Our carbon footprint measures our total impact on the environment, including climate, by estimating how much carbon dioxide we produce in order to support our current lifestyles.
A majority of the scientific community believes that the high levels of carbon dioxide produced by industrial countries, such as the United States, along with the currently unprecedented over-population of our planet, is directly linked to the changes in our planet’s climate.
As the current debate over the existence and impact of global warming rages on many of us are becoming more and more interested in learning what it takes to lead a more eco-friendly life. Sadly though, many of us also feel that managing our own carbon dioxide production aka: managing the extend of the impact of our carbon footprint, is too intricate, complex and scientific of a task to tackle. Therefore, we either choose to ignore the issue, because we feel powerless to do anything about it, or express the sentiment that limiting carbon dioxide production is the responsibility of governments and the scientific community.
However, the truth of the matter is that managing the extend of our carbon footprints by creating green homes, through small, financially savvy changes in our everyday lives, is simple.
The Following Is a Short List of Ways You Can Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Plant a Tree
Planting just one tree is one of the best things you can do for the environment. “A single mature tree can absorb carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 lbs./year and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support 2 human beings.”- McAliney, Mike. Arguments for Land Conservation: Documentation and Information Sources for Land Resources Protection, Trust for Public Land, Sacramento, CA, December, 1993.
Best of all is the fact that just a couple of strategically placed trees can add a great deal of aesthetic value to your home as well as help reduce your cooling costs by hundreds of dollars a year.
Walk The Walk For Our Planet
One of most effective ways you can help improve the health of our planet is to walk to your destination, whenever possible. According to the experts behind Slate’s new Green Challenge Program, one gallon of gasoline, which weighs six pounds, produces 19 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Not, only will this increased activity level help you shed a few pounds, or make it easier for you to maintain your ideal weight, but it will also save you hundreds of dollars in gasoline costs as well as wear-and-tear costs on your car from unnecessary use.
Share Your Journey
Whenever it is not possible for you to walk to your destination, organize car pools or join ride sharing clubs. Not only will this help cut down on the amount of gasoline used and save you lots of money in the long-run, but it will also help you build stronger ties with your co-workers, neighbors, friends and family.
Embrace The Internet
Today, the Internet is a comprehensive source of information, news, and entertainment. So, embrace the Internet and save hundreds of trees a year from being cut down to make newspapers, magazines and so forth. Since, a majority of the information posted on the Internet is free you will also save a great deal of money on the cost of newspapers and magazine subscriptions.
Buy Rechargeable Batteries
A four-pack of rechargeable batteries costs around $8 to $12 dollars, at most retail stores and a charger costs around $20. So, by investing around $30 you will have a set of batteries that can be used over and over again. Realistically speaking, if we compare the cost of the regular batteries available for purchase with the cost of rechargeable batteries available in most retail stores, it becomes obvious that one can either save money in the long-run by purchasing rechargeable batteries or break even on the investment.
However, financial incentives aside, you will be doing the planet a favor by choosing rechargeable batteries over regular batteries because one 4-pack of rechargeable batteries can help reduce the impact of your carbon footprint by as much as 1,000 pounds, over the life of the batteries, (around600-1000 recharges, depending on the type of batteries), which is significantly longer than the life of regular batteries.
Buy Long-Life CFL (Compact Fluorescent) Light Bulbs
The next time you want to replace your light bulbs purchase long-life CFL light bulbs. Because these light bulbs last 15 times longer than regular light bulbs and use 80% less electricity than regular light bulbs they will save you a great deal of money in the long-run.
Buy a Faucet Water Filter
Contrary to popular belief, filtered tap water is just as safe to drink as bottled water. By filtering your own water you will not only reduce the number of plastic bottles being produced each year but you will also help cut down on the amount of carbon dioxide produced through the manufacturing process and shipment of the bottled water.
Best of all, a water filter, on average, costs less than one 24-pack of bottled water and its cartridges, which each last for well over a month, cost less than a fraction of the cost of a 24-pack of bottled water.
For more ideas about how to reduce your carbon footprint please see: 100 Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint