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Personal Choices You Can Make to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Dylan Welch Green.Org
Personal Choices You Can Make to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Human activities have caused a significant increase in carbon. For instance, man-made carbon dioxide accounts for three-fourths of the current human-emitted greenhouse gases. This comes from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, causing a significant rise in global temperature. We have put together a few simple personal choices you can make to reduce carbon footprint.

There are various dangers associated with climate change, as National Geographic discusses. For one, it can cause food insecurity, since factors like rising temperatures and changing precipitation patterns are resulting in declining crop yields and fish stocks. The increase in temperature can also make heat waves deadlier, causing health problems like heart attacks and strokes.

However, countries around the world pledged to limit global warming to below 2°C through the Paris Agreement. As an individual, you can certainly take part in reducing your carbon footprint. Below are changes you can make to your everyday life:

Rethink your transportation method

Stay-at-home protocols have resulted in fewer vehicles on the road, which has already helped lower our carbon footprint. However, if you need to go somewhere, driving a car may not be the most eco-friendly option. Instead, you can opt for methods that don’t require fuel, such as walking or riding a bike. This also gives you a chance to exercise and get healthier as an added advantage. If your destination is too far for either method, you can consider riding public transportation, which is more economical and better for the environment. You can even share a ride with someone.

If you’re concerned about potentially catching a virus in public transportation and still prefer being in your own car, you can still make your drive greener. For instance, switch off your ignition if you’re in a traffic jam or while waiting curbside. Another idea is to optimize your route to avoid taking unnecessary roads and shorten your trip as much as possible.

Quit smoking

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, but more than that, smoking is also extremely harmful to the environment. Cigarettes are small, but their impact on the planet is massive. Treehugger details that “tobacco-growing is now responsible for 5% of deforestation worldwide and as much as 30% of deforestation in tobacco-growing countries.” Plus, cigarette butts are the most littered item on Earth, and the filters are made of plastic and contain toxic chemicals. This means they contribute to plastic pollution and leach harmful chemicals to waterways. You can stop participating in that harmful cycle by quitting smoking. One way you can do so is through behavioral therapy, which can help you create a plan to quit smoking, like finding a hobby you can turn your attention to and finding ways to wean yourself off cigarettes.

One option is looking for alternatives to satisfy your nicotine cravings, such as pouches. Prilla states that nicotine pouches don’t give you stained teeth or a lingering odor that comes from traditional cigarettes. And using these pouches is simple — just roll and tuck underneath your top lip and enjoy the flavor. They’re better for the environment since the pouches are made of materials such as plant-based food additives and food-grade flavorings. Not only do nicotine pouches help you keep off smoking, but they also cut down the toxic waste that cigarette sticks generate.

Avoid single-use plastics

Efforts to avoid single-use plastics have been well underway pre-pandemic, with key areas like San Francisco and Massachusetts banning single-use plastics. However, the World Economic Forum shows that the threat of COVID-19 contamination has overturned these efforts. The concern for health and hygiene has caused a demand for disposable items like masks and wipes. Some food businesses also don’t allow customers to bring their own containers.

However, there are still ways to avoid unnecessary single-use plastic. As Dylan Welch writes, you should rethink the things you use every day. For instance, with straws, you can opt for a reusable one or simply not use a straw at all. Also still bring your reusable containers and cups around with you since you might chance upon a food business that will accept them. There are many reusable alternatives to the single-use plastics you have at home too — such as shampoo and conditioner bars, beeswax or silicone wraps, and reusable safety razors.

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