckily, you can still strive towards carbon neutrality by purchasing carbon offsets. Offsets are projects that help decrease carbon use in other ways, through reforestation, renewable energy and carbon capture. Visit Green Mountain Offsets to buy carbon offsets, reduce your carbon impact and start practicing new good habits that help the environment.