We are all trying to do our part to take care of the only earth we have, but some lifestyle changes are easier than others. Here are some easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint that won’t feel like you are punishing yourself.

Driving

Driving is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions, but it’s not always feasible to ditch your car. When possible, you should definitely try to walk or bike more, which will not only avoid carbon emissions, but will also make you feel healthier. If you live in a big city, stop being afraid of public transportation, as it will get you to your destination carbon-free, and it will also avoid you the daunting task of finding a parking spot downtown.

However, if you absolutely must drive your car, consider carpooling. There are websites and services that will connect you to carpoolers in your route. Your driving style can affect your CO2 emissions too: speeding wastes gas and money, reduces mileage in your car and increases your carbon footprint. Avoid traffic when possible and keep your tires properly inflated.

carbon-emissions-CO2-footprint

Food

This is something most people don’t think about, but the food you consume absolutely impacts your carbon footprint. Cut down of beef and dairy, as it takes a lot of resources to raise cows for consumption. When possible, go to your local farmer’s market and eat locally produced food. Turns out that transport and storing of food is a big contributor to global CO2 emissions.

Home

Reduce the energy your consume at home to reduce your whole family’s carbon footprint. Make sure your home is properly insulated and sealed. This will greatly reduce the energy you use to keep it warm in winter and cool in summer and it will save you money on the electricity bill as well. Reduce and recycle as much as you can and teach your kids (if you have them) the importance of separating organic, glass and plastic when disposing the garbage. Use water-efficient shower heads, faucet heads, washing machines and toilets, and wash your car less often. If you have a garden, get plants that are appropriate for the climate in your area to avoid watering them too often. It is also a great idea to install a drip irrigation system so your plants get exactly as much water as they need.

Advocate for alternative energy whenever you can. If you have the chance, install solar panels to the roof of your home. This can be expensive upfront, but many manufacturers offer financing options that will let you spread out the payments. And you will earn back that money by paying a lot less in your electricity bill. Some states even allow you to sell electricity generated by your panels back to the grid, so you will be helping the planet and your wallet.