4 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

How can I Reduce my Carbon Footprint?

There are four main categories that can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint if you're eager to adopt sustainable habits. Food, Transport, Consumption, and Energy. These areas are big parts of our daily lives, and where we can make the biggest impact. But what can we do in each of the four categories?

Start by calculating your personal Carbon Footprint with an online Climate Calculator. We have developed a Carbon Footprint Calculator free to use for everyone, currently based on Norwegian Climate Data. 

Stay tuned for Climate Data from more countries! 

So that we're not tooting our own horn over here - feel free to compare different types of calculators, and try to get an understanding of how each of them uses Climate Data to calculate your footprint. To the best of our knowledge, there isn't an online Climate Calculator out there today that's 100% accurate, but they can give you a great estimate to get going on your sustainable journey. 

What's a Carbon Footprint? Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions you emit from your lifestyle. With the Ducky Climate Calculator, your footprint is calculated in CO2 equivalents (CO2e). CO2 equivalents includes all greenhouse gasses. The choices you make every day have an impact on your footprint and our shared future.

More and more effort is being made towards informing us about what we can do to reduce our carbon emissions, through online tools such as Footprint Calculators, Teaching Plans focusing on sustainability, Climate Research, and Documentaries. We are now faced with the implications of, and solutions for, Climate Change more frequently than ever before.

In turn, this submits us to an overload of information on a very scary topic. Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is continue living a life as the problem does not exist. But that solution is short-lived. Luckily we can start acting long-term by experimenting with small changes in our own lives!

How to Effectively Reduce Carbon Emissions.

With the UN's latest climate report, we are encouraged, as a civil society, to contribute to reducing global emissions by 2030. But where do we start?

Food.

Food is an important part of our day, and finding a diet that's a happy medium between what's sustainable and what's healthy requires both food-knowledge and planning. A recent study claims that it's possible to feed 10 Billion People within the planetary limits. But it does require us to eat many more plant-based meals, and also reduce our food waste.

Here are three effective tips:

  • Eat less meat - I think my tacos taste better with soy-based minced meat, than traditional meat.
  • Eat fewer dairy products - I've replaced traditional cow's milk with milk based on soy and oats.
  • Don't throw away your food - we can all make leftover meals instead!

Quick Fact: A plant-based diet can cut our footprint by 50%.

Transport.

Typically, we transport ourselves in one way or another during the day. Whether we are getting to and from work, school or to a hobby, taking a business trip or traveling to warmer places in winter. How we choose to travel, and how often, can have great impacts on our emissions. It can also increase our activity level, potentially bettering our health.

Here are three effective tips:

  • Use the car less - Public transport, your feet or even your bike are very effective alternatives.
  • Fly less - Maybe your next holiday is an interrail experience?
  • Move closer to work - Maybe it's possible to take an even bigger plunge and move closer to either your work or your hobby?

Energy.

Energy consumption at home, the office and other activities have big reduction potentials. How often have you walked past an office building after office hours, and noticed that their lights were still on? And how often do you turn off your own lights at home when you're not there? 

The two most energy consuming habits we have are indoor heating in our own homes and our water usage. One idea is to turn down the temperature with just one degree, giving your housemates a compliment when they take quicker showers, or skipping it entirely for one evening.

Our devices also consume a lot of energy. Our phones, tablets, TV's, Radio's, and Hair dryers. Here are three effective tips to reduce energy consumption:  

  • Shower only on Saturdays.
  • Turn off lights you're not using, especially in rooms you're not in.
  • Unplug your devices when you're not using them. 
  • Run your washing machine and dishwasher less often. Fill it up when you run it. No need to clean all the time.
  • Use cold water, as opposed to hot water, as much as you can. Your toothbrush can handle the cold!
  • Lower your indoor heating and night temperature with just one degree. No need to wear your summer shorts during winter. 
  • Try air drying your clothes, and give your tumble dryer a break.

Quick fact: The most popular activity overall in the Ducky Climate Challenge is turning off unnecessary lights. This activity is probably one of the easiest places to start.

Consumption.

Before I started in Ducky, I was not fully aware of the impact our consumption has on our carbon emissions. In fact, if you're interested in knowing more, you should read our post on consumption-based vs. territorial-based footprints

The production and delivery of the products and services we buy have a huge impact on our environment, natural resources, and our wallets. But knowing this, also means that you can have a powerful impact if you choose sustainable products and producers when you shop. 

Here are three effective tips:

  • Buy second-hand or quality products and repair your broken items.
  • Choose ethically and environmentally labeled alternatives.
  • Choose services, not products.
  • Recycle all your waste.

Building a sustainable lifestyle one habit at the time.

When we started Ducky in 2014, we took to the streets in Trondheim and asked people how they were feeling about climate change and global warming. We uncovered two hypothesis still relevant today: 

1) People are concerned about climate change and,
2) People want to contribute, but they don’t know where to start, how to do it or if it’s actually making a difference.

Reducing carbon emissions in all four categories mentioned above will not only impact CO2emissions, but also land use, ecosystems and water usage. Start by doing one thing, and enjoy the great feeling of success when you've adopted a new sustainable habit. Rest assure that many people across the globe are joining the change with you.

Adopting climate-friendly behaviours can be double the fun and increase your impact if you do it with your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, and local communities. If you want to test new habits with friends, check out our Climate Challenge.

If you're keen on reading more about how the Climate Calculator calculates personal footprints, we encourage you to take a look at our PDF Calculator Documentation

Astrid Norum

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