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A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from the production, use and end-of-life of a product or service. It includes carbon dioxide — most commonly emitted by humans — and methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere, causing global warming. Most of a person’s carbon footprint typically is from transportation, housing and food.
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Here are a few of the simpler and less expensive suggestions from various sources on how to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Drive less and fly less.
- Walk more and bike more.
- Keep your car’s tires properly inflated and get regular tune-ups.
- Use the cold water cycle for washing clothes and use full loads.
- Stop buying water in plastic. Get a reusable water bottle.
- Keep stuff out of the landfill. Sell items you no longer use to thrift shops or give them to charity. Have a yard sale.
- Buy in bulk to avoid small packages.
- Buy fewer new clothes.
- Compost your food waste if possible.
- If shopping for appliances, lighting, office equipment or electronics, look for Energy Star products, which are certified to be more energy efficient.
- Take shorter showers.
- Use a low-flow showerhead.
- Shop at a farmer’s market. Purchasing local options reduces carbon emissions because goods that travel fewer miles to get to the consumer create a smaller carbon footprint.
- When you shop, bring your own bags.