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Five Practical Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

October 22, 2021

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Climate Change is a growing issue that is impacting our planet. This may cause anxiety, especially if you feel that there is nothing you can do to combat this issue. However, there are some minor changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint.

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Your first question may be: what exactly is my carbon footprint? A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere through the production, use, and end-of-life of a product or service. It is possible to calculate your carbon footprint, but we don’t have to worry about that right now.

Change Your Transportation Habits

When possible, try biking or walking to avoid carbon emissions altogether. When this isn’t realistic, try carpooling or using public transportation. Even changing your driving habits can lower your carbon footprint. Changes such as avoiding traffic, keeping up with your vehicle’s maintenance, and avoiding unnecessary acceleration can make a difference.

Be More Mindful of the Clothing You Buy

You can reduce the environmental impact of your clothing by taking good care of the clothes you already have, so they last longer. Changing the way you purchase clothing can also have an impact. You can try to buy secondhand clothing or borrow some from a friend. When possible, you can also try to buy responsibly made clothes.

Eat Locally Produced Food When Possible

About 13% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the production and transportation of food. The transport of food often uses petroleum-based fuels, and some fertilizers are also fossil fuel-based. By eating local, organic food, you can reduce the impact your food has on the environment.

Use Reusable Shopping Bags

Switching to reusable shopping bags is such a small change but can make a big difference. Think about how much plastic you throw away just after going grocery shopping. By using reusable shopping bags, you can eliminate that portion of your waste.

Avoid Unnecessary Plastic

Another small change involving lowering the amount of plastic you use is simply avoiding unnecessary plastic whenever possible. This way, you can further reduce the amount of plastic thrown away without making too many significant changes.

Small Changes Add Up

It can be easy to assume that as one single person, especially a teenager, it would be impossible to help the environment. But with small changes in your habits and decisions, you can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your impact on the environment. Remember, small changes add up!

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About the Contributor
Photo of Emma Ward
Emma Ward, FCHS Journalist

Emma is a junior and a new journalist this year.  She loves traveling and enjoys reading, writing, and volunteering.

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