Carbon dioxide accumulates in the Earth's atmosphere, trapping solar heat energy and contributing to global warming. Many everyday activities, from driving to turning on a light, increase carbon dioxide emissions, which means you could be contributing to global warming without even knowing it. Fortunately, taking simple steps to cut your energy use can help to reduce your carbon footprint and protect the planet from the effects of greenhouse gases and climate change.
In the Home
Virtually any steps you take to reduce energy consumption in your home help to reduce your carbon footprint. Unplug appliances and turn off lights when you're not using them to save electricity. Conserve energy with a programmable thermostat, and swap old appliances for modern, energy-efficient units. Add insulation and seal openings in your home with caulk to reduce demand for heating and cooling. Even something as simple as changing a light bulb can help reduce your impact. If every household in the United States replaced five incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones, it would create a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions produced by 10 million cars, according to the National Forest Foundation.
Leave your car at home whenever possible to reduce your carbon footprint. Walk, bike or take public transportation to work or school, and when you must drive, try to combine trips to conserve fuel. Keep your vehicle properly maintained, and check oil and air filters often. Simply keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure helps you to save 181 to 317 kilograms (400 to 700 pounds) of carbon emissions each year, according to the Carbon Fund.
Offset Your Impact