For the uninitiated, carbon footprint is the emission of carbon-dioxide[CO2] and other greenhouse gases[GHG] associated with our daily activities like our use of car or electrical appliances or electronic goods that consume electricity. Its basically a measure of the impact that our activities can have on the environment and climate change which leads to ills like global warming and migration of birds.
Here are the things that I am doing and hoping others follow so as to reduce the carbon footprint:
i) Saving power : I switch-off lights and fans before exiting a room. I use CFL bulbs which consume lesser power. I try and use rechargeable batteries for the camera, torch etc. Switch on the house lights only when necessary, else keep the curtains open and use the natural sunlight.
ii) Re-use paper : I try no to take unnecessary print-outs of my emails. Even if I have taken prints, I re-use the paper by printing on the reverse side or use the empty reverse side as a scratchpad. Also, I make it a point to re-use envelopes for various purposes.
iii) Justified use of car : In the absence of public transport, if I have to travel beyond 2kms I use a car else walk. I commute to office by state-bus and the days I have to take my car, I try to carpool. Thereby, reducing the usage of fuel.
iv) Use jute-bag : We shop all the time, run errands from the nearest grocery stores. So, instead of taking a plastic bag or a paper-cover, use a jute-bag. In fact, I carry my own bag and bring stuff in that bag. These bags can be washed and re-used and it avoids littering of plastic/paper bags.
v) Energy star rated electircal goods : These days, most appliances come with star ratings. When we purchased an airconditioner, we went for the most energy efficient one which had a higher star rating.
vi) Travel light : I can’t express enough why we should travel light, especially in flights. Recently I flew from India to US and I had just a strolley. I purchasd all the necessary stuff for everyday living and clothes in US itself. I used it there and what I could not carry back home I distributed it among friends there. Excess baggage means excess fuel consumed by the aircraft. The same logic applies to road-travels too.
vii) Unplug chargers : When not in use, we unplug the charger. Be it laptop or the cellphone, always unplug the charger once the job is done.
viii) In the kitchen : Use water, only as much as required, not more. Instead of soaking the various vegetables in parallel, my wife soaks all vegetables in the same bowl of water in a serial process, one after another. No point wasting water by soaking vegetables simultaneously, plan the cooking beforehand and re-use water.
ix) Refrigerator usage : We usually remove milk and other edibles from the fridge at least an hour before its usage, instead of placing it straight on the gas stove. This saves gas, as lesser amount is used in heating it up. Also, do not place heated items immediately in the fridge. Give it some time, when it cools then put it in the fridge.
x) Plant trees : Last, but not the least – plant a tree once a year at least. We do it, every 3 months.
Lets all try to do our bit in making this a better place to live in.