How to reduce your carbon footprint: 10 easy ways!

The planet is currently suffering from climate change and we need to act now! Here are 10 easy ways to help to save the planet and reduce your carbon footprint.

1 Stop eating meat (or reduce your consumption)

You need to know that meat production is one of the highest sources of CO2 on the planet. Also, meat production is a huge waste of water and cereals that could feed people suffering from malnutrition. Red meat is the worst, consuming 11 times more water and producing 5 times more emissions than chicken. To get a single pound of beef, it takes more than 5000 gallons of water. Animal agriculture is the number one consumer of fresh water in the world. It is drastically increasing the problem of water scarcity.

Also, you need to know that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are an even bigger problem than fossil fuels.

Stop eating meat or starting by reducing meat consumption will significantly help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint. And you will save thousands of animals per year.

Don’t forget to inform others: many people simply don’t know about the connection between meat and climate change.

2 Eat local and organic (biological)

When it is possible, try your best to eat local and seasonal products. It is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint created by shipping foods from elsewhere in the world. Try to avoid avocado from Mexico or dragon fruits from Asia. The close to you, the better!

Also, it is important to eat organic (bio) products that have not been sprayed with toxic pesticides and other environmental chemicals. You should also avoid any processed food, they are bad for your health and also for the environment. Processed plants and big polluters and their products are contributing to diseases as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Choose food that is better for the planet and for your health!

3 Unplug your devices when you are not using them

It is really surprising but all electronics are using energy when they are plugged in. Even if they are powered down. Anytime a cord is plugged into a socket, it is drawing energy. Even if your device is not charging, you are still contributing to your carbon footprint.

The best way is to leave your electronics unplugged unless you are using them.

4 Stop eating fish and seafood

The overfishing is terrible damage for the animals and the planet. Here are the reasons that will make you never wanna eat fish again.

The first reason is that for every 1Lb of shrimp on your dinner, 26lb of other sea creatures including sharks, dolphins, turtles or rays were killed and tossed back in the sea. Each year, 300 000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die each year after becoming entangled in fishing equipment. More than 28 000 turtles are captured each year in the net to catch shrimps. Sharks kill 10 people per year. People kill 11 000 sharks per hour.

Also, research has shown that fish feel pain and stress and fishing practices usually entail evisceration starvation and asphyxiation. What an awful death for these animals! Moreover, the fishes you are eating contain antibiotics, and chemical residues, which is not really good for your health.

If you are wondering how to do the transition and become vegan, read this post about “why and how we became vegan?“!

5 Don’t buy “fast fashion”

These major clothing retailers that are also called “fast fashion” companies are selling an endless cycle of clothes at extremely low prices. The problem is that people are buying more and more clothes and it is a huge waste. Each year, we are wasting 15 million tons of textiles. Because the quantity is over quality, these fast fashion industries are not paying a lot for these items that are mass-produced. We used to produces 4 collections per year, one for each season. But now they are new collections every week!

Also, you need to know that the materials used are not always healthy for our skin. Have you ever made an allergy to some clothes from Asia? Personally, it happened several times to me. There is an issue of contamination. Almost all our clothes are made with cotton, but unless its labeled bio or organic cotton, it is generally sprayed with lots of pesticides. It can have negative impacts on human health. Keep in mind that anything made overseas has always a huge environmental impact. Particularly for leather tanneries.

Moreover, one of the worst problems with fast fashion is child labor. These industries are nefast for the environment and are not resscting human rights.

You can try alternatives re-wearing old clothing, choosing locally handmade garments, buying vintage, or participating in clothing swaps with family and friends.

6 Travel consciously

Think twice before booking a flight. If you can, try to travel in your country or the countries near yours. You can travel by train, buses or share your car. This is what we often do when it’s summer in Europe, we are visiting countries close to France (Italy, Switzerland, Spain…)

When you are traveling, don’t promote animal cruelty and captivity: zoos, aquariums, animals riding and so on. Make your own researches before visiting an “ethical place”. You can read our post about elephant sanctuaries in Thailand!

Also, when traveling, try to support local businesses: street restaurants, markets, boutique hotels.

7 Shop wisely

One easy thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to shop wisely! Unfortunately each year thousands kg of food is wasted. The best way is to make a meal plan and only buy food you are sure to eat! Only buy the ingredients you need for the day or the next 2 days. Also, you can make different meals in the same week that are using the same ingredients.
For example, when we are eating a bowl with tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, quinoa, and salad, we are doing the same week a tabouleh with the same ingredients and a Green curry with the chickpeas. This is just an example but that can help you to organize yourself before your shopping groceries!

8 Ban single used plastic

Buying in bulk really reduces the amount of plastic, paper, metal and energy that goes into manufacturing the packaging. If bulk isn’t available, buy in larger packages such as “family sizes” rather than individual sizes. If you can, choose glass, metal and paper packaging over plastic packaging.

Also, you can buy glasses bocals for your home and buy cereals in small paper bags (pasta, rice, quinoa, lentils, chickpeas…). We have done this recently and it is an amazing way to reduce packagings as we can reuse the paper bag each time we are going to the grocery!

9 Save Water

It is predicted that water will be our scarcest commodity in the not-to-distant future. So, don’t let the sink faucet run. Soak dishes in a sink of hot, soapy water to loosen food, wash and rinse all at once. If you are using a dishwasher, don’t bother rinsing the dishes (just scrape them) and run the dishwasher only when it is full. Repair leaks and drips. Install aerators in faucets to make less water more efficient. Don’t use running water to defrost frozen food; instead, thaw it in advance in the refrigerator.

10 Help! Talk! Spread the message!

There are plenty of amazing associations that are doing great things for the animals and the planet as peta, L214, Surfrider, Greenpeace, Spa. You can support them through donations. Even 20$ per month is good to help! You can also be a volunteer.

Talk around you, to your friends, your family, your colleagues! Spead the world! This is the most important thing. Most of the time, people are just not enough informed.

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