Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

How to travel without all the guilt

Madison Stuerman
Apr 22 · 2 min read

The World Health Organization defines carbon footprint as “a measure of the impact your activities have on the amount of carbon dioxide produced through the burning of fossil fuels.” It is expressed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes.

In easier terms it is the total amount of greenhouse gases generated by an individual’s actions.

How do I measure my carbon footprint?

Reducing your carbon footprint actually sounds a lot harder than it is. Before you can get started you need to know what your carbon footprint number is. There are many online tools to help you determine this number, such as The Nature Conservancy or Carbon Footprint.

In case your kids are interested, here is a kid friendly quiz. For a more in-depth calculator from the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge click here.

What can I do to minimize my footprint?

There are many things you can do to reduce your individual or household impact on the environment.

Start simple:

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Walk, ride a bike, or skate instead of driving a car
  • Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth
  • Replace incandescent lightbulbs with LED lightbulbs
  • Use reusable water bottles and bags instead of plastic

These may require slightly more time, money, or effort, but can have a significant impact on your carbon production:

  • Start a garden
  • Use alternative transportation like bus, train or carpool
  • Eat locally grown food
  • Replace old appliances with energy efficient
  • Start a compost bin at home
  • Use solar panels
  • Shop at thrift stores
  • Support green and climate action organizations

There are so many ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint, but it all comes down to how much effort you are willing to put in. It isn’t always easy work but it can be done, and it will create a better future for ourselves and our planet.

Check out these tips from Lonely Planet for ideas on how your family can travel more sustainably:

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