In early 2011 Carbonfund.org made a resolution to decrease our internal carbon footprint as much as possible (and of course offsetting our remaining footprint with external carbon reduction projects). We moved into a virtual office environment, eliminating the emissions of our office heat, electricity, and server operations. By doing this we also eliminated commuting emissions, and anyone who lives in the DC area knows that this can mean hours in the car a day! Further, we shifted to electronic operations, now sending our certificates and tax receipts electronically to avoid the emissions associated with shipping. For businesses, reducing emissions and reducing costs go hand-in-hand and setting a corporate resolution to decrease your emissions makes good business sense! However, individuals can also take this time to make a personal resolution to reduce emissions too.
Try something new this year by making a pact with the planet for a leaner and greener carbon footprint. Here’s how:
1. Drive more efficiently or take transit: Depending on the size of your car, you could be reducing a ton or two or more of carbon dioxide a year by combining trips, mapping out your trip and opting for public transit when possible. You can also fit in aerobic exercise and enjoy the fresh air by walking or biking.
2. Ditch your old bulbs: Compact fluorescent light bulbs and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are available for more energy-efficient lighting, which reduces your carbon footprint by using one-third or less of the energy. A single bulb could save you around $40 or more over its lifetime.
3. Stop the junk mail: It’s estimated that clearing forests for junk mail produces as much greenhouse gas emissions as 9 million cars. You can dramatically reduce your junk mail through the service of our nonprofit partner 41pounds, which will contact dozens of mailing companies to remove your name from lists, including catalogs you specify. The cost is $41 for you or a household for five years, and 41pounds will donate $15 to Carbonfund.org to support our carbon reduction efforts. Sign up now.
4. Eat fresh: When life gets hectic, it may be easy on you to rely mostly on prepackaged foods for meals, but it can take a toll on the environment. Start the new year with a resolution to plan some meals drawn from locally sourced food. Make this commitment easy by joining a farm co-op or getting local produce from your market.
5. Go carbon neutral: Make reducing your carbon footprint an integral part of your life by committing to reduce what you can and offset what you can’t this year to support third-party validated projects that are reducing emissions globally. Check out Carbonfund.org’s calculators to reduce your climate impact from your home, travel or business and consider going carbon neutral as a ZeroCarbon™ individual or family in support of our innovative projects.
Check out these energy-saving tips for more ways to do your part for our environment in the new year. And have a Happy Sustainable New Year!