The Ongoing Scenario
With the ongoing COP 26 conference to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius happening in the UK, we’re sure net zero is a term you’ve heard often. Net Zero refers to balancing the amount of emitted greenhouse gases with the equivalent emissions that are either offset or sequestered. In simple terms, it means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Recently our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi pledged India would go net-zero by 2070. While this seems like a long time, it’s important to take note that India is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The Indian government rightly points out that they have used fossil fuels for decades, if not centuries, to lift living standards. Therefore, it will take time for the population to adjust to more renewable means of sustenance.
The question arises- What can we do to start? Worry not, The Clean Slate is here to guide you on just this.
What is Carbon Footprint?
According to Good Energy, a carbon footprint is “the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation or community.” Carbon footprint accounting can be carried out at a variety of levels (e.g., national, per person, product, service, etc.). In simple terms, almost everything we do in life releases carbon dioxide into the environment; but it depends on a huge number of factors. Therefore, your carbon footprint can be calculated and can be increased or reduced if you change your lifestyle.
Calculating your Carbon Footprint
Managing your carbon footprint contributes to stabilising the world's climate. However, it is not just limited to that. According to Sustainable.org it's also about saving money, addressing risks, and creating new business opportunities. It identifies inefficiencies and waste in your operations. It can massively reduce your living costs. Therefore, it is important that you calculate your individual carbon footprint before starting your sustainable journey. Calculate it on Carbon Footprint.com
Reducing your Carbon Footprint
Now that you have some idea of your carbon footprint, let’s talk about decreasing it. The fact is that no matter how low your carbon footprint is, there is always (I repeat, always!) scope to reduce it further. Climate change is going to be the hardest challenge we will experience in our lifetimes. So, it’s important to adapt to those changes that you’re sure you can sustain lifelong. While real solutions will require action on a global scale, there are choices you can make in your day-to-day life to lessen your personal impact on the environment.
Start from the Basics: the 5Rs
Adapting to the zero-waste lifestyle might be hard in the beginning but it is not unachievable. Here are the 5Rs you should start from:
Reduce: Becoming mindful of what you’re buying is a great step to start from. Downsize what you purchase and limit it to what you need, rather than what you want,
Reuse: Reusing your pre-loved items by upcycling them is an awesome practice! Repair your goods and remember to keep your belonging in good condition so they last longer.
Recycle: Properly recycle any plastic, paper, glass, or metal that you find, if you are not able to upcycle it. Check your area’s laws on recycling before starting this!
Refuse: Reject items that are single-use plastics or perishables. Always try to purchase items that are recyclable and reusable.
Rot: Make a composition system for all your food waste. Add in peels, rotten fruits, and veggies to make a healthy compost for your garden.
Tips to be more eco-friendly
- Ditch the heavy traffic and vehicle carbon emission, start using your bicycle. If not, try carpooling! And yes go electric !
- Stop using a shower and try bathing using water from a bucket
- Use renewable energy resources in your homes like solar panels and other forms of green electricity.
The clothing industry is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. We need to stay mindful even while indulging in retail therapy. Don’t buy fast fashion. These popular, international clothing chains are one of the reasons behind climate change. Trendy clothes going out of fashion are simply thrown in the landfills. In addition, most fast fashion comes from China and Bangladesh, so shipping it to other nations requires the use of fossil fuels. Buy from stores that have locally sourced clothing that is recyclable. It’s a good practice to thrift your clothes or buy your clothes from environmentally conscious brands.
It is said that you are what you eat and in the case of carbon emissions, we hope that is not true!
- Reduce food wastage: Don’t waste your food! For example, don’t throw out the extra groceries you didn’t require. Planning meals ahead of time, saving leftovers and buying only what you need to go a long way towards saving food.
- Adapting to a plant-based diet: Stop eating meat and you have reduced your carbon footprint by almost 30%. This is because the emissions from livestock production represent 14.5% of the globe’s human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. A balanced diet with the right amount of plant proteins can increase your immunity as well.
- Grow your own produce/ Buy Local: Buying locally lowers your dependence on food transported vast distances and may increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, helping offset your carbon emissions. If you have the necessary resources, start your own small farm. This will also significantly reduce the amount of plastic packaging dependency.
Now that you have some idea of where to start, don’t hesitate in bringing change. If you are looking to reduce your carbon emissions further by buying your cleaning products that are completely plant-based and environment-friendly, give Koparo a try. Here are some of the bestsellers: