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5 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2013

I had a an exceptionally fun morning Christmas Day on the set of Good Day NY on FOX 5. I talked with Dave Price and Anna about keeping it green in 2013 . . .

Watch GD Meg on FOX Good Day NY

1. Remember those reusable bags . . . because . . .

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures a year
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of Texas and itís floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It weighs 3.5 million tons and is 80% plastic
  • If everyone in the United States tied their annual consumption of plastic bags together in a giant chain,†the chain would reach around the Earthís equator 776 times!

2. Get rid of vampires and phantoms . . . no, not Edward the dreamy teenage vampire . . .

An energy vampire or phantom load is the electricity consumed by an electronic appliance when it is turned off or on standby

  • According to the Environmental Defense Fund, 65% of pollution attributed to global warming (or climate change) comes from generation of energy and its use
  • 5 – 20% of our home electric bill comes from vampire or phantom energy use

Shed light on those vampires and expel them!

3. Just say NO to bottled water

  • National Geographic estimates that 17 million gallons of crude oil is used on an annual basis to produce plastic bottles.
  • If you fill a water bottle ľ of the way with oil, this is about how much oil is used to manufacture that one bottle!
  • It is estimated by the Container Recycling Institute and†ReusableBags.com that 22 billion water bottles end up in landfills every year.
  • Although many plastic bottles are being recycled for good re-use as a variety of materials,†National Geographic Kids states that only 1 in 6 plastic bottles makes it to the recycling bin!
  • According to Environmental Working Groupís scientific study on bottled water vs. tap water, bottled water contains distinfection byproducts, fertilizer residue and pain medication

Check out Green Diva Mizarís water purification systems, Pur2o!

4. Buy less, Recycle more

In general, I really want to just be more mindful about buying ‘stuff’ I may not really need – I’ve been on this kick for a couple of years and it saves money and reduces the amount of junk I need to throw out from packaging, etc. I always ask myself now, do I really need this or do I just want it . . . or, do I have something at home I can use instead.

  • About 80% of what Americans throw away is recyclable, yet our recycling rate is only 28%!
  • Recycle as much as you can
  • Avoid buying things are excessively packaged
  • Buy in bulk (food, cleaning products)

5. Get local/Eat Local

  • Reduce carbon footprint by reducing “food miles”
    • A typical carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to reach your dinner table
  • Support local farmers – enjoy farmer’s markets
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) – find a CSA, farmer’s market or food coop near you -†LocalHarvest.org
  • Stimulate local economy
  • patronize restaurants that buy from local farmers

Read more: Conservation, Green, Holidays, Household Hints, New Year, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, The Green Divas Podcast, Videos, Videos, , , , , , , , ,

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The Green Divas

The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts. Working with talented partners and credible sources like†myEARTH360 the Green Divas produce content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle.†Visit†The Green Divas website to learn more, and check out The Green Divas on†Facebook &†Twitter too!

73 comments

+ add your own
1:44AM PST on Jan 24, 2014

I've got all of these under control except the bottled water. Every other source I have available to me is heavily fluoridated and chlorinated, and even if it is filtered, too much is left in the water. I do wish my area water didn't have so many toxins added, but I to try to buy water in larger containers from reliable sources, and recycle every one.

4:36AM PST on Jan 22, 2014

Thank you--am doing my best.

6:02AM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

There really is so much more we can do, but this is a good start. I need to start unplugging more things...

10:38AM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

Thank you for the important tips.

5:55AM PDT on May 31, 2013

thank you

9:11PM PDT on May 17, 2013

Thanks

6:45PM PDT on May 14, 2013

Thank you for the important tips.

12:22PM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

really good ideas here.

1:36PM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

6. Leave your car, take a bike! Or use your feet which are made for walking.
7. Go vegan or at least reduce your consumption of meat and dairy products.
8. Lower your heater, wear warmer clothes in winter.
Something else?

1:24PM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

if you really want to reduce your personal carbon footprint go vegan. going vegan reduces more greenhouse gases than eating local. as it turns out it matters more how your food is produced than how far it travels. of course if you eat vegan local that's even better.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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