When it comes to saving money and reducing your carbon footprint, every bit counts – no matter how small.
Your carbon footprint measures the total amount of carbon emissions – carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases – released into the atmosphere as a result of your actions. These gases trap heat and cause global warming.
Here are some ways to potentially reduce your carbon footprint and save money.
From switching to energy-efficient products to generating your own renewable energy – there are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at home.
Heating and air conditioning can be expensive and use a great deal of energy.
Making simple changes, like draft proofing lofts and unwanted gaps, can reduce heat loss and the cost of keeping your house warm during colder months.
For the warmer months, try applying weather stripping and sealant around your doors and windows to keep the cool air in and the hot air out. This may help reduce the need for air conditioning.
Changing your daily habits at home can also make a difference and lower the cost of your energy bills.
Simple steps could help, such as not leaving gadgets on standby, where possible, drying your clothes outside instead of using a tumble dryer, and using less water.
It takes energy and resources to process and deliver water to our homes. Try turning off taps when brushing your teeth, having short showers instead of baths, and only boiling the water you need.
Some energy providers offer energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar, rather than fossil fuels.
Compare your current energy supplier with competitors in the market. You may find another provider that offers a more affordable and cleaner source of energy.
Only buying things you need can have an immediate impact on your finances and carbon footprint, as can buying recycled or pre-owned goods wherever possible.
Buying better quality items can also save you money in the long run – even though they may cost you more in the short term – as they’ll likely last longer.
The food we eat can have a significant impact on the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture activities such as livestock and crop production accounts for 11% of the world’s greenhouse emissions.
Food shipped from overseas also uses a lot more resources than local produce.
Eating fewer animal products, especially red meat, and shopping for locally-sourced food can make a difference.
When we waste food, we also waste the energy and water it took to grow, harvest, transport, and package it. If it ends up in a landfill, it also produces methane – a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.
You can reduce food waste by creating a budget, planning meals and storing your food carefully.
If possible, opt to walk, cycle, or use public transport instead of driving.
When traveling longer distances, consider taking a train, or car-pooling when commuting to work or school.
Flying makes up a substantial amount of our carbon footprint; taking trips that don’t require a plane journey can significantly reduce your overall footprint.
Consider a ‘near-cation’ for your next vacation, and explore nearby neighborhoods, states, or even just local sites.
When it comes time to buy a new car, and as they become more affordable, an electric or hybrid vehicle may be an option. It can help you minimize the amount of gas you use.
Explore: Guide to electric vehicles
Investors are increasingly choosing sustainable funds as a way to help create a better world. If you’re looking to invest and lower your carbon footprint – you may want to consider sustainable options that enable you to have a positive impact.
Explore: What is sustainable investing?