Everyone of us can contribute to a lower carbon footprint.
According to WHO, a carbon footprint is a measure of the impact your activities have on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced through the burning of fossil fuels and is expressed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes. — Source
Why it matters to lower your carbon footprint?
Global warming presents many environmental dangers, but as individuals, we pay the costs of climate change out of our own pockets. … When we lower our individual carbon footprints — by reducing our consumption, using clean energy, or offsetting our emissions, we’re investing in our long-term financial security. — Source
So knowing that we have an impact on our earth and lives, I decided that I was going to make choices to reduce my carbon footprint. For me, I decided to change a few things in my life, which actually aligned well with minimalism and zero waste.
Change Your Diet
I decided to start eating more vegan and vegetarian meals. Thankfully I’m lactose intolerant, so I eat very little milk products. Additionally, I used to eat mainly rice and meat growing up, but now I have incorporated a lot of vegetables and meat replacements, such as mushrooms and potatoes to fill me up.
Another thing that has helped is that for over 10 years I have stopped eating pork, and more recently I had decided to stop eating beef. There are still many alternatives to eating that doesn’t involve costly food items. Junk foods, and processed goods are also not so carbon-friendly choices.
Reduce Your Consumption
Less is more, is the common phrase known in the minimalism realm. I think that one of the greatest thing about minimalism is how you can end up cutting out needless over consumption, and also be more mindful about what is being consumed. And this doesn’t have to mean just material things, but also the use of energy and whether to partake in an experience because it may not be so earth friendly.
Use more sustainable products
So it’s unrealistic to think that we can just not buy anything, but I think if we can buying more sustainably is important. Sometimes I prefer a particular restaurant over another because they will use sustainable packaging. Or I may avoid cheap plastic items and instead go with lightweight steel or glass products instead. I may also choose to buy a reusable grocery bag versus accepting a plastic bag from the store. And maybe choosing a detergent because it’s biodegradable and more earth friendly than another product.
This is probably one of the things I’m working to do more, not only to support local mom-n-pop shops, but also to help reduce the amount of waste generated from items that have to travel longer distances. Obviously it’s not possible to only buy local, but I think this pairs well with the above idea of reducing our consumption and buying more sustainable products. We can always do a little more.
Treating our home (the earth), and others well will give us a sense of purpose, and also improve the lives of those around us. I think that if we were given a life, at least we have a choice of how we will behave in it. And for me I believe that it’s important to find ways to nurture our planet, and to be compassionate to ourselves. And one way of doing that is by lowering our carbon footprint, so that we leave this planet better than when we entered it.