Being Aware of & Reducing My Carbon Footprint
Being Aware of and reducing my carbon footprint wasn’t something I was too concerned about–I used to think this was up to the big boys like manufacturers and the major corporations–the folks creating plastic packaging and all things un-recyclable. So I hadn’t given it much thought, until recently because in Truth and reality, we are all in this together.
A carbon footprint as defined by The Nature Conservatory is: “the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by our actions. The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally, the average carbon footprint is closer to 4 tons…”
(In full disclosure, I haven’t taken this step but) if you want to find out what your carbon footprint is, the site has a cool calculator.
But Aren’t Greenhouse Gases Naturally Occurring? Why Should I Care?
Yes, greenhouse gases do naturally occur. Greenhouse gases are gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that trap heat causing the greenhouse effect. When the sun shines during the day it warms the Earth’s surface. At night, the ground cools and the heat is released back into the air. If this didn’t occur, there would be an Ice Age of which we wouldn’t be participating in.
So heat being released back into the air is necessary and not a bad thing right? No it isn’t.
BUT. Some of that heat gets trapped by the greenhouse effect. Human activity and habits have multiplied this phenomenon exponentially (in other words, a whole heck of a lot. A whole WHOLE heck of a lotta lot!)
Now I know there’s a great deal of argument and disagreement on this thing called global warming and/or climate change, with many saying it ain’t so.
I’m just gonna say, when I was a kid it snowed a lot. Schools closed on da the regulah each winter. But it had to be somethin’ like 6 inches or so for that to happen, ’cause they were like, you little knuckleheads are goin’ tah school dammit. All that to say that it was normal to have snow days. Now, we have leaves on the trees till November almost freakin’ December in my neck of the woods. In recent years, the cherry trees started blossoming in DECEMBER. That scared the p’willies outta me!
Yeah, But Bird, Climate Change is Inevitable. Ain’t It?
I’m not a scientist, but I don’t think we would be experiencing the drastic change in weather patterns and events that we are to the degree that we are without factoring in our lifestyles as a contributor. Maybe climate change is inevitable, but I figure I might as well do my part to reduce my carbon footprint and to continue to increase my Awareness.
When there is responsibility to be owned up to, that can be like the thought of having to pick up squiggly earthworms and that’s the last thing ya wanna do.
But part of becoming more Conscious, Mindful and Aware is so much about recognizing what we are responsible for and owning it.
Get Educated, Become More Aware
We all throw out trash. What are we throwing out? And even if you’re a manic recycler faithfully putting the recyclables in the right containers on the right days, do you know that much of what we put out to recycle does NOT get recycled????!
“Contamination can prevent large batches of material from being recycled. Other materials can’t be processed in certain facilities. Moreover, many items that are collected, such as plastic straws and bags, eating utensils, yogurt and takeout containers often cannot be recycled…”
That quote is from an interesting, informative and important article I urge you to read (but not before finishing this post haha): Recycling in The U.S. is Broken. How Do We Fix It?
(note the article is from 2020 so the numbers aren’t representative of now)
MAN all the vidz with TONS of plastic bottles in the oceans and on land just breaks my heart 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 etc. The more I saw those disturbing vidz, the more I said, ‘Bird, c’mon nah, what can you do?’ YOU throw out trash, ya gotta be more responsible! And, as things go when you are wanting to level up your Frequency and increase your Mindfulness, things seemingly appear for you by magic.
More articles caught my eyes that are written to get our collective attention. There are so many things we can choose from in being more Mindful of our carbon footprints.
I Got A New Attitude 🎵🎵🎵🎵
1. On the laundry tip I’ve learned that the detergent with the dyes stain the cartons and are no good for recycling. I thought using clear and scent-free liquid detergent was the bee’s knees but as mentioned earlier, much of what we recycle ends up on the trash heap and in the oceans. So even before I began to search for options, this came down in my IG newsfeed immediately:
I was like, really? Sheets to wash clothes????? Ehhh, not too sure about that! But it swirled around in my mind-space and I figured, what the heck, let’s give it a go. As backup, I still have tons of the liquid stuff.
Surprisingly and happily, it has passed the test it gets our clothes really clean–AND so I’ve been using it and love that it eliminates that big plastic bottle jug! I will continue to use Earth Breeze
2. Supporting Small Businesses. I have always been a proponent of and for small businesses, lately even more so. Many are at the forefront of Mindfulness in the creation and distribution of their products, packaging and messaging.
3. Supporting Farmer’s Markets. Read a really good article awhile ago by a woman who was looking to lessen her carbon footprint and one of the things she did was support her local Farmer’s Market. I was impressed at the time I read the article, but hadn’t really dove into being more Mindful in this way. It was hit or miss, if I got there cool, if not, cool.
Now I can definitely say that supporting the Farmer’s Market cut down on so much plastic, the folks that sell are nice friendly and you get the benefit of food from farm to table. If you have access to these folks in your area, do go! You’ll see the difference in how much you reduce your non recyclable and non-biodegradable trash.
4. Carrying Tote Bags. There ain’t nothin’ old ladyish about it! I was doing this well before the ban on plastic bags in New Jersey (which they see they will have to modify) and it’s a satisfying thang.
5. Bamboo Toothbrushes. There are a ton of choices and colors in which to choose from!
6. Papaya Reusable Paper Towels.
I am a paper towel fiend and I also hate sponges, they smell almost immediately! This product is dabombdiggedybomb and then some! No smell, reusable and quite durable. Help me cut down on paper towel use and goodbyyyyeeeee sponges! Love it Love it Love it! Papaya Reusable Paper Towels, check them out.
7. Floss. I hated my floss. But it’s something I gotta do. Everyday. But over time, stores stopped carrying the one I used and finding a suitable replacement was a search. I’ve tried all kinds, all brands. Some a disaster (DENTAL TAPE??? YIKES!) and I had about had it. The hunt continued and I started looking around (again!) and came up with two that I really dig:
Both have reusable containers! They ping-pong back and forth as to who my favorite is– Better and Better is plant-based, vegan, eco-friendly, cruelty-free and it slides easily between my very tight teeth. And you can refill the glass container! Love it!
And in the other corner is Cocofloss, which comes in a plastic container, also refillable. I like it too as the floss comes in different flavors and colors 😊 and slides pretty well between my teeth. I like it but I do think however, if I had tried Better and Better first I may not have looked any further)
8. Plant Milk Maker. We consumed our share of plant base milks, primarily almond and coconut. But I kept reading the ingredients and not totally diggin’ ’em and in my CFLJ (carbon footprint lowering journey) I decided to make my own doggone milk, and after reading many reviews, settled on Tribest, thus eliminating adding more cartons to the trash. AND I LOVE IT!
9. Shipping Packages. I didn’t necessarily consider what I shipped my MODAL VISIONS handmade creations in, I just sought out what was inexpensive and lightweight. Now I have sought out and found more eco-friendly shipping materials that are also light and get the job done.
Some Food For Thought
To quote a friend, I hope that I’ve given you some food for thought and to Inspire you to kick-start and/or ramp up your lowering carbon footprint game. I am always on the lookout for new things to implement and hey, got some ideas to share? Please do!
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