Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.
Today it is more important than ever before to minimise your footprint. Not only are the developed western countries producing more and more carbon emissions, but there is a growing problem as the population in Africa and Asia start living improved lifestyles which consume more energy.
The following is a list of simple things you can do immediately, which will start to reduce your contribution to global warming. The items in this list will cost you no money at all and will in fact save you money.
1.Sign up for e-statements of Credit Card bills.
2.Turn it off when not in use (lights, television, DVD player, Hi Fi, computer etc. etc. ...).
3.Turn down the central A/C or any cooling unit ( just 1 to 2 degrees C).
4.Turn down the water heating setting for your morning bath(just 2 degrees will make a significant saving).
5.Fill your washing machine with a full load - this will save you water, electricity, and washing powder.
6.Fill the kettle(for your morning cup of tea) with only as much water as you need.
7.Unplug your mobile phone as soon as it has finished charging (I must definitely follow this).
8.Defrost your fridge/freezer regularly(atleast once in 2 weeks).
9.Do your weekly shopping in a single trip.
10.Hang out the clothes washed to dry rather than tumble drying it in the Washing Machine.
11.Go for a run rather than drive to the gym
The following is a list of items that may take an initial investment, but should pay for themselves over the course of 1-4 years through savings on your energy bills.
1.Fit energy saving light bulbs.
2.Replace your old fridge / freezer (if it is over 15 years old), with a new one with energy efficiency rating.
3.Replace your old geyser with a new energy efficient condensing boiler
Travel less and travel more carbon footprint friendly.
1.Car share to work, or to drop the kids to school[Car Pooling].
2.Use the bus or metro or train rather than your car/two wheeler to travel within the city.
3.Don't use domestic flights (e.g. from Bangalore to Chennai), use a train or a bus overnight.
4.See if your employer will allow you to work from home one day a week.
5.When on holiday - hire a bicycle/use local transport to explore locally rather than a car.
6.When staying in a hotel turn the lights and air-conditioning off when you leave your hotel room.
7.Ask for you room towels to be washed every other day, rather than every day.[They don't get dirty so easily]
As well as your primary carbon footprint, there is also a secondary footprint that you cause through your buying habits. If you buy foods out of season at the market, then these will have either been flown or shipped in from far away - all adding to your carbon footprint.
1.Buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing your own[will touch this topic in the coming weeks].
2.Try to buy clothes and products from closer to home (look out and avoid items that are made in the distant lands such as Europe / USA)
In addition there is your footprint at work.
- Do you leave your computer and monitor on when you are away from your desk?
- Do you leave the lights on when you leave the office?
- Do you print documents unnecessarily - and could you print two pages to a side and double sided?