Is carbon footprint popping a lot on your feed on Earth's day, making you curious about what exactly is it? Well, carbon footprint means the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product.
Carbon footprint doesn't only include carbon dioxide emission but is calculated by taking into account all six of the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases like Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Hydrofluorocarbons, Perfluorocarbons and Sulphur hexafluoride.
All these gases have the ability to trap heat in the atmosphere causing global warming. Every time you book an uber, take a train ride or order food, you're adding to these greenhouse gas emission.
If this all seems a bit too technical then just understand this - the higher carbon footprint you have, the worse it is for our earth. So, here are small really small things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and save the earth.
1. Choose local
Your eating habits are a major source of carbon emissions. Instead of going for exotic foods, try to switch to local foods available in the season. Transportation of food through trucks, ships, rails or planes uses fossil fuels for fuel and cooling leading to high GHG emissions.
2. Avoid fast fashion
Thrift instead of buying new trendy, cheap items that go out of style quickly. This seemingly small thing results in major landfills across the globe where they produce methane while they decompose, so go for sustainable clothing instead.
3. That dear old jhola is a friend
Remember your parents taking a jhola or reusable bag while they used to go shopping? Adopt that habit. Instead of buying bags everytime you go shopping or using plastic bags, take your own bag and save on money as well as carbon emission.
4. Use energy-efficient products
When going appliances shopping, look for the appliances with high energy saving ratings. The higher the rating, the more the savings. It might be a bit costly, but that's a one time price you pay to save energy and in turn saving earth.
5. Avoid products with excessive packaging
You don't really need a peeled orange packed in plastic wrap. While shopping, be mindful of the products you buy by avoiding as much of excessive packaging as possible.
6. Don't leave that light on
The lesson we learnt in school and forgot to follow. Whenever leaving a room, make sure that all the appliances like fan, lights, ac, etc are turned off. You won't just save on electricity bills, you'll also be saving the earth. And your dad will be really happy about it.
7. Switch your lights bulbs for LEDs
Normal light bulbs waste 90% of their energy as heat while CFLs waste 80%. Switch to LED lights which might be a bit costly but save a lot of energy and last up to 25 times longer.
8. Go desi - use a bucket instead of a shower
You can save a lot of water by using a bucket instead of taking a shower. This desi funda will help you save water and the earth.
9. Go for an air cooler instead of an air conditioner
Ditch the AC, go desi. Bad jingles aside, an air cooler is a better option than an AC. Sure, it uses water but an AC uses CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon) and HFC (hydro-chlorofluorocarbons) as their refrigerant, which is more harmful to the environment.
10. While taking a flight, check for the carbon emission
Follow the general car pooling and using public transport guidelines but also check on the carbon emission when it comes to flights. You can find the carbon emission information while booking a flight, if possible, go for a flight which emits lesser carbon.
11. Adopt the small habits to save water
Turn off the tap while you're brushing your teeth. Take one bath a day instead of multiple baths while using a bucket instead of taking a shower. If you have a leaking tap, fix it as soon as possible. These seemingly small things go a long way in conserving water.
Don't let the taxes to be the only motivator for you to adopt eco-friendly habits. These are very small things but with huge impact. And at last, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.