Industrial towers releasing smoke into the air.

Shop to Lower Your Footprint

Lately there has been a lot of discussion on your carbon footprint and its impact on the environment. But what does that even mean? Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide you produce both directly and indirectly. You increase your carbon footprint by simply doing things like heating and cooling your home, driving your car, and even charging your cell phone. Most of our power comes from burning fossil fuels. Anytime you are using power, you are increasing your carbon footprint.

But do not worry, there are many ways that you can reduce your footprint by being conscious of your handprints. In everything you do, there is a way to be more efficient. One topic of discussion is online shopping. The idea is that by ordering something online instead of driving to the store, you can reduce your carbon footprint because you will not be using your car. This is an excellent way to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you create, but only if it is done correctly.

Ordering in bulk is the key. If you order one shirt from store A, another from store B, and something else from store C and they are all shipped separately, you are creating more carbon dioxide than if you drove to the mall and got all of your items in one trip. This is also not a good idea if you have the ability to walk or bike to the store. Those means of transportation will use even less energy.Person typing on computer keyboard

So what is a good solution to this problem? There are many retailers that are developing programs where you can schedule deliveries at your convenience. For example, CVS allows you to schedule deliveries if you know you always need certain items. If you need ibuprofen, band aids, and toilet paper on a monthly basis, you can have CVS deliver it to you automatically each month. This will not only save you time, it can also greatly reduce your carbon footprint if you are able to order many items at once. The goal is to reduce the number of trips you make thus lowering your impact.

There are many other ways to reduce your carbon footprint, but this topic is an emerging field that is becoming hugely popular. Again, it is important to use discretion when implementing this strategy. Remember the goal is to reduce the use of your vehicle as much as possible.

For more ways to reduce your carbon footprint, check out this link.

Want to measure your carbon footprint? Use this calculator to find out!

 

Additional Resources:

http://monroe.ifas.ufl.edu/pdf/community/Energy_Efficient_Homes_Factsheets/FY1040_Carbon_Footprints_FCS3271.pdf

http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/

 

Contributed by Trevor Ackerman, Sustainability Program Assistant