How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Forgotten Green Products

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Forgotten Green Products

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Forgotten Green Products

Introduction

Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing our planet today. As individuals, one of the most impactful things we can do is reduce our carbon footprint. While many people are familiar with common green practices like driving less, eating less meat, and conserving energy, there are also many forgotten green products that can significantly reduce your carbon emissions. In this article, I’ll highlight some of these overlooked eco-friendly products and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle to make a positive difference.

Reusable Goods

Purchasing reusable versions of common disposable products can greatly cut down on waste that ends up in landfills producing greenhouse gases. Here are some reusable alternatives to consider:

Reusable Bags

  • Single-use plastic bags are terribly wasteful and commonly end up as pollution. Sturdy reusable shopping bags made of canvas or recycled materials are a handy replacement. Keep several in your car, backpack, or purse so you never leave the store without them.

  • For produce and bulk items, reusable mesh produce bags are ideal. They come in different sizes and greatly reduce the need for wasteful plastic bags from the grocery store.

Reusable Bottles

  • Reusable water bottles help curb the waste from single-use plastic water bottles. Carry one with you everywhere you go to stay hydrated on the go.

  • For hot drinks, reusable coffee cups and tea tumblers prevent the need for endless paper cups. They keep drinks hot while preventing spills in transit.

Reusable Straws

  • Plastic straws are very damaging to the environment but thankfully reusable straws made of materials like bamboo, glass, and metal are widely available. Keep a couple handy in your bag and say no to disposable straws.

Reusable Food Storage

  • Single use plastic baggies, saran wrap, and tin foil aren’t necessary for storing leftovers and lunches. Reusable containers made of glass, stainless steel, and silicone are a durable and planet-friendly alternative.

Sustainable Cleaning Products

Household cleaning supplies also present opportunities to go green. Here are some effective alternatives to mainstream options:

  • Reusable rags can replace billions of single use paper towels. Use cloths made of organic cotton or recycled materials.

  • For cleaning, choose non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaners. Brands like Seventh Generation, Ecover, and Mrs. Meyer’s avoid harsh chemicals that pollute water supplies. Or make your own using ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon.

  • Reusable mop pads reduce the waste from constantly throwing away disposable sweeper sheets. They are machine washable and work with any mop.

  • Refillable spray bottles allow you to buy eco-friendly cleaners in bulk and refill your own containers rather than constantly buying new plastic bottles.

Sustainable Menstrual Products

Menstruating individuals generate a huge amount of plastic waste from disposable pads and tampons each year. But there are reusable, affordable options:

  • Menstrual cups collect flow and can be rinsed, sanitized, and reused for years. Popular brands are DivaCup, Saalt, Lunette, and Lena. The upfront cost is higher but they save so much waste in the long run.

  • Cloth pads made from organic fabrics like cotton fleece and hemp provide leakage protection without harmful chemicals and waste. Change them out and wash after use. Companies like GladRags, Party In My Pants, and Sckoon make high quality sets.

  • For tampons, o.b. brand uses minimal applicators and packaging compared to mainstream plastic tampons. Or try The Flex Company’s reusable tampon applicators – insert the tampon like normal but remove just the cotton tampon and reuse the applicator.

Shifting Transportation

Transportation accounts for a huge chunk of most people’s carbon footprint. But small changes can dramatically reduce your auto emissions:

  • Walking, biking, or public transit are the lowest carbon options for shorter trips whenever possible. Leaving your car parked saves fuel and cuts emissions.

  • When driving is necessary, carpooling splits the impact among multiple passengers. Set up a neighborhood carpool schedule or use apps to find carpool buddies.

  • At the gas pump, offset your emissions by purchasing carbon credits from providers like Carbonfund.org and Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Calculate your footprint and offset the same amount in pounds of CO2.

  • If buying a new car, evaluate the MPG and consider choosing a hybrid or electric vehicle. Maintenance costs are lower and they produce less emissions over their lifespan.

Conclusion

Going green doesn’t have to be difficult or more expensive. Small swaps to reusable, eco-friendly products significantly lower your environmental impact. With a little extra thought, we can all reduce our carbon footprint and collectively take major strides to combat climate change. Voting with your dollars for sustainable goods fuels growth of the green economy while cutting waste. Our planet and future generations will thank you.