A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, that is released into our atmosphere by way of certain human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, land clearances and the production and consumption of food, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, transportation, and other services.

Disturbingly, South Africa ranks among the dirtiest energy producers in the world. The South African government has committed to an emission reduction 42% by 2025 against a business-as -usual curve. Climate change is real, but not unsolvable. There are many things you can do to save our planet from an ever-changing climate. Here are five areas where you can begin reducing your carbon footprint:

  1. Food:

Change your diet to limit the amount of meat you eat and increase your intake of fruits, veggies, grains, and beans. Choose local fruits and vegetables that are in season and buy in bulk where you can. You could also cut back on the number of dairy products that you eat. Plan meals ahead to reduce food wastage and compost your food waste.

  1. Packaging:

Avoid using plastic bags and opt for reusable material bags instead. When buying products, try to avoid items with excess packaging – manufacturers will soon get the message that they too need to cut down on the amount of plastic, and non-recyclable materials they use in the packaging of their products.

  1. Transport:

Drive less wherever possible and look after your vehicle. You will save fuel just by making sure that your tires are properly inflated. Remove any extra weight from the car, and on longer trips, turn on the cruise control, which will save on fuel. If you fly for business, choose economy class over business class, since business class is responsible for almost three times as many emissions as economy.

  1. Electricity:

By doing an energy audit of your home, you will soon see where you are wasting energy. Always buy energy-saving products where you can. Turn off lights when you leave a room and unplug electronic devices that are not in use. Laptops require less energy to charge and operate than desktops. 

  1. Water:

Reducing your water usage is essential since there’s only so much water on this earth. We need to cherish the water we have. When you brush your teeth, be sure to turn the tap off, don’t leave it running. Take shorter showers and flush the toilet only when necessary.  Water your garden sparingly, use grey water where you can, and make use of a bucket when washing your vehicle.

If you think about it, there are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Another good idea is to join and follow environmental groups on social media as they will keep you up to date on the latest environmental developments. You can educate yourself further in terms of reducing your carbon footprint by visiting: https://www.earthday.org/take-action/footprint-calculator/

Looking for more ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Contact Letsolo Water and Environmental Services today: https://lwes.co.za/contact-us/

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