Carbon footprint is the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere as a result of an individual’s actions; in simpler words, it is the mark you leave on the environment. You and everything you own has a carbon footprint. Where you live, what you eat, what you wear, how you commute to work - all add to your carbon footprint.

  In the last couple decades, climate change has become an increasing topic of concern. The carbon cycle has become disbalanced and out of control. Carbon levels are directly related to global temperatures.

 As environment fanatics, we share this concern and have compiled 10 ways to significantly reduce your carbon footprint while maintaining your standard of life.

  1. Carpool to work, whenever possible. It seems like the kind of thing you are taught in schools, but 2-3 people sharing a car is bound to reduce fuel emissions considerably. What’s more, carpooling or using public transport can cut down your fuel costs too!

  2. Run your errands in batches. Instead of taking your car out everytime you remember an errand, make a list and do them in groups. Or, you can share your errand runs with a friend! This will result in a direct reduction of carbon emissions and save your time too!

  3. Reuse whatever you can. Try to mend, repair, hand down or sell second-hand things as much as possible. Try coming up with a new use for them instead of disposing them off. Torn T-shirt? A little bit of cutting and stitching can turn that into a stylish cloth bag! Empty shampoo bottle? Cut the top off, clean it up and voila - you have a pen stand!

  4. Make yourself and your home energy efficient. Appliances which are not being used must be switched off immediately. Electrical outlets, when not in use, must also be switched off. Biodegradable pads or menstrual cups significantly reduce the amount of trash and harmful toxins. Similarly, electrical razors take away the need for shaving cream or replaceable razors.

  5. Reduce your carbon footprint through food. Transportation of food is one of the leading causes of increasing carbon emission. Buying and consuming locally produced and organic food helps in reducing the carbon levels. Meat and dairy products are specially harmful for the environment. The amount of grazing land required for the animals is huge and results in deforestation, which leads to increased carbon emissions.

  6. Support clean energy sources. Whenever you can, opt for cleaner alternatives to to fossil fuel - solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass energy will all result in less carbon release.

  7. Drive smart. If it’s pleasant outside, roll down the windows the run the flow-through ventilation in your car instead of switching on the AC. Speeding and unnecessary acceleration waste fuel and money and increase your carbon footprint.

  8. Recycle. Recycle. Recycle! Recycle your papers. Recycle your plastic. Recycle your metal. Recycle your trash too! Vegetable produce can be converted into compost or manure and can be used to tend to your plants or garden.

  9. Plant a tree. According to the Urban Forestry Network, a single young tree can absorb up to 13 pounds of carbon emissions each year. Planting a tree is truly the best way to give back to the environment.

  10. Tell a friend. What the climate change issue needs most at this stage is awareness. So educate a friend on your new carbon-reducing lifestyle and encourage them to follow suit!

 Climate change is very much real and is in desperate need of our attention and immediate actions. Adopt a green lifestyle and encourage your loved ones to go green, too!