In our world, it takes a lot of energy to live. We all use energy to get to work, cook food, heat and cool our homes, and power all of the electronic devices we use daily. We know that our energy dependence has adverse effects on the environment for decades.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
We can still create and use energy as our livelihoods require it without sacrificing the erosion of our environment. While many of the changes required to tackle climate change feel beyond our control, we can control our everyday practices. Those practices, however small they seem, can make a difference. Many of those practices start at home.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
While one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions stems from transportation, our home appliances are another large cause that increases our carbon footprints at home. Fortunately, most of the appliances on the market today have the technology to use less energy and resources while being high functioning machines. Opting to use energy efficient appliances is not only an effective way to lower our energy consumption at home, but it is also more cost effective in the long-run too.
Reevaluate Your Food Habits
Our food system is a significant contributor to carbon emissions due to how we raise and harvest the plants and animals we eat, as well as how we process, package, and ship them to retail stores. Another way we can reduce our carbon footprints is to make conscious decisions with the food we buy. Some possible options to consider are to shop locally and seasonally. Shopping for local produce not only helps your local farmers, but it also cuts down on the carbon required to process, package, and ship food to your nearest grocery store.
Practice the Four Rs
Another everyday practice that helps reconsider how we allocate our carbon footprints is to practice the four Rs: Refuse, Reuse, Repair, Recycle. The four Rs are by no means prescriptive. Consider the Four Rs as a framework to reconsider the way we treat the things we own. For example, we can refuse to use single use plastics. We can reuse by donating a once loved item to a charity shop instead of the landfill. We can repair electronics and appliances instead of buying new when possible. We can recycle all paper, glass, cardboard, and plastic too. The four Rs can be a reminder that our relationship with our things doesn’t have to be disposable. They can be invaluable.
Reconsider Your Purchasing Habits
Much like the food we eat, the things we buy emit greenhouses gases through the process of creating, packaging and processing consumer goods. One way you can reduce your carbon footprint when making a purchase is to rent, borrow, or buy used wherever possible. Now, not all of us feel comfortable with this option, and that’s okay. We can still make a difference in our carbon footprint for any good we purchase because each of us has the ability to be a conscious consumer. There are many products out there, but you can decide which product you want to purchase and why. For example, when buying a necessity like shampoo, you could choose to buy from a brand whose product is bottled in plastic, or you can consider trying a plastic-free shampoo bar instead.
Unplug Your Devices
One of the simplest practices that can make a significant difference over time is to unplug your devices when you’re not using them. All electronic devices suck energy when they’re plugged in. It might not seem like a significant change, but over time, you will save lots of energy that could have gone to waste.
Every Kilowatt Counts
There are many practices that we can do everyday to reduce our carbon footprint within our homes, and it’s okay to not follow each practice at all times. Be kind to yourself and know that your effort is valued, and any changes you make would be helpful. No matter how big or small the change may seem, we all can make a world of difference together from home.
Written by Eleni Zaptses
Pomp and Sass’s woven towels are lightweight, absorbent, and get softer over time.