We all make an impact on our planet; it’s as certain as death and taxes. That’s why it’s important to understand our personal ecological footprint, and how to reduce it in honor of Earth Day on April 22nd.
WHAT IS AN ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT?
An ecological footprint is the impact of a person or community on the environment, expressed as the amount of land required to sustain their use of natural resources. America has a larger footprint than other countries worldwide because we take more energy to transport food across the country, eat more meat, and use more gasoline and natural resources. In this case, being bigger isn’t being better, so in order to preserve our earth and reduce your ecological footprint, here are six things you can start doing to help preserve our planet.
SIX WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT:
1. Meatless Mondays: Go without meat one day a week in order to reduce fossil fuels and water intake. On average, it takes 1,850 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef compared to 39 gallons for a pound of vegetables. In terms of fossil fuels, meat production tends to produce more carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, which are the three contributing sources of greenhouse gasses. There is no shortage of recipes online, and after all, it’s good for your health and Oprah Winfrey is a supporter.
2. Drive Less, Carpool More: Not only is carpooling a gas-saver, but it also benefits traffic and the environment. On average, if you carpooled with one other person for 20 miles, your average gas costs would go from $102 to $51. You hear that? No, it’s not a carpool karaoke session with James Corden; it’s your gas bill being cut in half – cha-ching!
3. Change Your Light Bulbs to LED’s: Lessening your ecological footprint is as easy as changing a single bulb in your home. By switching to LED lights, you are not only cutting down your carbon dioxide emissions, but you are also cutting down on your costs since LED lights can last for around 10 years! Sounds like a bright idea!
LED Light Expert
4. Cut Your Water & Electricity Habits: Now that you have switched over to LED lights, why not take it a step further by simply adjusting your electricity and water habits? Turn off lights in rooms you aren’t using and take shorter showers. This will not only improve your bill, but it will also reduce your footprint. If you need help to reduce your water usage, install water-saving fixtures such as low-flow shower heads to be more efficient.
5. Pack Waste-Free Lunches: Use Tupperware or a reusable lunchbox/bag to pack your lunches for work or for your child at school. If you’re feeling extra generous, take it to the next level with reusable silverware, a cloth napkin and a thermos for drinks. This small, everyday gesture can reduce the amount of plastic and paper Americans use on a daily basis. Currently, American waste could circle the equator 300 times from the amount of paper and plastic cups, forks and spoons used. What a waste!
Kristine’s Kitchen Blog
6. Change the Way You Vacation: Traveling is the worst part of any vacation, but make it better by checking this carbon calculator before you book your flight. That way if you get the dreaded middle seat, at least you can have the peace of mind that you had minimal travel impact to the environment. Complete your vacation booking with a green hotel that is environmentally conscious but doesn’t sacrifice luxury. Already planned a vacation before reading this article? No worries! You can also purchase a carbon offset to support emission reduction projects in the U.S.
Shore Hotel Santa Monica
CALCULATE YOUR ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT
These six suggestions are just small ways you can change your everyday life in order to reduce your ecological footprint and minimize carbon emissions and energy usage. Calculate your current ecological footprint and get started on these six ways to reduce your ecological footprint today! Comment below with your ecological footprint number.
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