For this week’s blog, I was naturally attracted to a colorful little book right at the front of the library titled……
While “How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint” may not be the most exciting book, I thought it would relate to the assignment perfectly given that we recently talked about environmentally friendly and environmentally hazardous companies and policies.
The book lists a bunch of different ways to have a friendly impact in the environment, with lists of ways that can be used in your everyday heating and cooling, electricity and electronics, cooking, washing and cleaning, gardening, shopping, children, work, leisure and transportation. Two of these topics that I thought were interesting was electronics and shopping, because since these are two of the things that I partake in on a regular basis, I thought that if I took a page out of the book and followed their instructions, I might reduce my carbon footprint on the environment.
When buying your next electronic appliance, you should keep your eyes peeled for the energy star logo that we are probably familiar with by this point. If it is a charger than your are buying, look for ones labeled “-dV.” These ones reduce their energy use to a smaller once the appliance is fully charged, rather than continuing to charge at full strength and suck up unnecessary energy. Building off chargers, when you’re not using them, unplug them!! Even if nothing is attached, many chargers still use energy.
One thing that I think our generation is particularly guilty of is that we constantly want the newest technology available. The instant that we are eligible for a new phone upgrade, we’re off to Verizon/ATT/Sprint to get our brand new IPhone 4S with more capacity than he previous one. This is a habit that we should break if we want to reduce our footprint. The cell phone companies encourage us to upgrade to a newer and better phone even though the one that we had was working just fine. We should avoid wasting our raw materials and change phones only when we really need to. Even then, don’t just throw out your old phone. Pass it on to charity for recycling so that parts of the phone can be salvaged instead of going to waste.
Moving on to shopping, one of the biggest things emphasized was the notion of eating local. I think we covered this topic pretty extensively with the Red Tomato case and the Farmer’s Diner, but the fact that this concept is written in the book further proves that this is something that we should try to do. The book describes those people who eat local as “locavores.” They restrict their diet to foods sourced within a certain range, say 100 miles or so (sound familiar…Farmers Diner?) In addition, you should always try to keep in mind quality, not quantity. If you cut down the amount you eat, you will be able to afford higher quality, and organic locally produced food. Not only will you have a lower carbon footprint, but your meal will also taste a lot better!
In terms of clothes shopping, you should try to choose clothes that you will wear for YEARS, not just the few months that a certain item is in style. As opposed to shopping for fast fashion styles, try to go for more vintage clothing. Not only is it cheaper, but its usually better made as well. If at last you decide that you no longer need the 5,000 shirts/pants/shoes in your closet, recycle them and donate them to either a charity or your friends, reducing the amount that people will spend on new clothes that will eventually go to waste.
One last thing to keep in mind. BUY LESS! We are all guilty of consuming more than we need, and we take it for granted that we can have as much of anything as we want in most cases. We don’t need the excess food and clothing that we have a on a daily basis. If you really want to reduce your carbon footprint, do less.