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6 Everyday Changes to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Get More 'Green'

By Mark Harris

With our planet in jeopardy and humans being the culprit, it’s no surprise that to make a better world for our children and grandchildren, we need to start living differently. Namely, we need to start reducing our carbon footprint; using less of the world’s resources.

At the rate we’re working, we’re using more of the planet than there is without replenishment and this means within our children’s lifetimes, they won’t have the natural resources that we have to live our lives. Now is time for change.

But it doesn’t need to be big. Not everyone has to become an animal rights lobbyist or environmentalist; we just need to make minor changes in our home and in our lives that will help save the planet little by little.

Know Where to Throw

Most of us know that we shouldn’t throw batteries in the trash, but it doesn’t stop us doing it. In fact, the problem is that we can’t be bothered to find out what to do with them so we either let them fester in an old knick knack drawer or we throw them in the garbage when we think the neighbours aren’t looking.

 This needs to change.

In order to ‘do our bit’ we all need to understand what can and can’t be disposed of in regular trash and find the place it’s meant to go. For example, Compact Fluorescent Lights, batteries and chemical containers should be disposed of elsewhere to everyday garbage.

Wal-Mart and Home Depot are great places to take these things as they usually have bins where you can drop your old CFLs or batteries without an issue.

Dim the Lights

The light bulbs you use in your house contribute significantly to energy usage within your home. Traditional incandescent bulbs are the most expensive, least energy efficient and least cost-effective, yet most of us still use them.

In fact, they’re so bad that many countries are starting to place bans in shops to prevent future sales of them.

Why not start changing now before it’s too late? Energy-saving bulbs are not only better for the environment, but they will also save you a considerable amount of money each year.

Why not go the whole hog? LED bulbs, despite their higher initial cost, will last more than 10 times as long as a normal bulb, do not release harmful chemicals, saves a tremendous amount of money in the long run and are a hell of a lot brighter.

BYOB

BYOB stands for bring your own bag. When you’re out shopping for groceries or clothes, how many plastic bags do you end up taking that you either throw away, or use to bag your garbage? Too many.

Instead, why don’t you bring your own bags? With plastic being so readily used and so hard to dispose of, it’s become a big problem for our planet. Let’s not contribute. Let’s start thinking sensibly and remembering to pack our fabric bags next time we go!

Save on the Drips

Water makes up most of our planet, yet there is a vast shortage of fresh water to go round. Let’s not pretend, we all waste it in our houses.

Next time you fancy taking a bath, speed up the process and take a shower. You use about a quarter of the water and can be done in ten minutes. It saves you time and money, and saves the planet in the process.
The same goes with brushing your teeth. This is one of the times we’re all guilty of wasting water. Turn the tap off while you brush your teeth and you won’t be pouring money or valuable resources down the drain.

On Your Bike!

Stop driving your car everywhere. The shop is only round the corner; walk!

Petrol is a sure fire way to kill the planet for future generations. The amount we use our cars is beyond ridiculous. Not only do they produce harmful fumes which are dangerous to the environment, they also run on natural resources which are becoming very few and far between.

Why don’t you start walking your children to school, or taking a pedal bike to work? Not only will you save the pennies, you’ll start losing the pounds and you’ll be getting greener in the process.

Cut Out the Buzz

Electricity is also a precious commodity available and abused by the minority on the planet. There are so many chances to save electricity but we just don’t take them.

Turn it off for a start! Turn off lights when you’re not using them, turn your computer off at night rather than letting it sleep, don’t leave your TV on standby etc.

Secondly, start trying to cut down a little. Use a fan instead of air conditioning once in awhile, wash the dishes rather than using the machine.

Lastly, try using different sources to gain your electricity. Renewable energy sources such as wind power or solar are far better for the environment. You could get yourself one of those portable solar power systems and use it in your house every now and then to charge your appliances or to power your computer. That way you’re doing your little bit and getting your energy for free!

Helping to save the planet isn’t hard. It takes a few minor changes to your daily routine and you’re well on your way to ensuring future generations have a planet left when it comes to their turn. All you have to do is be prepared to roll your sleeves up and put in a little effort to reduce the energy your use and stop wasting resources. So come on, give it a go!

About the Author

Mark Harris is an avid hiker and kayaker and when he’s not exploring the outdoors, he loves spending time on the beaches near his home with his lovely wife. He’s always sad at the fact that people don’t take care of nature and urges people to start doing their bit and reducing their carbon footprint. He always says that frequently visiting eco-friendly sites like http://www.go-green-solar-energy.com will inspire people to start taking better care of the planet.

Disclaimer:

The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of sunnyray.org. The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.





Comments:

Kevin says:
17-04-2013


Any concrete reason why we should not put batteries in the garbage?

sunny says:
18-04-2013


I think the main reason is that batteries contain toxic and heavy metals, like cadmium, Cd, mercury, Hg, lead, Pb, and others. They all have strong negative environmental impact.

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