Shruti Bansal, an environmental blogger who is a post-graduate (M. Tech) from IIT Kanpur in Environmental Engineering & Management. She has a diverse experience of about 4 years working with educational institutes (Jahaan Preschool), corporates (e.g. IL&FS), a research institute (e.g. NIDM) and start-ups (GCRS, Pro India). Her experience and research area include Climate Change, Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Management, Solid Waste Management and Carbon Footprints. She is keen on utilizing her talent for the betterment of the environment. With experience as a Founding Principal of Jahaan Principal, she has also an interest in Early Childhood Education.

Shruti as a Guest Blogger with The EarthView describes the Simple yet effective ways to cut down your Carbon Footprints

Climate is changing and we all are little or more contributing towards it. We are so dependent on energy that we are knowingly or unknowingly emitting considerable quantity of carbon. Our day to day activities, all are energy dependent and has some amount of carbon footprints associated. From going out, buying stuffs, eating food to leaving appliances on standby mode; your each activity is carbon intensive. The thing is that going towards zero carbon emission at an individual level is not possible, but reducing our carbon emission is achievable. By making efforts in minimising our carbon emissions, we can bless our planet with a better future. Let's check out how we can do it!

1. Your lightning

The type of lights you use at home has huge impact on carbon emissions. Lightning alone contributes for 6% of global carbon emissions. Using LED instead of CFL, Bulb or Tubelight can have great positive impact. Study reveals worldwide switch to LED can reduce the 1400 million tons of CO2 [1].

Don't you think switching all your other lightning to LED can reduce enormous carbon load from our planet?

2. Reducing Standby power

Do you feel switching off your appliances just by remote is justified? We waste heavy amount of energy and carbon emissions, leaving our appliances running on standby mode. Researches claim, 8% of our total electricity bill is due to appliances running on standby mode. Sometimes it can go lot higher, as for few appliances consumption of energy on standby mode goes up to 90% of the normal mode [2]. Most of the users have habit of leaving the device on standby mode, it could be your TV, washing machine, microwave, AC or game console. They all add some amount of wattage into your electricity bill.

Turning these devices off from the wall could save your electricity bill and also reduces carbon stress from the planet.

3. Star rated appliances

We generally overlook the star rating while purchasing the appliances. Little to moderate price difference may tempt you to purchase less star rated appliances. Electricity bill difference estimation on the basis of star rating, might be hard. As separating it out from the normal electricity bill is challenging. What if, I tell you, the difference is significant? Lower star rated appliances could cost you the double electricity usage than the higher rated appliances. This means, over the time, these lower star rated appliances could cost you more than the higher star rated appliances, considering the operational cost. Higher electricity usage means higher carbon emissions, which means you can be an environmental hero, just by switching to higher star rated appliances. And not only this, you can bring your electricity bill significantly down.

4. Switch to eco-friendly fitness options

Everyone wants to stay fit, remain in good shape and wants to cut off the extra fat. Going out for gym and doing extensive workout is something everyone chooses to stay fit. What if, I suggest you to stay home and stay fit? Do you wonder, how? My answer to this is simply follow eco-friendly fitness, by doing yoga. Yoga has lot of benefits, including your mental fitness in addition to your physical fitness. This is a pocket-friendly and environmental friendly option.

So choose yoga over electrical equipment to stay fit and healthy.

5. Don't waste food

Huge quantity of food produced goes to landfill. About one third of the produced food goes to waste and about 11% of greenhouse gases emissions are contributed by the global food wastage [4].

Don't you think minimising food wastage can lessen the GHGs stress from our earth?

Here are some tips:

  • Buy food items according to your need. You need to shop smartly, for this you can make a list of items needed. Prevent yourself from buying things in excess.
  • Think repeatedly before throwing your food. You can give extra food (if in healthy state) to your maids, needy ones etc. You can think of making something interesting with your leftover food.
  • Organise your food stock smartly. For this, you can arrange your stock according to the expiry date. This will help you in finishing the items, which will be expired soon
  • Store your items appropriately e.g. food, vegetables can be stored in the fridge. You may use sealed containers for some of the items.

6. Practise fuel efficiency while cooking

Yes it’s true, you can save your carbon footprints by saving LPG too. Your 1 kg of LPG has carbon emission of about 3.13 kg CO2 [3]. Just follow some efficiency techniques to save your carbon footprints:

  • try using pressure cooker wherever possible
  • you can cover your utensil with lids while cooking and after cooking
  • use broad bottom vessel for cooking
  • try keeping your refrigerated food outside for some time, in case you want to heat it
  • try to eat together to avoid unnecessary repetitive heating
  • soak rice and dal for some time before cooking

7. Shop smartly

Yes, your shopping too has huge carbon footprints. Have you wondered fashion industry contributes to about 10% of global carbon emission [5]? You can shop smartly to minimise your carbon footprints. Here are some tips:

  • try to shop according to your need
  • choose sustainable brands
  • carry your own shopping bag instead of getting a new one
  • prefer to buy long-lasting stuff
  • reuse or recycle your old clothes
  • if the above option is not possible, donate your old stuff to the needy ones

Efforts towards minimum carbon footprints

Now you understand the way, you can be carbon efficient. Let's memorise, check, summarise and repeat those indicators:

  • Choose LED over carbon intensive lightning
  • Don't leave your appliances on standby power
  • Choose energy efficient 5 or 6 star rated appliances over low star rated product
  • Cook efficiently and eat together
  • Choose yoga over gym
  • Shop less and always prefer sustainable products
  • Maintain fuel efficiency whenever you go out
  • Use wisely and waste less
  • And lastly make everyone aware and share with them these tips

Cheers! You are now an Environmental Hero and you can applaud yourself 😊

References

  1. https://www.theclimategroup.org/project/led-scale
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ethicallivingblog/2007/nov/02/pulltheplugonstandby
  3. https://www.undp.org/content/dam/india/docs/low_carbon_lifestyles.pdf
  4. https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/fight-climate-change-by-preventing-food-waste#:~:text=Today%2C%20an%20estimated%20one%2Dthird,the%20world%20goes%20to%20waste.&text=And%20if%20food%20goes%20to,if%20we%20stop%20wasting%20food.
  5. https://madforgreen.blogspot.com/2020/07/fast-fashion.html

**This blog was first appeared on https://madforgreen.blogspot.com/