Every day our actions have a direct impact on pollution. The simplest things such as using our car heater or air conditioner, cleaning our windows and getting a coffee from Starbucks all leave behind a footprint.
Everything we use needs energy to be made and adds to carbon emissions during the manufacturing process. The products we use need to go somewhere. Whether it’s a coffee cup or a hair product, it does not simply disappear.
Obviously, it is impossible to not leave a carbon footprint but there are ways to responsibly reduce it. The problems we are running into in a society with pollution stem from humans ignoring what we are leaving behind. Small changes in your everyday lifestyle can make a huge impact if we all decide to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
To get started, here are a few ideas and ways you can leave behind a smaller footprint.
- Conserve energy – turn off lights, computers, and electric appliances when not in use.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.
- Participate in your local utility’s energy conservation programs.
- Limit driving by carpooling, using public transportation, biking and walking.
- Avoid excessive idling of your automobile.
- Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when full.
- Choose environmentally friendly cleaners.
- Use water-based or solvent free paints whenever possible and buy products that say “low VOC”.
- Seal containers of household cleaners, workshop chemicals and solvents, and garden chemicals to prevent volatile organic compounds from evaporating into the air.
- Purchase and use low-polluting outboard marine engines and personal watercraft (4-stroke and direct fuel injection 2-stroke outboard marine engines).
- Advocate for emission reductions from power plants and more stringent national vehicle emission standards.
- Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle next time you are looking at purchasing a vehicle.
- Only use reusable water bottles and coffee cups.
- Carpool or use an alternative form of transportation such as a biking.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
Every person that reduces their use has an impact. It is too easy to think your changes will not have an impact. By reducing your use and talking to other people to think cleaner, you will be making a change.