We pretty much all love the idea of doing something to lower our personal dependency on fossil fuels, but we also know this noble feat is easier said than done. Usually, it’s a paywall keeping us from making significant life changes to reduce our carbon footprint; electric cars, home rehabs, solar panel installs, and so forth don’t come cheap. The result is a life of good intentions in regards to going green, but not much in terms of real results.
However, not every option for being a more environmentally conscience individual involves huge investments and lifestyle adjustments. In fact, there are several ways in which one can reduce their carbon footprint without having to make a big life choice. The following are the top five simple steps for lowering one’s dependence on fossil fuels:
The single greatest tool one has to help reduce their carbon footprint is their wallet. The EPA guide to thinking green before you shop highlights several of the fundamentals of being an environment-conscious consumer. These include buying electronics and furnishings built to last rather than focusing on the best price, determining how much of a product is made with recycled/recyclable materials, and preferring reusable goods to disposable ones.
Switch Service Providers
The average person spends a fair amount of time every week online. In fact, we’re spending roughly 15%-20% of our lives online according to recent studies. Traditional copper wiring used by most Internet service providers generates intense heat, which must then be artificially cooled. This adds up to a lot of energy being used. The same cannot be said for fiber optic service, which generates far less heat and therefore doesn’t require as much energy to manage. In short, opting for fiber optics will mean your hours of web browsing and streaming will depend on far less energy usage. Check to see if Verizon Fios deals are available in your area. If not, look into whether fiber optic lines are soon headed to your neck of the woods.
Use Less Electricity at Home
The classic and most apparent way to help lower your dependence on fossil fuels without having to get into anything complicated or costly is, of course, reducing your electricity use at home. The topic of easy changes you can make to save on your electricity bill has been covered in a previous post, providing anyone a firm foundation for getting started. Less spent means less used, which of course means less dependence on the fossil fuels generating all that power.
No Car Day
Let’s say a used hybrid automobile is still out of your price range, let alone a fully electric motor vehicle. Never fear, you can help to reduce your carbon footprint while still owning a classic gas-powered car. The trick is to select one day out of the week where the keys are not put into the ignition. This will easily result in less carbon being put into the atmosphere by your car. Furthermore, errands and activities will be more efficiently scheduled throughout the week, eliminating even more mileage and therefore reducing your carbon footprint.
No Meat Day
The meat and potatoes folks out there never like to hear this one, but the facts are indisputable: the livestock industry is one of the largest sources of air pollution in the world, even topping the emissions from transportation. If every American avoided eating meat or cheese for just one day a week, for example, it would be equal to preventing the pollution of 7.6 million cars from making it into the atmosphere. It’s just one day!
Few people will argue with the fact that living greener is better. Even if you’re someone who still thinks climate change is debatable (it’s not) it’s hard to believe our relentless consumption of nonrenewable resources will end in anything but trouble for the human race. The Earth is a finite space for us to call home. It’s our only one, requiring everyone to do something to lower their personal dependence on fossil fuels. Fortunately, many of the ways to accomplish this are relatively simple to pull off, enabling well-intentioned people to take serious albeit easy steps to reduce their carbon footprint.