According to climate reports, in 2019 CO2 concentration in our atmosphere was higher than at any time in the last 2 million years. This could contribute to the Earth’s average temperature rise by as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next few decades. Unfortunately, human activity has been the biggest contributor to climate change. This means that we need to take action as soon as possible and definitely change our daily habits. Our choices have a huge impact on our planet, and just a few simple changes are enough to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.
1. Choose a bike or public transport instead of a car
According to the European Environment Agency, cars are the biggest CO2 emitter among modes of transportation (they contribute to 60.7% of CO2 emissions from transport). This is caused by the fact that an average of just 1.7 passengers travel by car. From the logical point of view, public transport – buses, trams, trains – are definitely a better choice when it comes to commuting, as one vehicle can transport up to several dozen people. On your daily way to work, school, or university, bet on public transport. It’s often faster, and with the current prices of fuel: also cheaper, but most importantly – you can significantly reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
An even better solution is to travel by bike or on foot. Your CO2 emissions are then reduced to… zero! Of course, this might be difficult for longer distances, but some trips can be planned without a car. For example, you can go shopping on foot – take a comfortable backpack or bag and plan a walk to a nearby store. I also recommend shopping carts on wheels: they’re very convenient and can be as spacious as the trunk of your car. They can carry a lot of stuff, and transporting groceries home doesn’t require that much effort.
Instead of taking your child to the kindergarten by car, consider switching to bike (cargo bikes or special bike trailers are a great solution). It requires some effort, but reducing the number of car trips per week will make a huge difference for the planet.
2. Reduce you meat consumption
Meat production causes a lot of GHG emission, including carbon dioxide. In Poland, we eat far too much meat – according to the Central Statistics Office, an average Pole eats as much as 61 kilograms of it a year. This means that one person in Poland emits up to 26.6 kg of CO2 per week from meat consumption alone. In addition, meat production and livestock products consume huge amounts of water and energy. What’s even worse, tropical rainforests are cut down for cattle breeding and plantations of animal feed.
It is therefore worth at least reducing your meat intake. Start by going meat-free for one day a week. It will already make a huge difference! You can also quit beef, as its production is the most harmful to the environment among all meats. You can gradually change your eating habits until you give up meat completely. Vegetarian and vegan diets are really easy to follow, especially now that stores and restaurants offer a lot of substitutes for animal products, and even vegetable “meats” that are great replacements for the bloody ones.
3. Opt for energy efficiency
Electricity generation is responsible for a huge amount of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by European Union countries. What can we do as individuals? First: ensure that we use as little electricity as possible and introduce energy-saving solutions into our homes.
For starters, check which electronic devices you use most often and reduce the frequency of use. You can try limiting social media use on your smartphone – this will allow you to charge it less often. Many phones have features to help you limit the time you use particular apps. This works great for me and lets my mind rest.
Don’t leave the lights on when you’re not using them. It’s also a good idea to replace light bulbs with energy efficient ones. If you’re going away for a long time, consider turning off the fuses so your electronics don’t use power when unused. If you are about to buy a new home appliance or other electronic appliance, it is worth choosing one with an energy rating of at least A.
Not enough? Offset your carbon footprint
Our daily habits can help reducing our carbon footprint and it’s worth implementing them now. A bike instead of a car or a vegan burger instead of a classic one: these are already huge steps for our planet!
In case you’re feeling unsatisfied, or if you’re not able to incorporate new habits just yet, TerGo comes up with a solution for you: subscriptions and packages that will neutralize your carbon footprint by planting trees. You can choose a one-time package or purchase a subscription that will reduce a specific amount of carbon dioxide from the environment each month. CO2 reductions are based on planting trees that capture and store GHGs from the atmosphere. There are different packages to choose from and prices start from as little as 14.75 PLN per month – there is something for everyone. By purchasing a package or subscription, you can offset tons of CO2 emitted throughout the year!