When looking at our environment from a global standpoint, you might wonder just how much of a difference you can really make to combat global warming.
The answer to that question is: BIG.
When it comes to fighting global warming, there are major steps everyone can and should take (e.g., improving home insulation, upgrading to Energy Star appliances, getting electricity from renewable sources, joining a community solar program, etc.). But besides those steps, there are smaller ones you can implement right away into your daily routines, such as:
- Minimize your waste and recycle more.
- Make your commute less dependent on fossil fuels.
As you continue to read on, you’ll notice that the tips described within this article are simple and easy to follow – which means you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint as soon as you take action.
Minimize your waste and recycle more.
Remember the saying: “reusable over disposable,”
Anytime you have the chance to use reusable items over disposable items, take it. Whether it’s using a reusable water bottle or becoming less dependent on plastic utensils – every small step helps combat global warming.
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Accumulated waste should be recycled. If you’re throwing away paper, plastic, glass, or aluminum cans, keep them in a separate trash bin designated for recycling only. You’ll benefit from it in the long run, because according to the Carbon Footprint Factsheet from the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, “Recycling half a household’s waste can save 2,400 pounds of CO2 per year.” Recycling prevents the trash from ending up in incinerators that emit high levels of CO2.
Make your commute less dependent on fossil fuels.
Public transportation, carpooling, biking, skateboarding, or simply walking, are great ways to make yourself less dependent on fossil fuels (gas and oil for your car), while reducing your carbon footprint.
If you’re one of the lucky few who just so happens to work nearby your home, then you should take advantage of the short commute by walking to work. Sometimes the weather won’t allow that, which is understandable. But the goal isn’t to walk to work every single day and never use your car. The goal is to change your dependence on your car. This means that rather than resorting to driving to work, you should first consider enjoying the nice outdoor stroll.
If you have to take some form of transportation to work, then you should look at public transportation or carpooling with your coworkers. Using either option means that there is one less car out on the road.
Bonus tip: how to fight against global warming while living in extreme climates.
Whether you live up north, down south, on the east coast, or on the west coast, there are ways to use the climate to your advantage.
Let us explain.
Certain states, including Minnesota and Ohio, experience brutal winters which usually leads to a significant dependence on heaters. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. By simply wearing more clothes indoors and depending less on the heater, the energy consumption from your furnace will drastically decline, meaning less dependency on fossil fuels.
If you live in a state down south such as Texas, or Florida, then you won’t experience as brutal of winters as those up north. Instead, you will experience very warm summers, which usually last a bit longer throughout the year. Staying cool becomes a priority during the summer, but trying to maintain a temperature of 70˚F throughout the day means you’re exhausting your AC unit – which just so happens to be one of the biggest energy consumers in your home.
We’re not saying you should stay uncomfortably hot while in your home, but monitoring your thermostat a bit won’t hurt either – especially when you leave your home. If your home is empty while you’re at work, there should be no reason not to raise your thermostat.
Another tip that’ll help – regardless of the climate – is that you should hang dry your clothes. During spring, summer, and sometimes fall (for the warmer climate states), you can take advantage of the warm weather and hang your clothes to dry. By doing so, you’ll be using your dryer a lot less, while saving your home a great amount of electricity.
The small steps we’ve outlined throughout this article are designed for everyone. Their simplicity is the reason they can easily become part of your daily routines. In doing so, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint, while leading the fight against global warming.