As you may have guessed from the title of this blog, today’s post covers carbon footprints. What is a carbon footprint, you ask? Well, the abbreviated answer is that it’s a method of calculating the greenhouse gas emissions that you produce each year.

In an effort to write this from a completely honest perspective, I calculated my own carbon footprint and was dismayed to discover that my estimated emissions are slightly higher than the U.S. national average of 27 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Considering the fact that I practice conservation methods like turning off my lights, using energy efficient bulbs and running my ceiling fan instead of blasting my air conditioner, I couldn’t believe that my carbon footprint is actually higher the national average!

After conducting more research, I discovered that it takes more than casual sustainability practices to diminish your carbon footprint. Here are some of the most interesting, an in my opinion feasible, practices that you can adopt to reduce your carbon footprint:

Eat less meat – by simply reducing your meat consumption to 1 meal per day, you can reduce your carbon footprint up to 12 tons per year
Buy local – eating locally grown food and shopping at neighborhood stores reduces the amount of carbon emissions produced when goods are shipped
Get some exercise – transportation accounts for 33% of the emissions in the United States. So next time you are tempted to drive 2 miles to get ice cream, walk or ride your bike instead. It’s practically guaranteed to improve the flavor of your vanilla shake.
Not only will this improve your health, but can substantially pad your pocketbook. The average cost of owning and operating a car is more than $8,700 per year!
Ditch the Dasani – the packaging and shipping involved in the bottled water process creates a huge carbon footprint. Investing in a water purifier and re-usable water bottle will ultimately save you money and help the planet
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – I first learned about the three R’s in middle school science class, but as I shamefully admitted yesterday, have long fallen out of practice. With my new commitment to living a more sustainable life, I discovered a wealth of recycling resources simply by googling, “recycle Indianapolis”

Please visit our blog again tomorrow to learn about the local food movement.