3 Actions to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Guest author, Georgina, suggests some simple actions we can all take to help protect the environment and reduce our carbon footprint.
The challenges facing the planet can seem overwhelming. Climate change, with its shifting, unpredictable weather patterns, rising temperatures, wildfires, and steadily increasing carbon emissions combine to establish a situation that feels impossible for one person to impact.
But, the excellent news is that there are some simple things that any individual can do to reduce their impact on the world and lower the greenhouse gas emissions they generate every day.
And, it’s easier than you think.
The following three actions allow you to go proactive and help the planet… right now.
Photo: 8 Billion Trees
Standby, Hibernate, Screen Savers, & Off Switch Electronics
Windows PCs generally offer four power management options that can have a big impact on your carbon footprint.
- Standby—Drops power use to 1-3 watts, and returns to full use in seconds
- Hibernate—Drops electricity use to 1-3 watts, takes about 20 seconds to return
- Sleep mode—Setting this management option can save hundreds of KWh each year, depending on use
- Screen Savers—Screen savers are actually energy wasters, turn it off and reduce your electricity consumption (this is a relic of older designs anyway, to protect monitor lifespans, and is now totally obsolete)
- Off Switch—Modern systems are designed to handle tens of thousands of on/off cycles, and hard disks are no longer significantly impacted by frequent shut downs.
Mac users can find similar controls under “System preferences.” The Display tab can adjust screen brightness, reducing energy use, and the energy saver options allow you to hibernate, sleep and more. Also, keep in mind that third-party screensavers use a lot of juice, so avoid those when possible.
One more tip: a grubby computer uses more energy to maintain normal temperatures, so periodically clean your machine using appropriate tools to remove dust and debris.
Ditch the Dryer (If you have one)
Many people don’t realise how much electricity is generated by clothes dryers, but on average, it’s 4.5 kWh per cycle (equalling over 1 kg of CO2 per load), which also costs about £80 each year (depending on use).
By hanging a clothes line and air-drying your garments, they’ll last longer (less wear and tear) and you’ll lower your carbon footprint.
Get Involved in Carbon Removal Projects & Reforestation Programs
Sometimes, you have to get away from everything and just take a drive somewhere to relax and renew your energy. Or, maybe you have a dedicated latte addiction that gets you through the afternoon lull? Either way, those indulgences can certainly work against the planet, and increase your overall carbon footprint.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry that taking that road trip or satisfying your coffee fix will increase emissions. By getting involved in carbon removal projects you can capture the carbon generated by specific activities, you won’t add to the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.
It can be as simple as planting trees yourself or supporting a reforestation program, where the benefits to the planet are multiplied. Replanting native species not only restores vital carbon sinks around the world, it also reestablishes the natural habitats that have been destroyed, which encourages the revival and renewal of endangered species.
Restoring the environment doesn’t have to be a colossal task that seems impossible. With everyone pitching in to lower their footprint, we can make a difference to rebuild what has been destroyed and protect Earth for future generations.
About the author
As Content Director for 8 Billion Trees, Georgette Kilgore is passionate about preserving the natural bounty of the planet and sharing that enthusiasm with others. When not working, she loves to get outdoors for hiking, gardening, or simply walking in the forest, but is usually found curled up with a good book.
Find out more:
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Tips for helping the environment on a budget
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