Part of living simply, living frugally is to look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle normal, everyday things, reduce energy consumption, use earth’s resources minimally, reuse what we already have, restore what was old to become new again. There are many frugal things to do and be mindful of when thinking of our resources and the earth’s resources. It may look different for individual families, but in the big picture they all point to the same results-a cleaner earth, less product wasted.
I want to share with you a resource to find out what your carbon footprint is. Nature Conservancy offers a Free Carbon Footprint Calculator that will help you see where and how you need to cut back on things like travel, food and diet, energy usage and recycling.
When we calculated our home/family score we discovered that while our
Travel and Recycling scores were very low (that’s good) our Food and Diet and Energy Usage was fairly high (that’s not good). These will be things to consider in the future. I feel like Energy Usage will be easier to cut back on by doing basic things like ensuring lights are turned off, eliminate phantom power, nighttime fans are turned off. Food and Diet consumption though…I was surprised by this one. Since we garden, preserve our own food, try and buy locally as much as we can I thought it would be lower. This will take a little more brain power. Thankfully that doesn’t cost money:)
Practical Ways to Lessen Carbon Footprint:
Travel: Keep errands to one day per week; carpool; ensure tires are properly inflated; take public transportation; walk or ride your bike.
Food and Diet: buy locally; eat more vegetable based meals; buy food in season; eat organic.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: use water bottle from home, rather than purchasing bottled water or drinks from the store; collect rain water for garden use or animal consumption; burn cardboard, paper, etc.; Compost; reuse food containers (jars, plastic tubs, donate egg cartons to chicken farmer); use what you already have; pass items in good condition to a thrift store; buy thrift.
Energy Use: Eliminate Phantom Power (see above link); heat and cool house by natural methods; keep heat off until absolutely necessary; hang dry clothes; take shorter showers; cook one pot meals; switch to energy efficient appliances and light bulbs.