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You’re an environmentally conscious yogi, right? It seems the two usually go hand in hand. Love for yourself, for others, and for our planet is kind of our jam! It’s likely that you recycle, try to use public transportation, and shop local whenever you can. But there may be things you’re not aware of that are increasing your carbon footprint. We’ve found a few creative ways to lower your impact on the planet you love!

 

What’s a Carbon Footprint?

carbon-footprint

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support your daily activities as a human. It’s usually expressed in equivalent tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). It can be calculated by individual or by household. Chances are, if you become more conscious about your carbon footprint, you’ll begin to notice other ways you can help conserve our planet’s natural resources.

 

At Home

Believe it or not, where you live actually affects your carbon footprint. Some states generate cleaner electricity than others by using water, wind or solar energy as opposed to natural gas. Other factors to consider within your own home:

Energy Usage
*Use energy efficient light bulbs and appliances.
*Turn off lights when not in use, and unplug chargers and unnecessary appliances. Many of your electronics use up energy even when not in use!
*Insulate and seal your

Waste
*Recycle.
*Reuse where possible.
*Donate gently used items like clothing, housewares and electronics. You can even donate things like eyeglasses, cell phones and cars!
*Compost if possible. Composting keeps our rapidly expanding landfills, can reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers used to grow food, and can even be used to decontaminate polluted sites by replenishing healthy pH and toxicity levels.
*Dispose of your electronics, appliances and CFL/LED light bulbs properly. Some things do not belong in the landfill because they leech harmful chemicals into the ground or simply don’t decompose. Check your local listings to find out where you can take unique items.

Water
*Turn off the water while brushing your teeth, washing your hands or your hair.
*Limit showers to 5 minutes.
*Fix your leaks and drips in pipes and faucets.
*Plant low water use and climate appropriate grass and plants in your lawn and garden.
*Use less fertilizer, or none at all. While it may promote plant growth, it increases water needs of the plants.
*Weed your gardens and lawns regularly. Weeds use up water too!
*Bathe your pets outside so you can water your lawn at the same time.
*Consider replacing your grass altogether with edible plants! Bonus points for reducing your footprint on two levels: water conservation and eating locally!
*Install H2O conserving appliances, shower heads and toilets.
*Collect the water you use to rinse fruits & veggies and use it to water your houseplants. You can also use melted ice cubes from your beverage for the same purpose, as well as runoff when you’re waiting for hot water.
*Install a rain sensor in your sprinkler system so it’s sure not to run when it isn’t necessary.
*Use less fertilizer, or none at all. While it may promote plant growth, it increases water needs of the plants.
*Weed your gardens and lawns regularly. Weeds use up water too!
*Use a broom to clean patios and sidewalks instead of your hose.
*Wash most of your clothes in cold water. This saves water and energy.

 

What Are You Eating?

What Everybody Needs to Know About Ayurveda

There are so many ways that our food affects the environment. From how we grow it, how we transport it, how we process it, how we store it, and how we dispose of it. Here are a few ways you can help reduce your impact through how you interact with food.

*Eat Locally: Not only does this reduce the amount of transportation pollution to get your food to you, but many small, local farms are able to avoid the use of pesticides and harmful chemicals that also affect groundwater and your family’s health.
*Eat In Season: This is another way to reduce transportation pollution. Eating foods out of season means they have to travel farther to get to you.
*Eat Raw: Depending on the food and your Ayurvedic makeup, it might be possible to avoid using water and energy to cook some foods and just eat them as they come.
*Eat Less Meat: It’s no secret that industrial farming has an immense impact on the environment. It requires a lot of energy, and in some cases, a lot of land that could be used for trees and open spaces. If you do eat meat, it’s best to find it locally from smaller farms, to eat less beef, and even consider adding wild game to your menu.
*Eat Less Cheese: The production of a pound of cheese can produce 11 pounds or more of carbon dioxide.
*Reduce Paper and Plastic: When at home, try to avoid paper plates and plastic utensils, and use more Tupperware than Ziploc for leftovers and brown bag lunches.
*Eat Your Leftovers: You’ll conserve energy if you can skip cooking a meal.

 

How Do You Commute?

Most of these are fairly obvious. You can carpool, bike to work sometimes, use public transport, or ditch your car altogether. But, even how you maintain your car can affect your traveling footprint. Make sure your tires are always inflated to their proper PSI, keep air filters clean and new, don’t overfill your gas tank, and regularly have your emissions checked.

If your job allows it, you could even consider working from home to negate the commute altogether! If you have to fly for work, try to reduce the distances you fly and how frequently you do it. Can this meeting be done via Skype or other video chat service? Can you consolidate two stops?

Outside of your daily commute, try to think out of the box when it comes to travel. When you vacation, try to find carbon-conscious or even carbon-neutral airlines if you’re flying. Use public transportation when you reach your destination, especially if you’re going to a city where it’s efficient. You can also use our tips for travelling green here.

 

Offsetting

Cahuita Costa Rica

If owning a car and being a frequent flyer cannot be avoided, consider offsetting your carbon footprint. Carbon offsetting is done by supporting renewable energy and global energy efficiency and reforestation projects. Carbon offsets are tax deductible if done through a nonprofit company like carbonfund.org, and oftentimes you can choose which projects your money goes to. Also, you could plant some trees yourself!

 

Volunteer

If you want to get more involved and you have time to spare, consider volunteering at a place that promotes carbon offsetting or environmental care efforts. You’ll feel good about it, meet like-minded people, and help save your planet one project at a time!

There are so many ways to reduce your carbon footprint and your impact on the environment. We want our planet to be beautiful and our resources to be bountiful for our future generations! If we all do our part, there is hope for a bright future for our Mother Earth!

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