How To Become Carbon Neutral

Become Carbon Neutral

Climate change is the most pressing issue facing the world today. The effects of rising global temperatures are becoming more and more visible each day with each new catastrophe. Records are being shattered left and right. And not the good kind. 

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Frankly, it’s a dire situation with real consequences. But that does not mean there is nothing to do about it. Both individuals and businesses can do their part to slow climate change and help prevent irrevocable damage to the earth.

How can the do this? One important way is by going carbon neutral. Keep reading for more details about what this means and how to do it 

What Does Carbon Neutral Mean?

What is carbon neutral? When people talk about trying to become carbon neutral, they are referring to the process of evaluating how much carbon dioxide they are producing and then planning ways to offset that amount so that the net effect is zero carbon emissions.

It’s an important idea since carbon dioxide is one of the key culprits in contributing to human-caused climate change. When humans burn coal or oil (which has been the primary way of using energy since the Industrial Revolution) it creates carbon dioxide which goes up into the atmosphere and contributes to the warming of the planet.

So, that’s climate change 101. But there are ways to reduce and even offset completely the amount of carbon dioxide you’re creating.  You can contribute money or effort for enough activities to reduce carbon emissions so that it makes up for the amount you’re creating.

The idea is that when you combine all the positives and negatives, the amount of carbon pollution left is zero. Going carbon neutral means that you are reducing your carbon footprint as much as you can, and then offsetting the rest. 

Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Of course, it’s cheaper and better for the environment not to produce carbon dioxide in the first place. So, what are some ways to reduce your carbon footprint? The more you do so, the less you’ll have to pay to arrive at neutral. 

1. Recycle Paper

Let’s start with an easy one. If you or your company are not already recycling your paper waste, it’s time to start. Reducing your paper waste is one of the most basic ways to reduce your environmental footprint and lessen the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. 

After all, trees are one of nature’s best ways to collect carbon dioxide naturally before it goes into the atmosphere. Better yet though, reduce your paper usage in the first place. It takes energy to make paper, transport it, and even recycle it. Reduce your paper consumption and recycle what you can. 

2. Embrace Teleconferencing

It is true that in-person interactions are typically the best. But if you or your company are routinely flying for meetings, you might want to consider using teleconferencing more and reducing your air travel.

Air travel is a huge contributor to greenhouse gases, and even modest reductions in flying go a long way toward reducing your carbon footprint. One idea is to simply reduce your in-person meetings by half. Use teleconferencing for the other half. It’s quicker, cheaper, and greener. 

3. Install Efficient Windows

Homes and offices leak huge amounts of heating and air-conditioning into the air. This typically means carbon-based power was used to generate that comfortable air that is going to waste. Having good windows (and energy-efficient buildings in general) helps you not waste energy. 

4. Install Solar Panels

This is a next-level action that has huge environmental benefits. Using the sun for power doesn’t rely on any fossil fuels. It greatly reduces your carbon footprint. Don’t let the up-front investment scare you off. The energy savings will pay for themselves before you know it.

If you or your business is ready for serious action to combat climate change, contact a solar panel installer today. 

5. Let Employees Work From Home

Working from home reduces emissions in lots of ways. The most obvious is that an employee doesn’t have to drive or take a bus to work, therefore reducing emissions from gas-powered vehicles.

There are less obvious benefits, too. Working from home people are more likely to cook at home, use non-disposable dishes, and waste less energy on air-conditioning or heating (since they can control the temperature individually).

Offset the Rest

Once you have reduced your carbon as much as possible using the above methods (or others that you come up with) you’ll likely not yet reach carbon neutrality. This means you’ll have to purchase carbon credits for offsetting the rest. 

What does that mean? It means that you’ll pay for investments into green energy projects or other activities that will reduce carbon emissions equal to the amount you’re still creating. Sometimes it could be as simple as planting trees to offset a certain amount. 

To know the amount you’re creating and needing to offset, will require a professional evaluation. This is well worth the cost and effort since you will literally be helping to save the planet. Often consumers want to see companies doing these activities, so it should help your business, as well.

Do Your Part 

Climate change is a huge issue that will take all of us to tackle. By committing to going carbon neutral you or your company will be taking a huge stand against the dangers of climate change.

It’s not an easy or cheap fix. But, by reducing waste, recycling, and installing solar panels, you can significantly reduce the number of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. For the remainder of your footprint, purchase carbon credits to achieve carbon neutrality. 

Of course, the more you do to reduce first, the fewer credits you’ll need to buy.

Check back soon for more great articles!

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