Reduce your environmental impact by adopting a few simple habits.
When it comes to maintaining the health of our planet, we all want to make sure that the decisions we make every day are helping more than they’re hurting. And though the devastating impacts of climate change continue to shed light on some of the worst of our habits, they are also showing us where we can start making the biggest improvements to our carbon footprints. From the CO2e emissions that come from our daily commutes to the trash we toss into the dumpster without a second thought, there are numerous ways that we can move through our daily routines with a little more intention and not just improve the health of our planet — but improve our own lives in the process.
From extreme weather patterns to the deterioration of once-pristine ecosystems, it’s become more important than ever before that we start making small changes that can have a big impact on our planet’s future.
How to reduce environmental damage
To help you take the first step toward adopting more green behaviors and environmentally friendly habits, we put together a list of the six easiest and most impactful ways that you can cut down on your own environmental footprint and get closer to living a net-zero lifestyle.
Cut the Coal
One of the hands-down biggest contributors to climate change comes in the form of CO2e emissions. CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is one of a number of gases that are emitted when certain fuels are burned to generate electricity, power your car, and even produce your steak dinner. The problem is that when this CO2e builds up too much, it disrupts the planet’s natural rhythms and, in short, contributes to climate change. And out of all the CO2e that is emitted across the US every year, nearly 21% of it is a result of burning coal, which is why it’s high time for us to ditch coal and embrace more eco-friendly habits and more renewable forms of energy — and fast.
Here are six ways you can cut down on your coal consumption, starting today.
1. Keep cool when washing clothes
Love it or hate it, laundry day is your chance to not just wash and fold, but to reduce your environmental impact. Aside from being mindful of how much water you use in each load, it’s important to also minimize the amount of hot water you use in each load. While it may be tempting to use scalding hot water to really get the dirt out, washing 4 out of 5 loads in cold water instead can reduce your emissions by 864 pounds of CO2e, or 432 pounds of coal, every year.
2. Try out Meatless Mondays
Our diets don’t just affect how our bodies feel, but how the planet feels. That’s why choosing sustainably grown products at the supermarket is so important. But your impact doesn’t stop there. If you eat meat, consider eating vegetarian meals one day a week instead. Because of the impact that raising livestock can have on the environment, reducing your personal consumption by even one meal can reduce your emissions by 1,014 pounds of CO2e, or 507 pounds of coal, every year.
3. Reduce, reuse — and always recycle
Everyone knows that recycling is important, and luckily most cities and neighborhoods around the US have efficient systems of picking up, processing, and reusing recyclable goods. This helps to keep harmful products from entering the landfills and, even worse, our oceans and waterways. By committing to recycling every day, you can reduce your emissions by 1,274 pounds of CO2e, or 637 pounds of coal, every year.
4. Hop on your bike, not in the car
There’s nothing better than finding a way to reduce your impact on the environment and improve your health at the same time. And biking does just this. Whether you’re headed to a friend’s house or commuting to work, the more often you hop on your bike instead of in your car, the better your impact on the environment will be. Just by committing to bike to and from work every day instead of driving, you can reduce your emissions by 2,114 pounds of CO2e, or 1,057 pounds of coal, every year.
5. Swap out your gas guzzler for an electric car
If you find yourself in the market for a new car, consider going the eco-friendly route and buying a hybrid car instead of a car with a standard gasoline-powered engine. Gas-powered engines can contribute around 11,435 pounds of CO2e every year — which is a big deal when there are so many of them on the road. Driving a hybrid car can help reduce your emissions by 5,177 pounds of CO2e, or 2,587 pounds of coal, every year.
6. Power your home with clean energy
When it comes to learning how to reduce your environmental impact, switching to clean energy is by far the most impactful — and easiest — option. Every year, the average home uses around 12,146 kWh of electricity. While your electricity company may offer cleaner energy options, you’ll never really know how much of the energy you’re using to power your home is from clean, renewable sources and how much of it comes from dirty non-renewable fossil fuels that pollute our environment. Just by switching to clean energy, you can reduce your emissions by 13,020 pounds of CO2e, or 6,507 pounds of coal, every year — without doing any extra work or changing your lifestyle.
Inspire offers you a way to make sure that 100% of your energy usage is matched with 100% clean energy, every day, no matter what. And we make switching easy — in just a few minutes, you can start supporting 100% clean energy generation across the US. Find out more here.