All averages are average annual CO2 pounds saved.
- What you Eat and Drink
- Buy local produce, buy organic and support local farmers markets. Processed food in the United States travels more than 1,300 miles on average to reach consumers and produce travels more than 1,500 miles from the industrial farm to the plate. Check out this clean grocery guide = Up to you!
- Buy fresh food, not frozen, and use 90% less energy = Up to you!
- Buy food that is in season locally. Don’t buy fresh fruit and vegetables which are out of season, they may have been flown in. It is estimated that buying local, seasonal food can save 4-5% emissions = Up to you!
- Don’t buy overpackaged products. Try to purchase food not wrapped in plastic packaging. Here’s some more information = Up to you!
- Buy organic foods as much as possible. Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms. If we grew all of our corn and soybeans organically, we’d remove 580 billion pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere = Up to you!
- Go meatless one day a week. Eat less meat (or none at all!). Skipping red meat is not just good for your health, but for the environment. Cows release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and forests are destroyed and converted to grazing lands. Livestock also bring a whole host of other resource, chemical, pollution, disease and cruelty issues. Skipping meat just one day a week can make a positive environmental impact = Up to you!
- Eat low on the food chain. Think fruits, veggies, grains and beans = Up to you!
- Don’t buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink – and buy a non-toxic reusable water bottle if you don’t already have one. Americans bought a total of 8.8 billion gallons of bottled water in 2007. According to one estimate, producing these bottles required the energy equivalent of over 17 million barrels of oil and produced over 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide. This is the same amount of carbon dioxide that would be emitted by over 400,000 passenger vehicles in one year. 1 kilogram of bottled water (approx 33 ounces) can emit 1.2 of greenhouse gases = Up to you!
- Reduce your food waste. Plan your meals ahead of time, eat leftovers, freeze food before it goes bad. It has been estimated that as a planet if we stopped wasting food altogether, we’d eliminate 8% of our total emissions. Here are some helpful ways to reduce food waste at home = Up to you!
- Plant a garden. Consider growing your own food. Nothing tastes better than fresh fruits or veggies straight from your garden. Here are some tips for growing the perfect vegetable garden = Up to you!
- Compost. Start a compost for your food scraps and make your garden happy! According to the EPA, about 18 percent of methane pollution comes from food scraps that ended up in landfills. But when composted at home, they help a garden thrive. Here’s some guidance to set up your home compost = Up to you!
- Reduce Plastic Waste
- Only buy plastics that are truly recyclable. According to the EPA, in 2018 only 8.7% of plastic even got recycled while 27 million tons of plastic ended up in the landfill. try to only use (and recycle!) the plastic products that are actually recyclable. CalRecycle says that plastic bottles and containers with code 1 or 2 can be recycled. Some with codes of 3-7 can also be recycled, but they suggest checking with your local waste haulers for community-specific information = Up to you!
- Buy a reusable water bottle. Instead of purchasing single use plastic cups or bottles, consider purchasing a reusable water bottle or mug. Having a party? Consider asking guests to “bring your own cup” or purchase a compostable option. Estimates show that one 500-milliliter plastic bottle of water has a total carbon footprint equal to 82.8 grams, or 0.18 pound. If you replace one plastic water bottle per day, you can save 65.7 lbs of CO2 per year = Up to you!
- Bring your own single use cutlery, say no to straws, say no to stirrers, and bring your own coffee cups. There are many reusable cutlery kits you can purchase online. Avoid plastic straws and stirrers, which end up in the ocean harming wildlife. Don’t be fooled- coffee cups are lined with plastic and aren’t actually biodegradable, so it’s better to bring your own = Up to you!
- Purchase biodegradable cotton buds/swabs. Cotton swabs, such as Q-tips, are one of the top 10 forms of beach litter = Up to you!
- Recycle. In 2018, the average American produced 4.9 pounds of trash per day, but about 1/3 of the municipal solid waste was kept out of landfills because of recycling and composting. Recycling also saves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions from incinerators, reduces methane emissions from landfills, and increases storage of carbon in trees = Up to you!
- Buy recycled. Buy products that already contain recycled materials. This diverts the waste from landfills and closes the recycling loop. When shopping look for terms such as ”recycled-content product” or “post-consumer content”. Some popular items that can be made from recycled materials include aluminum cans, cereal boxes, glass containers, laundry detergent = Up to you!
- Shop with a reusable shopping bag. We use 100 billion plastic bags a year, all made from oil = Up to you!
- Skip the Plastic Wrap. Consider purchasing reusable silicone stretch lids = Up to you!
- Avoid individually wrapped snacks. For snacks at home, buy drinks and snacks in bulk. Use non-disposable cups and plates when serving. = Up to you!
- Avoid plastic microfibers in clothing. Polyester, acrylic and nylon clothing shed plastic micro fibers during each wash which then pollute the ocean. Up to you, but learn more about it here = Up to you!
- Try to only buy products made close to home. Buy from local, small businesses to prevent emissions from being released into the atmosphere by not having to transport the goods a long distance to be sold = Up to you!
