Help at home: 10 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Liz Gremer, Reporter

While it may seem difficult to help better the environment, there are small, easy changes you can incorporate into your life to make our Earth healthier.

  1. Take public transit: No matter where you go, taking a train or bus helps reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the air. According to American Public Transportation Association, public transportation saves 4.2 billion gallons of gas annually.
  2. Carpool: Even if you have to fight over who gets the AUX, carpooling with your friends reduces your carbon footprint. By taking one car opposed to even two, you and your pals significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emitted.
  3. Walk whenever possible: While it might be easier to drive to your friend’s house, consider walking or riding your bike instead, especially if the distance isn’t too far.
  4. Use a reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is extremely important and beneficial to human health, but when you use a reusable water bottle, you are also helping reduce the amount of plastic waste.
  5. Bring reusable bags when shopping: Ditch the plastic bags at the grocery store and BYOB: bring your own bag. Each year, approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used, so by bringing your own bag, you can help bring it down.
  6. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth: As you keep your pearly whites healthy and clean, you can conserve water at the same time by shutting it off as you brush. Just by doing this, you save up to 200 gallons of water each month, according to NC State University.
  7. Take a shower instead of a bath: While it can be tempting to soak in the tub with a bath bomb, showering can cut your water consumption by a third, according to the European Economic Area.
  8. Switch to candescent light bulbs: This simple switch conserves both energy and lasts longer. According to Georgetown University, CFLs use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, and last 10 times longer.
  9. Turn lights off when you leave a room: While this doesn’t seem to have any major impact, when you leave a room and remember to turn off the lights, you are saving both energy and money.
  10. Donate: Instead of tossing your old clothes, drop by your local Goodwill and donate what you can.

Sources: COTAP, Ban the Bottle, EEA, NC State University, APTA