Climate change is a fight that every single person has a part to play in. Sustainability is goal we should all be working towards. According to the UN, most people can cut out 20% of their everyday emissions. If every American followed that principle, you can imagine the scale of emissions that could be cut out – aiding the wider climate change goal. In many ways, cutting out the excess is the way to cut out excess emissions, improve the environment, and create a healthier future, both for yourself and for people the world over. It starts at home.
Creating a sustainable home
The running of the home creates significant emissions. Emissions range considerably depending on income, from 19.3 to 91.5 tons of CO2 annually. Whatever the situation, homes can afford to emit less. A few simple steps will reduce your environmental impact significantly; insulating the windows and doors of the home is one step, and installing rainwater tanks to reduce water usage is another. Taking steps to make the most of the natural environment, and using natural light and air to heat the home, is the key.
Reducing food waste
Up to 40% of food produced across the world is sent to landfill. This food, according to Our World In Data, accounts for 6% of total emissions. It follows that reducing your own waste will reduce emissions. This can be through better planning, for instance by freezing meals to be reheated later in the week, or by recycling and composting food, rather than sending it to decay in landfill.
Changing travel habits
One of the most environmentally taxing activities is travel. That’s true regardless of the travel form, but air travel is particularly polluting. The first step in minimizing that impact is by flying long-haul – long, direct flights are more efficient than short hops from city to city. Secondly, you can opt to not fly at all, or at least until electric air travel becomes possible – which won’t be too far off in the future, but also isn’t likely to be a factor for a few years yet.
By making adjustments, slight or more ambitious, you can have a big impact on your personal sustainability. When others make the same effort, and there’s a collaborative effort to change lifestyles to help climate goals, the result is bigger than the sum of its parts.