As the average American produces 16.6 tonnes of carbon pollution every year, there is ample opportunity for all of us to reduce our output.
Though the climate can often seem too big for an individual to do anything about, there are numerous everyday measures all of us can take to reduce our carbon footprint. For this year’s Earth Day, which falls on April 22, consider adopting some of these simple, everyday changes to your lifestyle.
Be aware of the impact of travel. There’s nothing like getting on a plane to visit an old friend or explore a new part of the world. While no one is expecting you to skip out on a visit home during the holidays, it is important to be aware of the carbon emissions that result from flying. For instance, per person, a cross-country flight from San Francisco to New York produces 1.84 tonnes of carbon pollution.
Don’t keep the water on! Remember how your dad used to tell you to turn the water off in the sink? Turns out, he was on to something. Water usage accounts for a large percentage of carbon emissions. That’s why it’s important to turn the water off when brushing your teeth, or better yet, to invest in low-flow fixtures. In fact, if 95 percent of homes switched to low-flow taps and showerheads by 2050, we would see a 4.6-gigaton reduction in carbon emissions.