Carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions produced. It is currently the primary cause of climate change, that impacts the rise of the surface temperature on Earth. One way to contribute to this climate change is to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some simple ways you can do.
Consume Less Meat
One of the most effective actions you can do is to limit your meat intake. This makes a huge difference. The greenhouse gas emissions from agribusiness contribute a lot, especially red meat. It consumes 11 times more water and produces 5 times more emissions than its poultry counterparts. To get a single pound of beef, it takes over 5,000 gallons of water.
You don’t have to be a vegetarian, a pescatarian, even a vegan. You just have to watch out and be mindful of the meat you eat. Many people still don’t understand the correlations between eating meat and climate change. Let other people know.
Instead of driving, choose to walk, bike, or take public transportation. In Jakarta alone, the transport sector generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2012, it accounted for 46% of the city’s total emissions, and by 2030, it is predicted to only get slightly lowered to 43%. Other than the contribution to climate change, air pollution contributed has also led to substantial health risk.
The city has continued to develop more pedestrian walks and bike lines, encouraging people to use public transportation to minimise air pollution and traffic. Hopefully, we will see more other provinces taking action to tackle climate change.
Reduce Energy and Water Use
Turn off the lights you’re not using and when you leave the room. Switch to renewable energy. Purchase appliances that support energy and water efficiency, including refrigerators, showerheads, washing machines, etc. Watch out for pipe leaks! This is one of the main causes of water waste. Take shorter showers, between 5-10 minutes.
Leave your electronics unplugged if you don’t use them. If a cord is plugged into a socket, it’s using energy – although your device isn’t charging, you’re still contributing to your carbon footprint. Hang the laundry dry instead of using a dryer. Wash your own dishes instead of using a dishwasher.
Plant Some Greens
One of the ways you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is by planting a garden. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and as humans, it’s beneficial for both of us. Start small if you’re a beginner at gardening. Plant small trees or flowers, before jumping into bigger trees like apples and mangos.
WRI Indonesia’s calculation shows that we only need one mature mango tree for every 1,500 km trip by car or 2,500 km trip by motorcycle or 8,000 km trip by bus. Calculate your own carbon footprint to find out more about this.
A lot of fashion items end up in landfills just because people choose to follow trends. Especially with fast fashion, companies are selling quantity over quality. There’s a high chance that the “cotton” you’re buying has been genetically modified, causing water contamination. Many fast fashion industries are also linked to child labour. Toxic to the environment and violates human rights.
The alternative is to alter old clothing, repair instead of buying new ones. Choose locally handmade products, buy vintage or secondhand products from thrift shops. Not only that this reduce waste, but the quality would also be much better since it has been around for ages. Shop everything thoughtfully. Do you really need it? Where will the old ones end up later if you buy a new one?
Eat Local and Organic
If possible, consume foods that are grown and produced locally, perhaps in your own city. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint created by shipping foods from elsewhere. Consuming foods locally also supports your local economic growth and food security. Processed foods are also bad for us, as bad as it is for the environment. Eat more plants and whole foods that are better for you and the environment.
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot
Waste contributes to pollution, puts pressure on our natural resources such as trees, water, and soil, and ultimately contributes to climate change. Therefore, these 5 Rs are a practice to minimise waste. Carefully do research and put it into practice!
Refuse to use single-use products, those that will end up in the landfill and stay there permanently. Reduce your general consumptions, this will reduce the waste you create. Reuse products, making them sustainable to the environment. Say no to disposable items. Recycle properly. Separate your waste and send it to be recycled. Rot your scraps into compost.
Embrace Minimalist Lifestyle
That being said above, declutter your home and donate unnecessary items to charity. Buy secondhand clothing, electronics, furniture and house decorations, cars and other products whenever possible. Focus on the essentials. What you need, what has values to you, and what is important.
The key to reducing your carbon footprint is consistency. Everything you do contributes to gas production, so be mindful. For a fact, I know not all people are aware of this, so take one step at a time. At first, all of this might be a struggle for you, I can say I’m not even close to being an expert. Don’t worry, one small change matters. It starts with you. Let’s take action together and contribute to reducing our own carbon footprint!