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Life with chronic pain though is not all about your pain, which is why I try to write about the bigger picture and wider topics that are relevant to us all. So, in this post, I share some simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and play your part in saving the planet – despite your chronic pain.
What is carbon footprint?
According to the BBC website, it is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment. It calculates the greenhouse gases we are expected to produce in all our activities and measures them in units of carbon dioxide (CO2). The world average is about 4,000 kg of carbon dioxide per person per year. In the UK it is nearly 10,000 kg per person per year.
In summary, everything we buy, the things we eat, the way we travel, has a carbon footprint. It’s also known as an environmental footprint because our activities impact on the environment in some way or other.
It is called a carbon footprint because like walking on sand leaves a footprint, often our activities produce carbon dioxide in the air.
Why is it important?
We may feel that our own changes in how we do things will have very little impact and won’t make much of a difference. But even the tiniest of lifestyle changes can help contribute to saving the planet.
In order to make those lifestyle changes, you need to know what your carbon footprint is now, what options there are for you to change, and decide what lifestyle changes you will make and how.
How you can find out your carbon footprint
There are a few websites where you can input some information and find out what your carbon foot print is.
What you can do to reduce your carbon footprint
There’s so many things you can do, thee are just a few suggestions:
Waste less food: Only buy what you need, plan your meals, freeze food instead of throwing it away, and don’t buy it just because it’s on offer and is a good deal.
Eat less meat: meat production uses a lot of land, animal feed, and water, and the meat industry produces a lot of emissions; eating more plant-based food is much better for the environment.
Drive efficiently: this helps reduce emissions – “drive like you have an egg under your foot” says Brian West, an expert in fuel and engine research from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Turn off lights and appliances when not in use: don’t leave them on standby, turn them off at the wall too.
Switch to renewable energy: find one in your area, there’s lots more choice these days so
Reduce your air miles: taking one less flight a year can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint.
Read more about How to reduce your carbon footprint on the New York Times website.
What I’m doing
I already do lots of things to keep my carbon footprint low but there is still always more I can do. I’ve picked 3 things to focus on in 2020:
- Reduce my food waste
- Eat less meat
- Walk more, driving less
What are you going to do to reduce your carbon footprint?
What small changes can you make or share with others?
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