The activities of daily life, such as driving a car and using electricity, produce carbon dioxide emissions, a form of greenhouse gas. TimeForChange.org explains the total of all these emissions over the course of the year make up your carbon footprint and contribute to global warming. We can reduce our individual carbon footprints by making simple changes in our activities at home and at work each day.
Carbonfootprint.com shows how electricity use at home contributes 12 percent towards the total output of carbon emissions in the environment. Appliances such as the microwave, dishwasher, central air systems and light bulbs contribute to a high carbon footprint. To reduce your carbon footprint, unplug appliances and chargers when not in use, decrease the use and temperature of air conditioners and heaters, use low-energy light bulbs, and use your dishwasher only when it's completely full.
The process of providing water to communities consumes large amounts of energy. Cutting your time in the shower in half, turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth and shave, and reducing the amount of water used to rinse off dishes and water the lawn will help to reduce the amount of water and energy wasted--and to decrease your carbon footprint.
The Green Guide of NationalGeographic.com suggests that, to decrease the use of fuel and carbon emissions, carpool to work or social events, use the bus rather than drive, and walk or ride your bike to get to places close to home or work.
Food often travels across the country before it gets to your local grocery store, wasting valuable oil and resources. Purchasing food at the farmers market in your neighborhood, participating in a community garden or growing your own fruit and vegetables are some other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
To further decrease your impact on the environment and reduce your carbon footprint, donate clothes, furniture or electronics you no longer use so that others can use them or break down materials in these items to make new products, purchase products made from recycled materials, and participate in a trash recycling program in your community.