Lifestyle choices that help in reducing the carbon footprint include using renewable energy and local products, being energy efficient, incorporating sustainable dietary choices and making better travel decisions. Daily practice of the slogan "Reduce. Reuse. Recycle." also reduces harmful carbon emissions into the environment.
Carbon footprint pertains to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions brought on by human activities. It is computed by totaling the individual contributions of various greenhouse gases present in the environment. These gases include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. Sustained emissions of these harmful chemicals ultimately cause global warming.
The primary source of greenhouse gases is the combustion of non-renewable energy, which come from coal, natural gas and oil. By transitioning into renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy, carbon footprint is significantly reduced. Individuals can also lower their carbon emissions by installing energy efficient products, such as those rated with the Energy Star label, in their homes, offices and communities.
Driving better, maintaining a vehicle's performance and using efficient vehicle fuels also help lessen carbon footprint. Making better travel alternatives, such as walking, bicycling, carpooling and flying non-stop, minimize direct and indirect carbon emissions. Vegetarians are said to save approximately 3,000 pounds of annual carbon emissions compared to meat eaters, as reported by Carbonfund. By mixing vegan meals and poultry rather than beef, into the weekly diet, a person's carbon footprint is reduced.