6 ways to reduce your daily carbon footprint.

                       

You want to “go green” — but where do you start? It can be overwhelming to think about climate change. Scary, even. Nations all over the world are working hard to determine how to slow climate change. Companies, leaders and policy makers have the power to fight climate change, but our lifestyle choices can reduce carbon emissions. Research shows that government and individuals making small changes can have a huge impact in reducing emissions. 

By introducing greener habits into your daily life, you can easily reduce your carbon footprint.  

Here are some ways I hope you find inspirational: 

1. Saying goodbye to plastic.

Planning a day to run errands? Don’t forget your reusable bag!  

Saying no to plastic doesn’t just apply to bags. Shop consciously. Go for reusable instead of plastic plates if you’re planning a barbeque this summer. This is just one small way you can contribute to a plastic-free world. For more tips on plastic-wise living, head over to the Ocean Wise website to learn more

2. Prevent food waste.

Did you know that an estimated 17% of total global food production is wasted, and food that is lost and wasted accounts for 38% of total energy usage in the global food system? Food waste is a global issue, but there are simple ways you can reduce your food waste:

  • Create a meal plan so you know exactly how much food to prepare  
  •  Make a list and stick to it when grocery shopping
  • Cook meals at home and make extra leftovers for the next day
  • Donate your excess food to a neighbor or a rescue food organization, like Vancouver-based, Vancity member Food Stash Foundation.  

 If we make it our daily habit to reduce food waste, we will also see our grocery bills go down too!

3. Composting is your friend.

Composting was a regular part of after-dinner clean-up at my house growing up. The compost bin always went into the garden, where it nourished the soil, and as a result, my family enjoyed beautiful ripe tomatoes all September long.  

When we literally give back to the earth, we are rewarded. Maybe I’m biased, but coffee grinds and eggshells make the best soil, for the best tomatoes. 

This is just another small but mighty thing you can do to help eliminate waste in the landfill — put your food scraps in a compost bin and feel good about it. 

4. Support local businesses.

When you invest in your community by supporting small businesses, you are giving back to your community, and supporting your local economy. We are fortunate to live in a place where our local communities are filled with unique shops, like Indigenous businesses Sisters Sage and Swalwen Botanicals, and locally sourced markets around the city.  

With summer around the corner, farmers’ markets will pop up all over the city. Vancity proudly supports Your Local Farmers Market Society, and you can too by shopping at any of these markets during the summer season.  

5. Boo, phantom energy.

Did you know that energy is still used even if you aren’t actively charging your phone? This power usage even occurs when your charger is plugged into the electric outlet. This is phantom energy — energy that’s wasted when devices are plugged in and using power, but you’re not using them. Like leaving your toaster plugged into the wall. Unplug your electronics, invest in energy efficient lightbulbs, and don’t let phantom energy haunt you. Small changes to how we use energy is not only good for the planet but also a good way to save money on your electric bill.  

6. Stay educated.

Educating yourself is a critical part of understanding environmental sustainability.  

Living more sustainably offers us a chance to take some control over our lifestyles and make healthier choices for our planet and future generations.

Whether it’s big changes, like making sustainable updates to your home, or small changes like the ones I mentioned above, simply learning about how to contribute to a greener world is a great step towards a net-zero world.

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