You can measure your carbon footprint right here and it is absolutely free. Simply answer a few questions such as the number of household members, how many miles you drive per week and what kind of energy you use to power your heat and air conditioning and so on.
Once you calculate your carbon footprint you can work to reduce it. Recycling is a great way to start and it doesn’t take as much effort as you might think. The first step would be to locate the nearest recycling center then set aside a place in your home to separate recyclable items such as glass, paper and aluminum cans.
If you have never recycled before you will be amazed at the amount of recyclable items you will accumulate in only a week’s time. What’s more, it will greatly reduce the amount of garbage you throw away. In other words, if you usually set two garbage cans next to the curb on pickup days, you will only need one when you start recycling.
Aluminum cans take up a lot of room in the garbage and they remain in landfills for more than 200 years! How many soda, vegetable and soup cans do you toss in the trash each week? If you’re like most families, they take up the bulk of your garbage. So if you only recycled cans you would be doing a lot to reduce your carbon footprint.
Newspapers should always be recycled but unfortunately, millions of them end up in landfills around the world each and every day. More than 40 million newspapers are thrown away every day in the United States alone. Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil and 7000 gallons of water!
There are many things you can do to lower your carbon footprint that take very little effort such as turning lights off when they’re not needed or unplugging electrical devices that are not being used. You can also switch to energy-saving light bulbs. They cost more but in the long run it’s well worth it as they last much longer than regular light bulbs.
Your car is probably one of the main things you might want to focus on. Have the gas and oil filters changed regularly and maintain the tires, keeping them properly inflated. If you use more than one vehicle it might be wise that at least one of them be a fuel-efficient car to use for commutes which don’t require a large automobile.
If you have the room, plant at least one tree which would reduce your carbon footprint substantially. Fruit trees are very practical. They not only absorb carbon dioxide, they also give off oxygen and provide shade as well as food.
One of the best things you could do would be to add insulation to your walls and attic to save energy which would save you a bundle on your electric bill each month.
Even small things can help such as washing clothes in cold water, turning the water off when you brush your teeth, weather-striping windows or adjusting your thermostat to a more moderate temperate. All of these little things add up.
Therefore, the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our world is getting more complicated every day and if we don’t at least try to help it will only get worse. Every little bit helps. It doesn’t have to be done all at once. Start with something you know you can handle and go from there. Before long your carbon footprint will shrink and you will get the satisfaction of knowing that you did your part in helping the environment.