Thursday, December 6, 2018

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint

As have guessed, with all of our animal (and human) needs...
we are a rather large consumer of energy.
And although our property has a great number of trees that help to offset
our carbon footprint, 
there is much we can do to lessen our environmental impact.

We are converting our house to solar power in the next couple of months.
Up until that point, we have been obtaining our electricity from a 
renewable source.
(We have the option to pick who we pay to provide our electricity.
And although renewable companies cost a little more than those that use
fossil fuels, we feel that it is an important thing to do.)

There are many other ways in which we can all decrease our carbon footprint.

Eat less meat.
(This is actually the #1 way we can make a difference!)

Or buy your meat directly from local farms... making sure it is 100% grass-fed.
We are lucky, where we live, because this is an option.
For many, it is not.
However, cutting back on the amount of meat you eat and substituting other 
sources of protein (such as eggs, beans and rice, and certain grains - like quinoa) 
several times a week is easy.
Industrialized beef farms (from where grocery store meat comes) are responsible
for more greenhouse gas (methane, specifically) than motorized vehicles.
Amazingly,  5000 gallons of water are used in the production of one pound of beef.
We could all make a big difference if we would cut beef out of our diet.

This is the little farm that supplies us with grass fed chicken and meats.
It is within 10 miles of our home.
The shed you see has freezers in it filled with farm-grown meats.

Use less electricity.
Set your thermostat lower and wear sweaters.
Use LED lightbulbs.
Turn off lights when you are not in the room.
Air-dry your hair (it's better for your hair, anyways)
Unplug technology when not in use.
Hang your laundry outside to dry, if you can.

Drive less.
This is easy if you live in a city...
public transportation is available.
Walking more and biking more are healthy alternatives.
We rural folk don't have those options.

Buy fewer clothes.
The manufacturing of clothing is energy intensive.
Clothing has become almost disposable these days.
Consider shopping second-hand, or clothes swapping with friends, or buying vintage,
or making your own.  Luckily, with today's fashion trends, everything is in style.

Plant a garden.

Eat locally grown food whenever possible.
Nowadays, produced is shipped into this country from all over the world.
And although it is great to have such a wide variety to choose from,
a price is paid in the fossil fuels used to ship all of that produce.
Local produce is much healthier, as it is consumed right after being picked.
The longer the time period between picking and consuming, the more nutrients are lost.

We do not have the luxury of curb-side recycling where we live,
but we separate our recyclables (plastic bottles, glass metal, paper, cardboard, styrofoam, etc)
 and drive them to a recycling center every few weeks.

 I think that the thing that I have started to pay more attention to is packaging.
I am trying whenever possible to get away from plastic packaging.

In 1950, the world produced 2 million tons of plastic yearly.
By 2018, plastic production has grown to 400 million tons yearly.
Only 15% of all plastic is recyclable.
And only a small percentage of what is recyclable gets recycled.
The rest ends up being burned (releasing nasty compounds into the atmosphere),
or being buried in a landfill, or ending up in the ocean.
Sadly, much of what we recycle ends up never being reused-
it is much cheaper to produce new plastic than it is to recycle the old.
Plastic manufacturing is extremely energy intensive.

I have so specific ideas for you which I will share tomorrow!


colleen said...

I love this and can't wait until tomorrow.

Carine said...

Thank you so much for this post. I love it. Yes, yes yes, WE all Can use leSS energy, leSS altogether. I have Been practicing for years. Also I repair a lot: shoes, socks, clothes. I am an embroiderer ans embroidery IS a beautiful way to repair or transform anything.

Marsha said...

Thanks for the suggestions!! We recycle or reuse!

Karla said...

I love this! Thanks so much! If we all do some, it will make a huge difference.

Unknown said...

Bright Eye Solar is thrilled to be installing your solar array. Your farm is beautiful!

Missy George said...

I recycle, don't eat much meat anymore, buy local, hardly ever buy clothes, drive less, keep the thermostat low and live in the dark but my garden has flowers in it! I guess I'm not doing too badly.xxoo

An American in Tokyo said...

Thank you for the wonderful reminders!
I do a lot of those things already without realizing it was reducing my carbon footprint! ha ha!

I hope you are enjoying your time away from the farm.
Be sure to eat some crab if you like crab! It's the best crab in the world, but I am biased because I used to live there! ha ha!

Anonymous said...

You are going to love going solar!!! We even rain our all electric car (Leaf) off our solar. Something to add to list: airline travel. I am one to talk since I am sitting here, 4200 mi from home, in Ecuador.


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