How can you reduce your carbon footprint at home

How can you reduce carbon footprint at home?

Living a carbon neutral lifestyle is the best way to contribute towards a safe environment. However, being fully carbon neutral or removing all activities that release carbon dioxide to the atmosphere is not a practical option for most individuals, homes and organizations.

A carbon footprint refers to the total emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, or product, expressed in carbon dioxide equivalent. In simple terms, it is the amount of carbon dioxide released from an activity or process. Industrial processes, machine use, transport, storage and other logistics generate a large volume of carbon dioxide.

When an activity releases zero carbon dioxide to the environment, then that activity is carbon neutral.

To achieve carbon neutrality , one could either limit or reduce the use of activities and appliances that emit carbon dioxide or increase activities that offset carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon footprints are not only created by large organizations, they are often caused by simple day to day activities at home as well. Cooking, using electric products, driving, even washing or listening to the radio release carbon dioxide to the environment.

While it’s tough to have a zero-carbon footprint, becoming carbon neutral can be achieved by incorporating small habits and practices that can make a big impact to the environment. Some simple ways to reduce our carbon footprint at home are:

Keep your devices unplugged

Keeping devices unplugged when they are not in use help save energy consumption. Even if your device is not charging and if it is kept plugged in, it is contributing to the carbon footprint as the device would continue to consume energy while being plugged. Keep devices unplugged when not in use.

Choose not to drive

Choosing to walk or cycle to distances that are closer can save a large amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Vehicle usage or driving around releases a large amount of carbon dioxide to the environment through burning of fuel. This is one of the major contributors to carbon footprint across the world.

Use long lasting goods

Be it clothes, electronics or household items, purchasing goods that can be used for a longer time helps towards a carbon neutral future. Shorter replacement cycles mean more products need to be manufactured, more energy consumption, and more carbon dioxide emissions. By lengthening the replacement cycle of products, we can help reduce our carbon footprint.

Plant a garden

Wherever you may live, be it an apartment, a house or a rented property, growing plants and maintaining a garden will help the carbon dioxide in the environment be recycled into oxygen through a process called photosynthesis. This is also known as carbon offsetting which is great way to become carbon neutral.

Eat local produce

Eating locally found vegetables, fruits, fish and meats can help reduce carbon emissions by helping to cut down the need for transportation, shipping and cool storage. The farther the goods are produced the greater the energy consumption in getting them across to you. Local farmers are less likely to use high levels of pesticides, preservatives and chemicals, and their transport and storage will be less as well. This means that local produce will be healthier and cheaper too.

Processed foods are also a major polluter of the environment and contribute to many health concerns such as obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and sometimes cancers. Whole foods are always better for the planet, and better for your own health.

Line dry your clothes

Machine dried clothes as easy as it maybe, is not always the most environmentally friendly way to dry your clothes. Machine drying requires 5 times more electricity than machine washing. Using the old school method of line drying your washed clothes can save one third of the carbon footprint.

Living a low carbon footprint lifestyle and maintaining a home that supports a carbon neutral future is not as difficult as one would think. It's about making simple choices that can make a big impact on our environment. These choices are easy to implement and doesn’t require any additional efforts, instead small habitual changes to our way of living.

Dilmah Tea also made the shift to ensure that their factories and processes become completely carbon neutral by making simple changes. Following the calculation of the carbon footprint of their factory operations at the Dilmah Headquarters in Peliyagoda, Dilmah successfully fulfilled its pledge to become carbon neutral in 2017 and is now a carbon neutral facility. Dilmah achieved carbon neutrality for its complete range of products in November 2018.

By reducing our carbon footprint, we can ensure that effects on the environment which has led to climate change, ozone layer depletion, melting of the glaziers, and other ill effects can be minimized in the longer term.