A Toolkit to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Most people would like to be more environmentally friendly – according to Pew, 74% of Americans polled thought “the country should do whatever it takes to protect the environment,” and 55% thought the environment should be the top priority for policy in Washington. While policy is important, the environment is one area that individuals can make a big impact with their own choices. But it can be challenging to know where to start, or what changes are actually the most impactful to make. Here is a list of some great resources to get you started.
- Know Your Impact
The best place to start is to find out where you stand. The EPA has a calculator to find out your carbon footprint: epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/ This is a great starting point because the calculator breaks things down by categories like transportation, housing, etc. so you’ll be able to tell what’s contributing most to your carbon footprint and where you can make adjustments for the best results.
- Get a Guide
The issues facing our planet are overwhelming and complicated, and sometimes the advice out there can seem contradictory. Is it better to use an old car as long as possible to avoid making a new one, or to get a hybrid or electric car to reduce gas? Should we stop shopping online to reduce packaging and shipping emissions, or is it more efficient to have things delivered to you rather than driving around for errands? There are guides out there for the consumer and lifestyle choices we make, for example “Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living,” published by the Union of Concerned Scientists: amzn.to/2Y0eqCj
- Find a Group
Joining an organization that shares your concern for the environment is a great way to stay motivated and make a difference. Sites like idealist.org will connect you to local volunteering opportunities. You can also join groups like the Sierra Club (sierraclub.org) that do meaningful work for the environment, host local events, and can connect you to more resources.
- Choose Clean Energy
Depending on where you live, there are many ways to choose cleaner energy. In Massachusetts and several other states, community or shared solar is a way to support clean energy locally while sharing in the financial and environmental benefits of solar.
See how you can help Fight Climate Change locally by joining a Community Solar Farm.