Unplug: Reflections on Reducing My Carbon Footprint

Whether we want to admit it or not, climate change is happening. It’s easy to forget though. When you live in a developed, privileged environment, you take things for granted and you don’t see the effects of the choices you make. It’s not until something is at our front door that we tend to wake up. However, we need to start thinking about the generations to come. We need to stop being selfish.

My first task was to do some research, because I’m the first one to admit that I need to make some changes too. I went to the Wikipedia page, because that’s what we do these days. And then I realized, this isn’t the information I needed. Most of us already understand why climate change is happening (if you don’t, start here). However, when it comes to doing something about it, we tend to be at a loss. I know I was. How do you make changes if this is all you’ve ever known?

So then I turned to our beloved David Suzuki for advice, or his Foundation. I wanted some concrete examples of what I could do, or start doing, to reduce my carbon footprint.

Here are the top suggestions I’m going to start doing right now!

  1. Change home light bulbs to compact flourescents or LEDs.
  2. Unplug computers, TVs and other electronics when not in use.
  3. Hang clothes to dry.
  4. Install a programmable thermostat (this is to remind me later when I’m not renting).
  5. Buy organic and locally grown, or grow your own food.
  6. Eat at least one meat free meal a day.
  7. Compost and recycle.
  8. Wash in cold water.
  9. Plant some trees.

Some of these things I already do, but I’d like to improve and change my habits. I can definitely eat more organic/local food. I can also eat less meat.

Although some of these things seem easy, it’s also a matter of being aware and mindful of how we consume and what we purchase.

The first step is being aware and wanting to change. Here I go.

Image via Upward Technology.
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