Reduce Carbon Footprint
How Can I Reduce My Carbon Footprint?
Did you know that for every one can of garbage a family produces, 70 cans of garbage were produced in the extraction and production of those items now in the garbage? At the moment, residents of North Cowichan each produce about 22 tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) a year. This is the same weight as about 5 elephants! The breakdown of the sources of these emissions is as follows: 76% from on-road transportation and 24% from buildings.
Want to know what your footprint is? See our Carbon Calculator.
We can reduce OUR footprint by…
- Becoming aware and researching new technology/methods
- Minimizing outdoor watering and personal water use (i.e. installing more efficient toilets and shower heads; adding mulch to your garden to retain moisture in soil)
- Reducing electrical use by:
- using a clothes line to dry clothes
- putting on a sweater or socks instead of turning up the heat
- turning off lights and computer monitors when you are not using them
- Turning the coffee maker off and removing chargers from walls
- Fixing leaking toilets and sinks promptly
- Buying local products with no or minimal packaging
- Consuming less and only buying what you need and what will last (i.e. not disposable products)
- Planting native plants suitable to our climate and/or food plants
- Using reusable grocery bags
- Planting trees
- Changing lighting to LED
- Reducing, Reusing, Recycling
- Composting vegetable and plant waste
- Reducing/eliminating vehicle idling and making car trips more efficient (plan ahead to combine trips)
- When it's time to replace appliances, purchase energy efficient models
- Insulating your home and windows
If I save water and energy can I really make a difference?
The short answer is yes. If everyone were to adhere to sprinkling restrictions, install low flow taps, showers and toilets, use efficient appliances, change their light bulbs, wear warmer clothing instead of turning up heaters, and do countless other small home improvements to save water and energy, we would see improvement in our overall energy and water consumption. The longer answer is that if we really want to drastically reduce our human ecological footprint we must not only make changes on an individual basis, but also as a species. Investing in renewable and sustainable resources and energy sources, improving public transit, and making energy and water wise appliances and cars more accessible to the world are just a few of many improvements we can hope for in the near future.