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Simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint

pears in reusable cotton produce bags

Let’s face it. Reducing your carbon footprint is not an easy task. That is even more so in the Western world, where fast consumerist culture has taken over almost every aspect of our lives. As individuals, it is time to slow down and make a change. If you are new to eco-friendly living, start with these simple things to reduce your carbon footprint.

Simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint at home:

  • Switch off lights when not needed.
  • When it’s time to replace the lightbulbs, opt for LED or energy-saving light bulbs.
  • Turn off the water when brushing your teeth.
  • Unplug electronics, like TVs, when going to bed (or whenever not in use).
  • Wash your clothes in cold water.
  • Go paperless when possible: Get the bills and receipts emailed instead.
  • Recycle correctly by following the instructions provided by your local waste services.
  • If using a thermostat, set higher temperature in summer and lower in winter.
  • Use sustainable and non-toxic cleaning materials, and try to DIY some.
  • Stop buying plastic and stuff wrapped in plastic as much as possible.
  • Repurpose, reuse or upcycle when possible.
  • Repair before replacing (electronics, furniture, linen).
natural bathroom essentials: solid soap bar, cotton towels and sisal brush

Simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint in personal care and clothing:

  • Buy less and only necessary items.
  • Buy solid shampoo, conditioner and shower bars. Or in powder.
  • Buy organic skin care products, better locally made.
  • Use less water by taking shorter showers.
  • You can try a bamboo toothbrush. And toothpaste in tabs or powder.
  • Try a metal safety razor.
  • Boycott fast fashion and look for good quality sustainable brands.
  • Donate your old clothes. Or sell them online.
  • Visit your local second-hand, vintage or thrift shops.
bamboo toothbrush and dental powder

Ways to reduce your carbon footprint in transport

  • Avoid taking flights, and opt for non-stop flights when they cannot be avoided.
  • Drive less, walk or cycle instead when possible.
  • Combine your errands to maximise your car trip.
  • Maintain your car in optimum condition by performing regular checks. Keep the tyres inflated to save on fuel consumption.
  • Cut down on air conditioning while driving.
  • Experiment with alternative ways to move around: train, bus.
woman riding a bike in the city great way to reduce carbon footprint and air pollution

Food and Eating habits

  • Bring your produce bags and reusable shoppers when food shopping.
  • Buy locally grown seasonal fruit and vegetables as much as possible.
  • Choose organic as much as possible.
  • Eat less.
  • Simplify your meals.
  • Eat out less and avoid takeaways.
  • Eat less meat and buy only responsibly grown and organic whenever possible.
  • Eat fish only from sustainable fishing.
  • Plan your meals and make a shopping list. That will allow you to buy what you need and avoid unnecessary purchases.
  • Use up what you already have before buying more food. 
  • Try composting at home.
  • Stop buying water in plastic bottles. Choose glass bottles instead or filtered tap water.
  • Equip with reusable water bottles, bento boxes and cutlery for work lunches.
basket with fresh produce from farmer's market

Active ways to reduce your carbon footprint

  • Plant or adopt a tree.
  • Contribute to climate change organisations or donate monthly (like Greenpeace).
  • Become a volunteer.
  • Educate your friends and family.

Final thoughts

Every one of us counts. Little by little, we can make changes and become more conscious in our daily lives. Let’s speak about it, educate everyone around us, and influence as many people as possible. Start now and figure out the rest along the way. 

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