Simple Ways to Help the Planet, Right Now
Every day is a great day to do the right thing, especially when it comes to the environment. We’ve come up with some simple and eco-friendly ideas that you can add to your resolution list for the new year.
Every small step to help reduce your carbon footprint, and when done consistently, can lead to sustainable changes that make the world a better place.
One of the most celebrated modernist poets, T.S. Eliot said, “Home is where one starts from.” This rings true for global emissions too, since around two-thirds are linked to private households when using consumption-based accounting as stated in the 2020 Emissions Gap report compiled by the UN Environment Programme (Unep).
Switch to Renewable Energy at Home
Make your home more sustainable and potentially lower your energy costs by switching your electricity and heating to power generated from sources such as solar, wind, biomass and other renewable technologies. Choosing a green energy supplier or installing your own source of renewable energy is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and add momentum to the energy transition.
Around the house, the use of energy monitors and smart thermostats can help you gain insight into your household’s patterns, track energy usage and even minimize monthly heating and cooling costs. Water-saving showerheads, LED lighting and using cold water to wash clothes are just a few other small changes you can make around your home to help benefit the environment.
Switch Up What’s on Your Plate
The proverbial saying ‘You are what you eat’ may apply to your waistline, but the health of the planet depends significantly on what you’re not eating. About one third of all food produced for human consumption goes lost or wasted, according to the United Nations food agency. As individuals, we can make a significant dent in emissions by simply stop wasting food. Especially in middle- and high-income countries, it’s consumers that are mostly responsible: for example, 53% of food waste in Europe comes from households.
By now, you’ve most likely heard that reducing your meat intake has one of the most dramatic effects on leading a low-carbon lifestyle. The pandemic has shifted consumers’ food habits towards introducing more plant-based food and beverages, and 2021 will bring with it a wide variety of vegan meals on offer. Switching to a plant-based meal, even just once or twice a week, can boost your immunity and make your kitchen more sustainable.
Switch Lanes for the Greater Good
Reducing your eco-footprint can be as easy as biking or walking instead of driving. If your destination is further away, public transportation and carpooling offer convenient and environment-friendlier options. For those who prefer air travel, reducing the number of flights taken in a year can significantly reduce your personal carbon footprint.
It’s not only about where you commute or travel. Your footprint is also calculated by the items you consume and how they are transported. By supporting your local farmer’s markets and shopping locally, it reduces transportation emissions, and you can take reusable bags to save on protective plastic packaging.
A low-carbon lifestyle can be as simple or complex as you make it. Perhaps you’re looking to simplify and declutter your life. Or maybe you’re looking to integrate new technologies to help you curb your personal emissions.
No matter which path you take, adding an eco-friendly resolution to this year’s goals is an excellent way to support climate action.