Do you ever think that when you buy a t-shirt, order food online, try exotic fruits, or simply drive your car, how much carbon emissions are you contributing to the atmosphere?

Well, a carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted by an individual, an organisation, or a society as a whole. This could culminate in climate change and is a tool to measure an individual, society, or a country’s impact on the overall carbon emissions, which could subsequently reflect on the future of the planet. The burning of fuels, production, manufacturing, construction and other factors are also included in this.

The ever-increasing population rates drastically increase carbon emissions and also deplete the earth’s resources. We, as conscious citizens, can do our small bit for the earth, which will result in big changes, and these are some simple steps that we can be mindful about.

Meat and dairy consumption are responsible for 14.5 percent of the earth’s greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing our daily intake of these items will be beneficial.

Try consuming more fruits, vegetables, grains, and pulses and make sure they are organic and locally sourced. Since foods that are not in season use more transportation and storage, it leads to more emissions.

Reusable bags made from jute and other natural and sturdy fibres will ensure that less plastic is consumed and avoid products that come with imprudent packaging.

Be mindful of what you shop for and don’t hoard food since it has a shelf life and will get thrown away after being spoilt.

Try eating home-cooked meals more as opposed to takeouts, online orders or even eating out.

We have all been guilty of buying on a whim and getting meddled into the trap of fast fashion, which is one of the biggest polluters on the planet

They are made from cheap materials that we throw away quickly and get dumped in the landfills soon.

Buy good quality clothes that last a long time and maintain good care for them. You can also opt for vintage, rented, thrifted, or borrowed clothes so that there isn’t an additional production of clothes.

Try to buy clothes that are recycled or have an ecolabel on them that are consciously made. Many homegrown labels offer sustainable clothes and are safe for the environment too.

Try to use public transportation more often as opposed to driving a car since it reduces carbon emissions as well as traffic congestion. You can also walk, carpool, or bicycle to your destination whenever possible.

Good upkeep of the car with properly inflated tyres

and removal of excess weight from the car can reduce the emissions.

Switch off the car during red lights and also use air conditioning when not required.

Switching to hybrid and electric cars is the new way forward since their long term benefits outweigh their production costs.

Try to travel by train for your next vacation since air travel is the largest contributor to an individual’s carbon footprint. But if you have to travel, try to fly nonstop as it uses less fuel.

Switch off lights when they are not in use and stop charging your phone even after a full charge as it is an unnecessary energy load.

Setting the temperature of the air conditioning to above 24 degrees and turning down the heating by 1 degree will make a huge difference.

When buying electronic items, check if they are more energy efficient and how many energy stars they have.

Take short showers and turn off the water while brushing. Also, water purifiers discharge a lot of water that can be easily used to water plants or mop the floor.

There is a thing called a digital footprint too when we use excess data in the cloud or send too many emails.

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