Since its introduction in 1907, plastic has enabled great inventions and innovation, but also significant environmental consequences on Earth. On April 22, 1970 Earth Day was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, and is now celebrated globally in over 193 countries. Besides the official date and celebration, there are many things that we all can do to make Every Day Earth Day.
Every little thing you do adds up. The average American in 2014 had a “carbon footprint” (i.e. they produced) 21.5 metric tons of CO2 according to University of Michigan. That’s three times over the global carbon footprint average of 4.9 metric tons CO2 in 2013 according to The World Bank. Find out your estimated carbon footprint here and imagine what you can do every day to reduce your carbon footprint.
Start asking questions about alternatives. What alternative life choices can you make that will help the environment and your bottom line? We could all put more effort to recycle, reduce, and eliminate trash. All of these efforts can help reduce your carbon footprint. What are things you can do every day to reduce your carbon footprint? Here are some suggestions to start:
- Bring a reusable bag with you when you shop or use paper bags over plastic.
- Bring your own clean thermal mug to cafes. Most cafes discount 10 cents or even as high as 50 cents off your purchase!
- Use a cloth towel to dry your hands. Or you can opt out on materials and just air dry.
- When possible, walk, bike, roller blade, or skate in order to avoid carbon emissions.
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains, eat less meat, and drink lots of water.
- Limit your shower to 10 minutes or less.
- Use a toothbrush that is made from compostable materials.
- Compost your food waste at home. Keep a container with lid at the bottom of your sink and dump it at your local composting site or create a compost bin in your backyard.
- Skip out on the plastic bottles and reuse a container for your water.
These are some easy ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. Take the time to do your research and see what you can do. It’s important to remember that you can make an impact with the little things you do every day. The more you do, the more you can fuel change to your culture of sustainability.
If you want to implement these practices in your workplace, you can apply for BizRecycling grant (up to $10,000) that helps businesses in Ramsey and Washington Counties to implement recycling and organics programs. Let us know your feedback, questions, and comments.
Stay tuned for more environmental coverage in the coming weeks. I will be doing a “Zero Waste Week Challenge” and share all about my experience!