The past few decades have blessed us with many modern conveniences. Air travel is cheaper and easier, food is individually packaged for quick snacking, and we can adjust the temperature of our homes with the touch of a button (even from our phones!).
With these new conveniences, however, come a few downfalls. In some cases, our modern lifestyles and daily habits are harming our most important home: Mother Earth.
Climate change is a massive and complex issue. As an individual, making a change can feel overwhelming, confusing, and even hopeless. Big advancements are needed at worldwide levels to reverse the damage and keep our planet healthy for generations to come.
But that doesn’t mean that our individual efforts are wasted! In fact, they may be just as important. There are many simple ways we can make tiny changes that add up to big shifts. Let’s dive deeper into our carbon footprints and learn a few ways we can make a difference.
What Is A Carbon Footprint?
A carbon footprint is a way to measure how our individual actions and consumption contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases (and therefore climate change). The bulk of our carbon footprint will be calculated from our transportation, housing, food, and purchasing habits.
Transportation typically makes up a good deal of our carbon footprint when we consider the miles we travel by car, bus, train, and plane. Our housing costs, energy use, shopping choices, and what we put on our plates are also considered in our footprint. Each item we purchase has a long history behind it – it was produced, transported, stored, and finally used and discarded by us. These stages of life all have an impact on the environment.
In our modern age, it’s nearly impossible to live life without having a carbon footprint, but we can make better choices that support the environment rather than harm it.
5 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Each day we have the power to make a tiny – yet impactful – difference for the environment. We’ve gathered five easy and simple ways you can reduce your carbon footprint and take a step in the right direction.
1. The Master Tip: Refuse, reduce, reuse, rot, recycle.
With a growing climate consciousness across the world, the low and no-waste movement is gaining traction. The smartest habit you can take to reduce your carbon footprint is to always remember these “5 R’s.”
The most important “R” here is refuse. We can make a massive impact just by being more selective about what we choose to buy or allow into our lives. Refuse to purchase items that are toxic, highly manufactured, made with plastic, or create harmful waste. Support companies (like Bearaby!) that are taking action to create their products sustainably, avoid heavy processing, and package in low-waste, zero-plastic, or recyclable material.
Reduce your waste and use only what you need. This takes some getting used to but take time to consider how much you really need. You might be surprised at how much you overuse things like toilet paper, paper towels, water, light, plastic wrap, trash bags, and more.
Reuse and recycle items whenever you can. Bring a reusable bag to the grocery store, a mug to the coffee shop, or upcycle those clothes from last season. Avoid single-use items when possible.
Ready to rot?! The best way to deal with kitchen scraps is to invest a little time in learning to compost. Composting turns food scraps that would otherwise end up in a landfill into high-performance fertilizer for your lawn or garden.
2. Travel smarter
Don’t worry, you won’t have to swear off air travel or sell your car to make a difference. But you can become more aware and mindful about how and when you travel.
When it comes to day-to-day travel, walk or bike whenever possible. Not only is this excellent for your health (and helps to encourage a good sleep at night), but you’ll reduce your footprint by traveling clean.
For many people, walking or biking to work or other daily stops is just not feasible – and that’s okay! If you live in an area where public transportation is available and reliable, give it a try. Riding the bus or train to work gives you extra time to read, meditate, or even take a nap. You can’t do that while driving...
If your city doesn’t have that infrastructure, try to carpool with others at your school or office. Consolidate shopping trips and outings so you can be in the car as little as possible. With less time on the road, you’ll save gas, miles and wear and tear on your vehicle, time, and the environment. Win-win!
As for air travel, it’s not realistic to give up amazing vacations or visiting family to reduce your carbon footprint. But we can travel smarter. Bring a reusable (empty) water bottle, a cloth napkin, snacks, and e-books with you to the airport to avoid having to buy these wasteful items on your trip. Pack light and avoid checking a bag whenever possible.
3. Move towards a plant-based, seasonal diet
Animal products are some of the biggest contributors to our daily carbon footprints. Lamb, beef, cheese, pork, turkey, and chicken rank highest as foods that emit greenhouse gases through farming, production, and packaging.
Not everyone needs to become a vegetarian to reduce their footprint (although that is an option, and here at Bearaby we have several vegans on staff). Try out Meatless Monday or swap fish for beef occasionally.
A plant-based diet isn’t just good for the planet – it can do wonders for your health as well. Many health concerns like pain, inflammation, weight gain, brain fog, anxiety, depression, and heart disease can be improved with a plant-based diet. Studies show that even our sleep can improve with a diet rich in healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
4. Watch your water, ease up on energy
Mindfulness around water and energy use is key to reducing your footprint and helping our planet. In a country where things like water and electricity seem to just appear, it can be difficult to remember that these are not magical, free, and endless resources.
Switch to energy-efficient home systems, put your heating and cooling on a timer, wash clothes in cold water, use a wash basin for washing dishes, and avoid leaving the tap running.
5. Plant something
Help Mother Nature fight back by planting something in her honor. Whether you love to garden, need a friendly house plant, or donate to a cause that actively plants trees, getting your hands dirty can help reduce your impact and make a positive change.
Why not bring a new plant into the bedroom? Plants give off live-giving oxygen and can improve your health and mood. Between your weighted blanket and a thriving new bedroom fern, you’ll be enjoying the best sleep of your life.
Bearaby’s Promise To The Planet
At Bearaby, we strive to reduce our carbon footprint and help to heal the planet. We actively work to use the most sustainable business practices possible, every step of the way.
Our weighted blankets are made with eco-friendly fibers and delivered to you in recyclable, reusable packaging (you’ll never find plastics or synthetics here!). We make our blanket bags from sustainable cotton and hope that you’ll find tons of ways to reuse them in your home.
We believe that the best way to do something is the right way, and we are proud to provide peaceful sleep in the most sustainable way possible. Together, our tiny changes will make a beautiful difference.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint In 5 Simple Steps
Let’s dive deeper into our carbon footprints and learn a few ways we can make a difference.
Your carbon footprint estimates the amount of greenhouse emissions you contribute to with transportation, housing, shopping, diet, and more.
There are simple ways to reduce your negative impact. Start with refusing to buy toxic and wasteful items and spend wisely with companies that operate sustainably.
Bearaby is a zero-waste company dedicated to helping humans (and the planet) live better.
Little changes add up - don’t let climate anxiety overwhelm you or keep you from doing your part.
Did you know?
In 2019, about 43.1 billion tons of CO2 from human activities were emitted into the atmosphere.