7 Unusual Ways to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint

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Living a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle means more than just changing your lightbulbs. Here are a few ways you may not have thought of to shrink your carbon footprint.

Did you know that the average person living in the U.S. produces 17 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year?  (You can find out how much you are producing via the EPA’s free Carbon Footprint Calculator.)

If you’re trying to “go green,” you’ve probably already switched to energy-efficient light bulbs, and maybe even purchased a more fuel efficient vehicle. But what else can you do to reduce your environmental impact?

Here are 7 unusual ways you can shrink your carbon footprint, and help keep the planet clean and green.

1. Keep your tires properly inflated.

A flat tire—or even a slightly flat tire—isn’t perfectly round. For those of you who don’t remember high school physics, that means your car has to work much harder, and uses much more gas. That translates to anywhere from 400 to 700 pounds of extra greenhouse gas emissions each year.

2. Stop your junk mail.

Junk mail isn’t just annoying—it’s also really, really bad for the environment…. Keep your mailbox clear of all that trash by opting out of direct mailers.

3. Wash your clothes in cold water—or wash them less.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to wash your bras or jeans after every wear….

When you really need to do laundry, skip the warm and hot water cycles. Washing your clothes in cold water only can save up to 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, per household, per year.

4. Clean the condenser coil of your fridge.

It’s no surprise that the fridge consumes the most energy of any appliance…. One thing you can do is to clean the condenser coil—it’s fairly simple to do, and cleaning it about once a year can keep the fridge running at maximum efficiency.

5. Buy local and seasonal as often as possible.

The shorter the distance your food has to travel, the fewer resources (fossil fuels, electricity, water) those avocados or strawberries use up…. For truly local fruits and veggies, find a good farmers market near you.

6. Eat less meat.

…Since it takes approximately 11 times more energy to produce livestock for meat than it does to produce grain, even going meatless one day each week could make a big difference.

7. Use power strips for your appliances.

…When your computer and TV are plugged in, they’re draining electricity from the outlet—even if they’re not on….


Read the full article at Thrive.com


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