Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

While the major sources of pollution are as follows below, collectively individuals can make a difference. In fact, much of the methane coming from agriculture are from cows so eating less beef would make a difference. Less consumption would reduce industry’s contribution. Driving electric vehicles, and installing solar panels  would reduce the next two categories. We can do nothing about volcanic eruption, but deforestation and desertification cause dust storms, which are harmful to human health. This is often due to overuse or overgrazing of land. Further, forest fires eliminate trees that absorb carbon dioxide. As individuals we can advocate for practices that reduce overuse of land and means of reducing chances of forest fires by reducing brush and other means. In general pressuring our government to act responsibly in regard to climate change will help.

  • Agriculture
  • Industry
  • Vehicles
  • Electricity
  • Natural disasters

Other ways humans can reduce their carbon footprint are

Eliminate Food Waste: The carbon footprint of U.S. food waste is greater than that of the airline industry, 37% of which happens in our homes. Don’t grocery shop hungry lest you buy more than you can consume before spoilage. Finding a method of keeping track of which food items  and leftovers are oldest, and moving them to the front of your refrigerator shelves can help along with general awareness. I hate waste, and one trick that works for me is in deciding what’s for dinner I don’t think what sounds good or what I’m hungry for, I think about what I can make with what I have. My Eloise surprises usually turn out well.

Ditch your grass: There is an estimated 40 to 50 million acres of grass in the US, which consumes 3 trillion gallons of water each year, 3 billion gallons of gas to run lawn and garden equipment, the equivalent of 6 million gas powered cars running for a year. Water is precious, and we are running out. Climate change seems to affect the distribution of rain with floods in some areas and drought in others. We love our artificial grass. Always green, no weeding, mowing, or fertilizing.

Help preserve our forests:  One small way of maintaining our national forests is to have a tree planted in honor of a deceased loved one instead of sending flowers. My favorite site (https://thetreesremember.com) allows some choice of which forest and includes a lovely packet. Have a friend or relative that has everything, but you want to remember with a gift, planting a tree in their honor may be a nice surprise.

Weatherize your home: Update your insulation, secure leaky windows and/or block leaks with window coverings. Whatever your energy source for heating and cooling, reduction of energy use leaves more renewable energy available for others. Consider a heat pump the next time you need to replace your furnace or AC. Ditch or reduce use of your fireplace.

Fly less often: When you do fly, try to use airlines that are working to reduce their use of fossil fuels and pledge to carbon capture the amount they admit. United was among the first with their plan. Others, who include Alaska, American, Atlas, Delta, FedEx, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, United and UPS are calling for government assistance with laws and policies.

Data is from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/02/22/climate-change-actions-carbon-footprint/

PS: I recommend reading Under the Sky We Make by Kimberly NIcholas

It is interesting that indigenous people from time memorial and all over the globe take better care of where they live than most industrialized countries. It may well be an ingrained belief in the latter case that Earth’s resources are there for the pickings, while the indigenous take only what’s necessary to support their needs. For short, it’s exploitation vs. regeneration.

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