How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint With Little-Known Sustainable Products
Reducing your carbon footprint is easier than you think with the help of some little-known sustainable products. Here are some tips to get you started:
Use Reusable Grocery Bags
Single-use plastic bags are a huge source of waste and emissions. Carry reusable grocery bags instead to avoid generating unnecessary plastic waste. Canvas totes are durable and can be used for years. Some grocery stores even offer small discounts for bringing your own bags!
Reusing a bag just a few times makes a difference. For example, if a plastic bag is used only once, its carbon footprint is around 5.6 pounds of CO2. However, if used 5 times, that drops to 1.1 pounds. Reusable bags can be used at least 100 times, reducing emissions dramatically.
Try Rechargeable Batteries
Alkaline batteries aren’t very eco-friendly once their charge runs out. Opt for rechargeable batteries and a charger instead to reduce waste. Rechargeable batteries made of nickel metal hydride (NiMH) work well and can be reused hundreds of times before needing replacement.
I prefer Panasonic Eneloop rechargeable batteries. A 4-pack of AA Eneloops provides around 2,100 recharges – the equivalent usage of over 10,000 disposable batteries! Rechargeables save money in the long run too.
Install Smart Power Strips
Many appliances and electronics draw power even when switched “off” due to standby modes. Smart power strips sense when a device is not in use and cut the power, reducing your energy use.
I use the TP-Link Kasa Smart Power Strip in my home office. It has individually controllable outlets to customize which devices are completely shut down. The manufacturer estimates it can reduce standby power waste by up to 75%.
Use Reusable Food Wrap
Plastic wrap and bags are used once and tossed. Reusable food wraps made of beeswax or silicone are an eco-friendly alternative. They form a seal to contain food and keep it fresh.
I keep a set of Etee reusable food wraps on hand. To reuse, simply wash with cold water and soap after use. Over time, reapply beeswax to refresh. I’ve used my Etee wraps for over a year now and haven’t had to purchase plastic wrap or bags in that time.
Consider Compostable Phone Cases
Many phone cases are made of plastic. Compostable cases made of bioplastics, wood, or other materials are better for the planet. When their useful life is over, they can break down naturally rather than sit in a landfill.
Pela phone cases are a great option. They make slim, protective cases from compostable bioplastic. I’ve used their cases on my last few phones. At the end of the case’s life, it can be sent back to Pela to be recycled or composted properly.
With some research, you can find sustainable swaps for many everyday products. Reducing your personal carbon footprint is an achievable goal with the help of these and other eco-friendly products.