5 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in Everyday Life

If you try to live a green lifestyle, you know the phrase "carbon footprint" very well. We all leave a carbon footprint on the earth each day, and reducing that carbon footprint is one of the keys to green living. If you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint in everyday life, the 5 tips below show how you can make small changes in your lifestyle that will have a big impact on the environment.

1. Reduce the amount you drive. This is the first thing many people think of when they think of their carbon footprint, and it's true, your car is one of the worst offenders to the environment. You can reduce your carbon footprint by walking whenever possible - and it's also good exercise. For longer trips, make use of public transportation if you can. Finally, if you have to drive, try and make your trips as efficient as possible. This means rolling all of your errands into one trip or offering to form a carpool with your fellow employees.

2. Be smart about your water. Water is good for your body, but the single-serve plastic bottles that many of us purchase are not good for the environment. Up to 47 million gallons of oil are used annually just to create plastic water bottles, according to Food and Water Watch. And 75% of these bottles are not recycled. Instead of buying bottled water, purchase a filter for your tap water, and you'll live both a healthy and a green lifestyle.

3. Reduce waste at home. Pay your bills online to reduce paper materials and reuse plastic shopping bags to line trash cans instead of throwing them away. You can also use old fruits and vegetables to fertilize your garden instead of filling your trash can with them.

4. Eat organic or locally. Many of the foods we eat have been shipped hundreds of miles by truck. Eating locally-grown, organic foods reduces demand for these foods and reduces the carbon footprint that comes with shipping them.

5. Be smart about your energy use. Turn off the lights when you leave a room and turn off the television when you're finished watching it. Washing your clothes in cold water is an easy way to save energy and don't forget to replace your conventional light bulbs with energy efficient Energy Star bulbs instead.

It can be simple to reduce your carbon footprint in everyday life if you adhere to a few specific steps that have maximum benefit.

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