One of the biggest challenges humanity is facing today is climate change with many far reaching effects on our planet. These effects include increasing the frequency and intensity of some weather events like flooding and drought, changing the sea temperature, the ocean acidity, and even sea level.
Our everyday activities can affect the environment either negatively or positively. The good news is that there are certain things we can do and decisions we can make that minimize our carbon footprint thereby slowing the effects of climate change. Learn more about the steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and help care for our planet.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
People use the word carbon footprint when talking about the environment and climate change. A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gasses that go into the atmosphere resulting from one person’s action or from an organization’s actions. Greenhouse gasses are the primary contributors to many environmental issues like pollution, climate change, and global warming.
Simply put, your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful gasses released into the atmosphere from the activities you do.
How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint?
An average American produces approximately 19.78 tonnes of CO2 per year. You can use the EPA's online calculator to determine your carbon footprint at home. This calculator determines the amount by evaluating your household energy, waste, transportation, etc., and shows you the changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint. If your number is higher than you’d expect, it might be time to make some changes. There are measures you can make now to lower your carbon footprint. For example you can start recycling, purchase carbon offsets, or take some of these “living green” practices into consideration:
- Switch off or unplug your appliances when not in use to save up to 10% on wasted energy. Electricity makes up the largest portion of CO2 emissions. Therefore, switching off or unplugging saves you money and helps you impact the environment positively.
- Re-think of your fuel sources- some fuel sources are considered more environmentally friendly than others. Electric boilers are better than gas boilers as they don't burn fossils to generate heat. Thus, they are beneficial to the environment. Additionally, consider insulating your home to save you money and prevent greenhouses from escaping into the environment.
- Take shorter showers. This way, you’ll use less hot water meaning less energy will be used to heat the water.
- Use less electricity. Turn the lights off, take the stairs instead of the elevator and do full loads of laundry and dishes whenever possible.
- Recycle. Consider recycling your cans, office paper, newspaper, furniture, metals, etc.
- Opt to walk or ride a bike or scooter to school or work instead of driving or taking a bus.
- Plan your meals to reduce food waste and consider eating plant-based meals regularly. Meat and dairy products emit more greenhouse gasses and contribute negatively to the environment. For example, beef emits 20 times more emissions than beans and lentils, and four times more than dairy products.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in Your Bedroom
You can make several changes in your bedroom to minimize your carbon emissions. For instance, when planting indoor bedroom plants, choose one with oxygen-boosting benefits like aloe vera. Again, always ensure that you switch your bedroom lights off when not using them. And, be sure to set your thermostat higher in the summer and lower in the winter to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Bumping up or down by two degrees is hardly noticeable - especially when you are wrapped in your favorite blanket - yet this simple act can reduce your carbon footprint by 2000 pounds per year!
Additionally, consider buying an organic mattress. Organic mattresses do not have synthetic materials, instead they are made with Earth-friendly, sustainable and biodegradable materials like organic cotton, wool and latex. And, organic mattresses aren’t treated with any harsh chemicals or VOCs that offgas into the environment. Organic mattress factories comply with GOTS and GOLS manufacturing standards and environmentally responsible guidelines for water and energy usage.
If you are looking for organic mattresses, consider My Green Mattress.
It is estimated that 40 million mattresses are thrown away each year in the USA and most will go directly into a landfill. Most consumers don’t know that 80% of a mattress can be recycled. According to Going Zero Waste, one way to keep your mattress out of the landfill is to invest in one that will last 10 to 20 years and is protected by a solid warranty. My Green Mattress offers a 20 - year warranty and 120 - Night Sleep Trial. Besides that, My Green Mattress donates any mattress that is returned or exchanged in like new condition rather than disposing of it.
Not only are the mattresses at My Green Mattress affordable, but they are designed with the highest standards to offer you a sound sleep. Each mattress is GOTS and GOLS certified organic, and is Green Guard Gold certified. So, while your mattress should provide you with many nights of comfortable and healthy sleep, it can also help to ensure that you lower your carbon footprint.