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Many people may think that to reduce your carbon footprint you have to do many fancy things like missing out or changing your whole lifestyle. This is not true, however, you still might have to change some things. But instead of providing you with the ever-same list of "using your own coffee cup," "bring your own shopping bag," I want to provide you with effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint a lot!
You can calculate your carbon footprint here.
Here are my top eleven tips to living a more sustainable life:
1. Eat less meat.
I am not telling anyone how much meat they shall eat, or that they should go vegeterian, or vegan. But, for example, following the mediterranean diet can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint, according to multiple studies. Here is one.
2. Eat seasonal.
When going to a grocery store, you will see that you can get most of the offered foods all year round. But this is only possible by shipping fruits and vegetables all around the world. Try to eat seasonal foods, or if you really are craving something non-seasonal, at least buy organic, and look for the closest geographical option (Living in Europe comes in handy with this one!).
3. Eat regional.
This kind of goes hand in hand with number two; but eating regional (at least most of the times) is crucial if you want to become more eco-friendly. Sure you can still buy non-regional products, but try to make these an exception from your normal diet.
4. Eat organic.
It is not only a lot better for the environment but also for your health. Especially when it comes to meat and dairy, I only buy organic. I love cheese, but I want my cheese to be organic after all. The environment, and the animals will thank you for it.
5. Fly less:
Yes, this might be the hardest pill to swallow for some of us, but flying destroys your carbon footprint like nothing else. To fly less is one of the most important, but also hardest steps for many of us. If you need to fly, think about donating money to atmosfair. They will evaluate your flights impact on the planet, and you can donate an amount of money, with which they will support reforestation, and other types of eco-friendly projects.
6. Use Ecosia.
Switch from google as your go-to search engine to ecosia. Ecosia is non-profit, and will spend a fixed amount (~0,13 ct) per search on reforestation projects all over the world. 100 percent legal, and free!
7. Buy secondhand.
Not only when it comes to clothes, but especially when it comes to electronics, there are thousands of people online, trying to sell their old electronics for good. You can save money, while doing good for the environment.
8. Reuse or share.
Try to reuse things as often as you can. For example I reuse receipts for shopping lists, plastic bags can be reused for trash, or I put dirty clothes or shoes in them when I travel. Old t-shirts can serve as kitchen towels, the list goes on and on and on. Just go on ecosia, and search for reusing "XY."
Another thing that can really bother me sometimes is that people buy everything for themselves. For example, before buying something you might only use once or twice; ask your family, friends, or neighbors whether they have the item. I am pretty sure they will share.
9. Shop less fast fashion.
The fashion industry is the second most-polluting industry. Therefore, if you want to go green, try to buy less fast fashion. If you are a shopping victim, try going for secondhand options, and if you really can't stop yourself from buying an item, at least make sure that you are going to wear it a lot. This way the resources that were needed to produce the item won't be wasted by laying around in your closet.
10. Resell or donate your old stuff.
This is easy, and you can also make money out of your old stuff. As Macklemore once sang: "One man's trash is another mans treasure."
11. Use your car less (or share your ride).
Driving less will reduce your carbon footprint easily; try walking, riding your bike, or using public transportation. However, if you have to use your car, for example to get to work, try to share your ride with someone. This way at least one person can leave their car at home.