Did you see our mega post about 100 ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle?
This post is like a bite-sized round 2. It's 5 of the most effective ways to lower your carbon footprint.
1. Take one less round-trip transatlantic flight:
It's estimated that one round-trip transatlantic flight from either NYC to Europe or NYC to San Francisco has a warming equivalent of 2-3 tons of carbon dioxide per person.
To put that into perspective, the average American creates around 20 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. If everyone lived like the average American we would need 5 Earths to support humanity.
So, ideally we'd only be releasing 4 tons of carbon into the atmosphere and that one round-trip flight would equate 1/2 if not 3/4 of our carbon emissions.
Travel and 'wanderlust' is becoming more and more popular so we have to find a way to mesh these two ideals.
A couple of ideas are to take longer and more meaningful trips rather than short ones, buy carbon off-sets, and travel without flying.
If you're looking for inspiration, check out Evelina who's traveling the whole world without flying.
Check out our tips on reducing waste while traveling.
2. Eat plant-based:
I have heard that if cattle were a country, it would be the 3rd largest polluter behind the US and China. But, I've also head the same stat about food waste.
So, let's just assumed that they're tied. One of the best things you can do is stop eating so many animal products.
Animal agriculture is incredibly wasteful. We destroy swaths of rainforest to create more land for cattle to graze because we're consuming meat at such an alarming rate.
The average American eats almost 3/4 of a pound of meat a day! Beyond the environmental impact, this isn't healthy. We can all make strides to cut the amount of meat we're eating.
Start small and work your way up. Start with meatless Mondays. Then go for 2-3 days a week or eat veg breakfasts and lunches saving animal products for dinner only.
3. Have one fewer child:
This isn't a popular topic, but a great way to reduce your carbon emissions is to have one fewer child.
Every child that's born in the developed world creates almost 60 tons of carbon emissions each year. It's estimated that each American child multiplies the mothers carbon footprint by 6.
I know that this is an incredibly sensitive top and put this here just as something to think about.
4. Buy less, opt for second hand:
A large portion of our emissions come from manufacturing and shipping. One of the best ways to avoid all of those emissions is to stop buying so much stuff.
The average American buys and consumes SO much. Instead of immediately running out and buying things, take sometime to really think about your purchases.
Put in place a spending ban for the thirty days. If you still REALLY want it after 30 days, then buy it.
Before you purchase anything new check with friends and family to see if they have an extra lying around or check with your local secondhand market!
5. Don't waste food:
Now, we're getting to food waste. Don't waste the food! You can get all of our tips for avoiding food waste here.
If you're looking for more inspiration, take this quiz!