It's Easy Going Green: 5 Simple Swaps You Can Make Today (Including Your Energy Source)
If you think tackling a challenge like climate change is daunting, you're not alone.
According to survey data captured in 2020 by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 66% of Americans say they are at least somewhat worried about global warming.
It's easy to understand why: 2020 was the second-warmest year on record.
Undoubtedly, reaching carbon-neutrality and reversing the effects of climate change will require collaborative action by governments, businesses, communities and individuals alike. Every action, big and small, counts.
Here, we offer five simple ways you can reduce your own environmental impact this season.
1. Be a conscious consumer
Being conscious about the things you buy – and where you buy them from – is an important first step toward living a more sustainable life.
Shopping local is a great way to reduce your environmental impact – and support your community. While online shopping is convenient, it's important to note that maritime shipping causes about 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions – even more than airplanes.
Here are few other ways to go green(er) at home:
- Compost your food scraps
- Use bar soap instead of bottled soap
- Instead of paper towels, use reusable cotton towels – or recycle old clothes for rags
- Ditch plastic bags for good
- Get smart about your recycling habits – Earth911’s how-to guide is a great resource
For more eco-friendly ideas, check out 10 Tips for a More Sustainable Life.
Consider this: Ditching the plastic straw for reusable straws can help you reduce your CO2 emissions by about 1.8 pounds per year.
2. Travel smart
Often, taking a flight is necessary. But air travel accounts for 3 to 4 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions – and the United Nations aviation body predicts that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from airplanes will triple by 2050.
Consider this: Taking one less flight can help you reduce your CO2 emissions by about 1,248 pounds per year.
3. Reduce your waste
Looking to update your wardrobe, replace some wine glasses or find a new book? Shopping consignment or thrift is an easy way to reduce your waste.
Consider this: Shopping thrift can help you reduce your CO2 emissions by about 1,620 pounds per year.
4. Consider your food
When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions across the supply chain, some foods have a significant impact on our environment. These foods include beef, lamb, cheese, chocolate and coffee.
Beef is the biggest emissions threat; for every gram of beef produced, 221 grams of CO2 is emitted (compared to 36 grams for pork). And emissions aren't the only factor to consider here: Americans could save up to 1 billion gallons of water each year by going meet-free just once a week.
Consider this: Skipping meat once a week can help you reduce your CO2 emissions by about 2,574 pounds per year.
5. Switch your energy source
Twenty-five percent of your carbon footprint is from your household's energy use. Making the switch to a green energy source is one of the easiest, quickest and most impactful things you can do to help the planet.
Consider this: Choosing green energy can help you reduce your CO2 emissions by about 22,771 pounds per year.
How to switch to green energy
Making the switch to a new energy supplier takes only a couple minutes. Here's how it works with IGS Energy:
- Visit our sign-up page and type your zip code into the answer box to explore options where you live.
- Review your product options and choose the length of your term. It takes just a couple minutes! (Tip: To compare pricing information – by kWh for green electricity or CCF for carbon-neutral natural gas – have your current utility bill on-hand.)
- We work with your existing utility to supply green energy to your home. You won't experience an interruption to your service, a service call to your home or an installation.
- After signing up, you'll see a line on your utility bill that notes IGS Energy as your supplier. At this stage in the process, you're officially supporting renewable energy (like wind and solar) or projects that protect our environment (like reforestation).