Tips for making sure that your footprint is as green as possible

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Lauri Vain

As you’ve probably noticed, environmental issues have steadily crept further and further up the political and social agenda over the last quarter of a century or so. This is in large part because of climate change, which has generally come to be regarded as one of the most pressing issues currently facing humanity. Although it’s important to remember that the vast majority of carbon emissions are produced by large industrial concerns rather than households, that’s not to say that there aren’t steps we can take to reduce our impact on the planet. It’s important that we all pull together and do our bit – because if we don’t, the consequences don’t bear thinking about.

One of the most commonly-used environmental buzzwords of recent years is “carbon footprint”. This particular phrase refers to the amount of greenhouse gases each individual, household, business or other organisation is responsible for emitting – so when people talk about reducing their carbon footprint, they’re talking about emitting lower amounts of greenhouse gases. There are a number of steps that each of us can take to reduce our carbon emissions, and it’s worth carrying out a thorough assessment of what pollutants you’re responsible for releasing into the atmosphere as part of your everyday routine. When you have an idea of what your individual carbon footprint is, you’re better placed to work out how you can reduce it.

As an article from eHow.com points out, you can reduce your carbon footprint making relatively small-scale adjustments to your lifestyle. Perhaps the first thing you should consider is whether or not it could be a good idea to buy a more environmentally-friendly car. Many of us have been driving the same old gas guzzlers for years, spewing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In recent years, a number of more eco-friendly models have come on to the market – such as those produced by Dacia and other manufacturers – and so it’s well worth looking at what these vehicles have to offer. Many eco-friendly cars also happen to be cheaper to run, as they’re more fuel-efficient. At a time when so many of us are facing financial uncertainty, this could turn out to be a wise investment.

You can also reduce your carbon footprint – and save money – by thinking more carefully about when you actually need to use your car. If you can walk instead of driving, then why not do so? Not only does this save on unnecessary fuel consumption, but it’s also good for you as it helps you get some useful exercise. It’s easy for motorists to get used to driving anywhere and everywhere, but there will be times when you simply don’t need to drive.

There are also a number of other things you can do to cut back on your personal carbon emissions. It’s worth keeping a close eye on when you use electrical appliances, for instance. An article from Yahoo suggests that instead of leaving them on standby, you should make sure they’re properly turned off. Likewise, don’t leave lights switched on when you don’t need. Insulating your home can also help you reduce the size of your carbon footprint.

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