Sustainable Living Starts at Home
Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint this summer? Many of us are working towards a more sustainable lifestyle, but there are so many choices to make. Getting started with sustainable living can feel pretty overwhelming.
We've put together a brief guide to steps you can take to lower your carbon footprint; the best part is that these are actions you can do from the comfort of your home or garden, or even -- in the case of buying carbon offsets -- at your computer.
Grow Your Own
No matter where you live, you can grow at least a few things at home. From a few herb pots on a sunny windowsill, to a small garden, to a mini-homestead if you have the space. These steps will cut back on your carbon footprint since large-scale agriculture and food transportation are major contributors to carbon emissions. Never gardened before? Start small, get help from a local garden store, and join garden groups on social media to learn from more experienced growers.
Less in Landfills
Even if you don't have the space (or the green thumb) for gardening, you can take another step towards sustainable living by composting your food scraps instead of throwing them in the trash. There are a few ways to compost:
- Start an indoor or outdoor worm bin. Your wiggly decomposers will break down your food waste and leave you with vermicompost, a great addition to garden soil.
- Build a small outdoor compost bin, or invest in a compost tumbler. Add your food scraps along with dried leaves or straw for balance, mix up the pile or turn the tumbler regularly, and your kitchen waste becomes garden gold.
- Find a community garden or other project in your neighborhood that already makes compost, and ask if you can drop off your food scraps to their bins. Make sure to pay attention to their guidelines on what kinds of food they can accept.
Cook More, Waste Less
We've all been there: the pint of berries that goes moldy before you get to it, the leftovers that never get eaten, the salad mix you bought with the best healthy intentions but forgot about. Food waste is a serious contributor to environmental issues, given the resources needed to grow and transport most of our food.
Thankfully, it can be easy and fun to cut back on your food waste and lower your carbon footprint. First, be honest about what you'll actually eat when you choose your groceries. Choose your recipes carefully and create meal plans that turn leftovers into tasty new meals. Fried rice and frittatas are great dishes for using up leftover ingredients. Fruit about to go bad in the fridge? Make bagged "smoothie packs" and pop them in the freezer for an easy smoothie snack later.
Buy Carbon Offsets
This is one that might not be on everyone's radar, but purchasing carbon offsets from a reputable source is a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint. When you buy offsets, the money goes toward projects that actively lower carbon emissions, like methane capture and forestry efforts. At Green Mountain Energy, our offsets are verified by third-party certification standards so you know your purchase is truly contributing to real change. You can choose to buy different types of offsets, including lifestyle, travel, and home. You can also choose between a one-time purchase or a monthly (discounted) subscription.
To learn more about Green Mountain Energy's Carbon Offsets, calculate your carbon impact, or find the right offset package for you, visit us today.
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