Earth Day is here once again, and it's time to think about how to reduce your carbon footprint to preserve the Earth. After all, it's not going to be around forever, so we need to do what we can to make it last as long as possible. You may be thinking, "what could I possibly do to reduce my carbon footprint?" It isn't hard, and it certainly is more affordable than you think.
Staff Writer, iMore
You may have heard of the great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020 (I'm officially calling it that). Toilet paper has been pretty hard to come by since this whole pandemic thing started, and if you are lucky enough to buy a pack of rolls, then it feels like you won the lottery. But what if I told you that there is a better solution? Yes, you could look into a bidet attachment for your existing toilet, which is actually healthier, more hygienic, and much more environmentally friendly than toilet paper. A bidet actually uses about one-eighth of a gallon of water, while a single roll of toilet paper needs about 37 gallons of water to make.
While there are fancy bidets and smart toilets that can be expensive, a simple bidet attachment can be pretty affordable. I actually picked up a basic Bio Bidet attachment from Costco for less than $30 when it was on sale.
A better clean
Healthier, more hygienic, and environmentally friendly.
The Elite3 is a simple bidet attachment that doesn't require batteries or electricity since it connects to your toilet's water tank. It has retractable nozzles, a splash guard, and adjustable water pressure.
Managing Editor, iMore
I carry a Chico Bag around with me at all times so I'm never without a reusable bag if I make an impromptu stop at a store. Instead of paper towels or napkins in the house, I use cloth towels. I have a huge stack of tea towels for everyday use and a stack of rags for cleaning up spills and such. I also carry a FinalStraw with me wherever I go, so I can use a straw without asking for a plastic one (save the sea turtles!) And if the takeout box from a restaurant is made from plastic, I always keep it around and reuse it to store leftovers.
For when you make an unplanned stop at the store.
Chico Bags come with a carabiner so you can hook it to your belt loop, bag strap, or purse. No matter where you are, you'll always have a reusable bag.
Have your straw without using plastic.
The FinalStraw folds down into a case the size of a lipstick tube, so you can keep it in your pocket. It also comes with a cleaning brush, so you can clean it out before you leave the restaurant.
Staff Writer, iMore
"Easily" is a bit of a relative term, but here are some suggestions. Take public transit instead of a car whenever you can. Wash your clothes in cold water. While this may seem very minimal, it actually does help reduce your energy consumption.
Oh, and grow your own vegetables — this can be easy, even one or two plants can wield a lot depending on the type of plant. And use reusable bags instead of plastic, as well as reusable coffee tumblers.
Staff Writer, Android Central
One can always change their Amazon (and other online retailers) delivery options to group deliveries together, so that you get everything on one day a week or even month. This reduces the amount of packing materials needed, as well as gas emissions from the delivery trucks that need to stop by your house. You should also unplug devices that don't need to be constantly connected (the vampire electronics effect), and set up smart home routines for heating/cooling/lighting during the day. And if you are able to, purchase compostable or recyclable accessories whenever possible, such as Pela phone cases.
Environmentally friendly cases
Protect your devices with biodegradable cases.
Pela cases are available for iPhones and a wide variety of Android devices, as well as AirPods. The cases are 100 percent biodegradable and come in a nice selection of designs and colors for everyone.
Reviews Editor, Windows Central
Get a smart thermostat. It helps out with not heating up an empty house, thus reducing your energy consumption. The same thing applies with maintaining the house at a comfortable temperature for when you do return home. And smart thermostats end up learning how long it takes to heat or cool your home, so over time, it should be on less as it becomes more efficient.
Bryan M. Wolfe
Staff Writer, iMore
I'm trying to switch to reusable containers for certain purchases instead of getting plastic bags whenever possible. On top of that, I am limiting how often I go to the stores to reduce carbon emissions (plus it's not like we can go anywhere right now anyways). I am often implementing smart home practices as well, because it's important for regulating things like energy consumption in the house when no one is home and being more efficient.
Staff Writer, Android Central
Make what you have last longer. I mean, the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint? It's to buy less stuff, especially clothes. Do you really need that 100th graphic tee? Probably not.
Assistant Managing Editor, iMore
Jumping on something Jeramy said earlier (unplugging devices that don't necessarily need to be plugged in all of the time), you should limit your home energy usage overall. For example, don't keep lights on where you don't need them on. Ditto on devices. Limit the use of heating and cooling in your home, especially if you don't have a smart thermostat. Make sure to turn off lights and devices like televisions when you're leaving a room.
Social Media, iMore Contributor
I try to use reusable containers instead of disposable ones. Not only for water, coffee, and other beverages, but also for storing leftovers and packing lunches. I'm also trying to buy less "fast fashion," which are trendy clothes you wear for a season and then get rid of, and opting to invest in classic pieces I'll wear over and over.
News Writer, Windows Central
Grab an electric monitor that keeps track of how much power you use. You'll catch yourself turning things off more frequently and reducing overall power usage just because you can see how much energy certain activities use.
Track your energy use
Always know how much energy you're using at home.
This simple energy monitor installs easily, no electrician required. You can place it anywhere in the home, and you can see your usage data daily, weekly, or monthly. It can even alert you when there are spikes in use.
Staff Writer, Windows Central
Shop locally. You'll support your neighbors, you can usually walk to and from the location, and you're not getting involved in the whole worldwide shipping impact. This can also help you create lasting relationships at the same time, and for that you'll be much richer.
Staff Reviewer, Windows Central
Ask your current energy supplier for details on how the electricity is produced that's paid for by your tarrif. See if they have a renewable-only plan available to help minimize your impact on the environment. It's a win-win would be an eco tarrif that doesn't cost anymore than a fossil counterpart.
Executive Editor, Android Central
Unplug unused devices and chargers around the house. While electronics are supposed to be designed not to draw significant power when not in use, the reality is they often are! And that power draw adds up. If you aren't regularly using something, unplug it entirely rather than leaving it plugged in and "off."
What are your tips for reducing your own carbon footprint?
These are just some tips from all of us here at iMore, Android Central, and Windows Central on how you can be more environmentally friendly without too much effort. Do you have any tips that you want to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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