How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

By definition, the meaning of carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community. There are two types of carbon emissions. Those caused naturally from decomposition, the ocean, etc, and those from human sources such as activities like cement production, deforestation as well as the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

What are the biggest causes of carbon emissions?

1. Meat & Dairy

Although it would be good for you and the environment, by no means am I saying that you should be giving up your meat and dairy rituals and adapt to a vegan diet. You might be wondering how is not buying these foods going to affect our environment?

This is because of the amount of land and water required to keep livestock animals, and of course the amount of effluent liquid waste sewage that is discharged from the premises is treated then is dumped into the sea. There are other problems associated as well, such as pollution from fossil fuels and animal methane which comes from the animals' digestive system and is released into the atmosphere.

chicken breast packets

2. Transport

This one, I’m sure the whole planet is aware of, most people can look out the window and see rows of cars in traffic. Transport is a major user of energy, it is a significant contributor to global warming through the emission of carbon dioxide.

The world has many types of transport that cause problems from cars, motorbikes, buses, lorries, planes, trains, etc. To combat this, you can buy groceries from a local greengrocer or produce farm instead of importing from another country. The less your food has to travel, the better.

eating sustainably

3. Plastic

Plastic is one of the biggest problems that we face globally, it is continuously used every day. When you go shopping we buy them as bags to pack our shopping, we buy the cheapest low-quality plastic imports. It is being sold to as polyester or faux leather in clothing, polystyrene in packaging, food wrappers, food preparation, chopping boards, your tins are lined with it, cooking utensils, rubbish bags, technologies, takeaway containers, drinking straws.

This synthetic material is everywhere, it's in your carpet, your sofa's made from it, and not only is it bad for the environment overall but it is completely toxic, and can wreck havoc on your health.

lots of plastic packs of bread in supermarket

4. Toxic chemicals

It seems as though everything is toxic and there is a huge market of toxic chemicals. Heck, most of the shampoo, soaps, deodorants are all extremely hazardous to health. They do not work as a cleaner, they simply strip your skin or hair of oils, which then causes your body or hair to overcompensate producing a lot more than what is normal, and then the company has successfully got you in the loop of you needing to wash your hair.

I personally haven’t used shampoo since I moved out of my grandparents' home, and my hair is soft, non-greasy, smells natural, like hair should, and no one would know any different. I don’t use commercial deodorants as they are really bad for the environment and are made from synthetic chemicals that are harmful to health, I use a natural deodorant from Holland and Barrett.

I don’t use washing detergents. I use natural soap nuts in a pouch instead, there is literally a natural alternative to every commercial chemical out there. Granted, most of the time they do cost more, but what could be more important to you than yours and your family's health?

Stop poisoning yourself, and others around you, stop wearing those perfumes and aftershaves. I might be alone here, but I hate getting on a bus and smelling a suffocating synthetic fragrance. I find it completely unfair on the rest of us who don’t want to inhale it. If this is you, you are harming everyone.

toxic chemicals

Whilst there are hundreds of ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment, we will go into it in much more detail based on related principles, and educate on how we can thrive for positive change!

What can you do?

1. Cut down on meat and dairy, or give it up altogether

It’s no secret that meat and dairy have been associated with all sorts of negative health complications due to the high amounts of fat, salt, and reformed protein. Not only is going vegan a new venture in life that you will enjoy due to trying new foods, some say the vegan diet is restrictive but it is the complete opposite.

There are more kinds of milk marketed towards vegans than there are for people that consume dairy, also some of the meat alternatives taste so good and are actually a lot healthier and easier to digest than meat. Still, want to eat meat? Just cut down.

2. Walk, ride a bike, find an alternative or go electric!

Cars are great, they get you from A to B quickly, and that's fine. What can you do to reduce the impact that transport is having on the environment? Things you can do depends on the situation. If you need to travel somewhere that is relatively close like the school run, why not leave earlier and walk. After all, exercise is good for you. 

Ride a pedal bike. I spent most of my teenage years riding my bicycle everywhere and those where the best years of my life. Need to travel far and those options aren’t appropriate? No problem. Why not take the bus or a train instead of driving your car? It is more efficient and has much fewer carbon emissions than if all those people that took the bus or train; were to drive! 

If you still want to drive your car, then go for it, but maybe consider going electric or reducing how much you use it. If you are a parent, remember that everything you do, your kids will look up to you. So for them, set a good example as it is their future in your hands.

walking in the rain to keep sustainable

3. Plastic

There are so many ways to get rid of this one. In fact, many leading companies are introducing new ways to be eco-friendly and do their bit, so we should make sure that we make the effort too.

Small change is a big change if we all adopt it. Supermarkets are starting to add refillable foods to their stores, and fast food chains are swapping plastic straws for paper. You can refuse it, pay more for the eco-option. If we don’t buy it, they won’t make it, it is that simple. More people refusing plastic will reduce the amount of it produced, and in turn, the production of of the more environmental products increases. With the increase of production and competition, prices become lower!

When going shopping take a reusable strong bag, check the materials used and make sure not to entertain those that don’t have our best interests at heart! Do it for yourself, your environment, and your family. If you would like to find out more about what you can do, read our blog here on why eco-friendly is important.

4. Business

In business, depending on the type of company you run, there are many things you can do. If you look at your processes, you too could think of ways that your company could be more green and probably end up saving money too! 

For example, we sell products, and we used to use plastic bubble wrap but found the solution that we could buy a paper shredder once and only shred old paper documents that were no longer needed for use as packaging. Whilst also urging our customers to recycle the paper and quickly our packaging became sustainable, and saved us lots of money too.  

Recycling

5. Be mindful of others

You wouldn’t smoke and blow it directly into a stranger's face, smothering yourself in poisonous fragrance before you get on a packed bus, is very similar. These aftershaves are not natural as they are made from a cocktail of chemicals in a science lab from mixing esters and many extracts. 

Remember, you are not just harming yourself, you are also physically causing harm to others. Remember, if you can smell something, it has already worked its way into your bloodstream and the damage has been done.

In 2015, the top 4 countries who has the worst carbon emissions:

1. China

2. United States

3. India

4. Russia

China, US, India, Russian Flags

Wherever you are in the world, you can make a change. We hope that you can help create a reduction of carbon emissions, reduce the harmful effects it is currently having on our environment.

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