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Many Canadians are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint. It can be overwhelming to think about how much we have to do to protect our planet, so try starting small! If everyone makes a few small changes here and there, we can make a big impact together.
Here are our favourite things to do that can help reduce your carbon footprint.
1: Change how you get around
Transportation accounts for 25% of Canada’s emissions. If you drive everywhere, consider a different option, such as public transit, biking or walking. If you can’t avoid driving, talk to your colleagues to see if you can carpool.
This also applies to longer trips. The environmental impact of flying is huge. One return flight has the same carbon impact of a year’s worth of driving! Instead of flying, consider taking a train, which is easier on the environment. If you can’t avoid a flight, consider buying a carbon offset to compensate for the emissions.
2: Buy less
This is an easy one – you don’t have to do anything, you just have to do less! It’s become so easy to buy things with just a few clicks of a button. And while it may seem harmless, buying things you don’t really need can have a negative impact on the environment. Think of the carbon used to ship goods around the world, as well as the impact on landfills if you end up buying things you don’t end up using.
It’s simple: the less we consume, the fewer emissions there are.
Here are a few tips to help you buy less:
- Borrow, buy used and share! If you have a suitcase that sits in your closet for most of the year, lend it to a friend when they need it. They might return the favour to help you avoid buying things you use infrequently. If you do have to buy something new, look for high-quality items that will last a long time.
- If you see something online you feel you can’t live without, try adding it to your cart and walking away for a week. In many cases, you might find you don’t need it after all.
- Shopping is not a cure for boredom. If you’re bored, don’t head to Amazon. Try reading a book, going for a walk, calling a friend or baking cookies instead.
3: Think about what you’re eating
Don’t worry, we’re not going to ask you to give up steak. However, being conscious of food can help you lower your carbon footprint. Try eating foods that are in season and grown close to home. Supporting your local farmer, baker and butcher is great for the environment, and often the tastier option!
You can also consider reducing the amount of meat you consume. Certain livestock have a high carbon impact. Try going meatless a few times a week and see how you like it!
Quick tips to lower your carbon footprint
Here are some quick tips that are good for the environment and might save you a bit of money:
- Instead of using a dryer, hang your clothes outside on a clothesline or inside on a drying rack.
- Wash your clothes in cold water.
- Unplug electronic devices and turn the lights off when you’re not using them.
- Turn the AC up in the summer and the heat down in the winter. A degree or two can make a difference.
- Compost food waste.
What are your favourite ways to reduce your carbon footprint?