- Consider buying vintage or recycled clothing, toys, furniture, when possible or simply buy less stuff. Simplify your life, save money, and save emissions. Give items a second life. Click here to learn more or check out this great piece as well = Up to you!
- Purchase a laptop versus a desktop. Laptops use less energy. According to energuide.be, a desktop that is on for 8 hours a day emits 385 lbs of CO2 per year. A laptop that is on for 8 hours a day emits about 194 lbs of CO2 per year = 191
- Make all online purchases on one day of the week and always choose the option to combine shipments. Keep a list for all online items, as though you were going to the store once a week = Up to you!
- Purchase Bar Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner and Laundry Strips. Consider using a bar soap and even bar shampoo and conditioner. This eliminates plastic bottle packaging that often doesn’t get recycled. It is estimated that bar soap requires one-fifth of the energy to produce compared to liquid soap = Up to you!
- Shop for cleaning products that contain less toxins. Here is a helpful list to guide you. = Up to you!
- Get rechargeable batteries once and never buy batteries again. Rechargeables have 28 times less impact on global warming, 30 times less impact on air pollution, 9 times less impact on air acidification, and 12 times less impact on water pollution! For more information about the best rechargeable batteries, click here = Up to you!
- Take care of your health. Airlines use 350 million more gallons of jet fuel every year hauling around those extra pounds and your car wastes more fuel doing the same thing. Losing 10 pounds results in = 120,000
- Cancel Junk Mail and Catalogs. To cancel junk mail visit the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) consumer website. There you can choose which catalogs and offers you get. You can also opt out of credit and insurance offers for 5 years by visiting optoutprescreen.com. To cancel your unwanted catalogs, visit Catalog Choice, which will help take you off lists of companies that consider you a prospect. The production, distribution and disposal of the annual junk mail in the U.S. is equivalent to 51 million metric tons of greenhouses gases annually, the equivalent emissions of more than 9.3 million cars = Up to you!
- Grow plants instead of buying fake ones. They look better, improve the air, and offer health benefits = Up to you!
- Reduce waste from your home. Save 1,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide per year. By simply buying products with less packaging and being sure to recycle your paper, plastics and glass, you can make a big difference. Reducing your trash by 25% is an easy and realistic goal = 1,000
- Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled paper. Save 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper. The paper industry is the third greatest contributor to global warming emissions = 30
- Consider the impact of your investments. If you invest your money, consider the impact that your investments and savings will have on climate change. Check out the CDP’s list of 270+ companies that are leading the way to a net-zero future. Ceres also provides a list of companies in action and specifies what they are doing to better the environment and future = Up to you!
- Encourage your school or business to reduce emissions. You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging others to take action. Carbon-Free Campus is a program that helps schools reduce their carbon emissions and adopt a sustainable lifestyle at home. Grades of Green offers “environmental leadership training” and focuses on civic engagement in addition to project-based learning about various environmental lessons for grades K-12. ClimatePartner Online Academy helps businesses create a climate action strategy. Earthday.org created a Teach-In Toolkit to help you advocate for climate action in your community. = Up to you!
- Help your kids be eco-friendly at school. This is a great guide to helping schools transition away from plastic. Share with your child’s school administration = Up to you!
- Protect and conserve forest worldwide. Forests play a critical role in global warming: they store carbon. When forests are burned or cut down, their stored carbon is released into the atmosphere. Tropical deforestation now accounts for about 20% of carbon dioxide emissions each year. To learn more about how to protect and conserves forests, check out these organizations: Amazon Watch, Dogwood Alliance, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, and Wildearth Guardians = Up to you!
- Volunteer for an environmental group and advocate for the Earth. Connect with like-minded people all while helping the environment. Here is a list of creative ways to do good for the environment. = Up to you!
- Vote! Let your voice be heard and vote for representatives that will take action to phase out fossil fuels and protect our planet. Register to vote here! = Up to you!
- Take time to Experience Gratitude. Allowing yourself the time to experience gratitude is important for your personal care; and we believe the health and well-being of all living things will benefit the overall health of the planet. For example go on a walk around your neighborhood and take in the the myriad of colors and shapes, the vibrancy and diversity of the leaves or whatever nature surrounds you. Let yourself be absorbed by nature’s beauty and say a few words thanks! Click here to read more about the power of gratitude = Up to you!
- Spend some time in nature. Being in nature is important for your health and well being. Interacting with natural spaces offer many benefits – calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the body’s fight-or-flight response = Up to you!
- Find hope. The more we read about climate anxiety, the more we realize how to combat it—it all lies in the actions and the solutions. But in order to take action, you must first find hope. During these heavy times, we suggest turning to one of our personal heroes- Jane Goodall. Check out Ms. Goodall’s book she wrote with Douglas Abrams called, “The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times” = Up to you!
- Revisit your “office environmentalism” practices. Use 100% recycled copy paper. Only print if necessary, and if you do print double-sided. Recycle or refill your ink cartridges. Turn off the copier at night and unplug electronics. Turn off the lights when you leave the room. Bring a desk plant = Up to you!