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Simple steps to reduce carbon footprint

The effects of global warming are more apparent now than ever. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, the last five years were the warmest in the modern record.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that without significant course corrections, we might face worsening risks of drought, floods, and other natural disasters that may directly impact millions of people around the world. The timeline to ensure that we do not face this dire possibility is impossibly short—11 years according to the IPCC.

Addressing the threat of climate change will need coordination and unprecedented multilateral action from various developed and developing countries. But small contributions of individuals to help stem a worsening climate problem cannot be discounted. 

The Philippine Wood Producers Association shares the following tips people can do to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Be smarter with your commute

Simple steps to reduce carbon footprint
Biking to work is beneficial to both the environment and body. 
Carbon emissions from vehicles are large contributors to people’s overall carbon footprint. Those who live close to their workplace, biking or walking to the office is a great alternative—it reduces carbon footprint and helps keep body active. Those who need to get on a ride to reach the office, on the other hand, carpooling or taking public transportation is better than bringing a car individually.

Be more efficient in using electricity

Simple steps to reduce carbon footprint
Unplug appliances and devices not in use.
Choosing to set air conditioning unit to 25°C, for example, helps a lot in decreasing energy consumption. Some other sensible steps one can take is ensuring to unplug devices after use and investing in appliances that are certified energy-efficient.

Choose eco-friendly packaging

Simple steps to reduce carbon footprint
Bring canvas bags when shopping. 
Plastic is not just a problem in terms of the amount of waste, producing it also entails tons of carbon released into the atmosphere. When shopping, it’s best to bring reusable containers and bags, and refraining to purchase items such as fresh produce packaged in plastic.

Be more conscious about your food

Simple steps to reduce carbon footprint
Eat more fruits and vegetables. 
Choosing to eat more fruits and vegetables can also help reduce carbon footprint, as meat and dairy production is responsible for 14.5 percent of manmade global greenhouse gas emissions. Being more mindful about the food we put inside our body directly helps in improving our environment. 

Use eco-friendly construction materials

Simple steps to reduce carbon footprint
Wood is an eco-friendly construction material.
PWPA says wood, being a natural material, is the most eco-friendly construction material. It needs little resources to be harvested and utilized. It is also proven to be renewable and sustainable. And among all of the existing construction materials, only wood is able to store and retain carbon dioxide throughout its life cycle unless it is burned or allowed to decompose, said the organization.

Topics: NASA , Goddard Institute of Space Studies , UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
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