spring cleaning bad environmental habits

Crack the windows and break out the vinegar—it’s spring and time to clean!

Besides brushing up mothballs and sweeping away spiderwebs, we can also look at the top 5 ways we pollute the Earth, and choose to “clean up” our actions by reforming a heavy environmental impact.

 

1. How to reduce your industrial impact

garage sale

Most mass-produced industrial products produce significant carbon emissions, which contribute to climate change. As the world becomes more industrialized, it’s critical to find ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

Here are several simple ways to reduce your industrial impact:

  • Don’t upgrade tech products more than necessary
  • Support local clothing designers and manufacturers
  • Research a company’s sustainability efforts before buying
  • Buy secondhand, used or consignment
  • Sell your used stuff before trashing it
  • Learn to do your own repairs
  • Check out garage sales and community markets
  • If you don’t need it, don’t buy it!

 

2. How to reduce your transportation impact

streetcar

There’s no denying that transportation is a major source of pollution. Cars, trucks, and buses release harmful emissions into the air, contributing to climate change and negatively impacting public health.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce your carbon footprint from transportation:

  • Walk, take public transport or bicycle
  • Carpool or share a vehicle by using car-share services
  • Travel by air only when necessary
  • Keep your car maintained to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize emissions
  • Telecommute if it’s an option
  • Lobby your local government to spend on sidewalks and bike lanes
  • Switch to a hybrid or all-electric vehicle
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3. How to reduce your food impact

compost bin

The food we eat has a major impact on the environment. Between the farming, transportation, and processing of food, it’s estimated that the average meal travels over 1,500 miles before it reaches our plates.

And all of that travel has a significant carbon footprint. In fact, the food system is responsible for approximately one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. So what can we do to reduce our carbon footprint from food?

 

4. How to reduce your energy impact

clothesline

Most of us are aware of the need to reduce our carbon footprints, but it can be difficult to know where to start. One of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce your energy consumption.

By reducing your energy consumption, you can help to slow down climate change and make a positive impact on the environment. Not only that, but you’ll also save money on your energy bills!

 

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5. How to reduce your trash impact

recycle reuse bag

Anyone who’s ever gone through a recycling bin knows that the average person produces a lot of waste. In fact, the average American generates about 4.4 pounds of trash per day – that’s a lot of garbage!

Not only does all this waste take up valuable space in landfills, but it also releases greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These gases contribute to climate change, which can have a devastating impact on our planet.

Luckily, there are things we can do to reduce our waste and help protect the environment:

  • Recycle and compost
  • Donate items or hold swaps
  • Repurpose, reuse or upcycle items
  • Refuse to use items that are disposable or single use
  • Buy bulk and avoid items in heavy packaging
  • Wash and re-use produce, Ziploc and plastic bags
  • Print & photocopy on both sides
  • Sign up for electronic bill statements
  • Create a newspaper, magazine and book exchange in your community or workplace

By making small changes in our daily lives, we can all help to reduce our carbon footprint


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.

1 COMMENT

  1. Some of this is workable; I upgrade my computers by recycling, and ride a bicycle, and I won’t fly until the TSA is dissolved. I use CF lamps in light fixtures and LED flashlights to reduce battery comsumption. I fix my own stuff . Other things are much less so; I set thermostats for comfort, not some pseudo-economy scam that results in more cold-enabled illnesses and I eat meat because humans are omnivores and meat is as necessary as vegetables.

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