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My CO2 footprint

7 simple hacks to reduce emissions

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You probably know that we are in the tree planting business. Planting trees has many benefits: We create jobs for people in need, habitats for endangered species and, of course, trees are a miracle weapon in the fight against climate change.

Planting trees is a great help, but unfortunately it is not enough to stop the rising temperatures.

Yes, we can point the finger at politicians and big corporations for causing more and more greenhouse gases, but we need to understand that we – the consumers – have a lot of power. We can influence large companies through our individual and collective decisions.

If we want to save the planet, we need to make better choices and reduce our carbon footprint.

Find out here what the carbon footprint is, why it’s a problem and how you can reduce your carbon footprint – in 7 easy-to-implement hacks.

Want to go straight to the 7 hacks? Just click here.

Why it is important to reduce our CO2 footprint

The Paris Agreement

No, it has nothing to do with croissants or the Eiffel Tower. Over 190 countries have joined the Paris Agreement alongside the European Union.¹ An international treaty in which the participating countries commit to reducing their emissions while working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Climate change and rising temperatures

One of the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.¹

You may be wondering why this is bad. Isn’t warmer weather good?

Not really, because a rise in temperature means more extreme weather events, from heat waves to storms and floods. It is expected that with a rise of 2 degrees Celsius, most of our coral reefs will disappear² and water levels will rise to such an extent that people will have to leave their beloved homes on the coast and move further inland. Some islands are to sink completely.

Sounds bad, doesn’t it? But if you know us, then you know that we are more of a “good news” kind of people. We don’t want you to go into panic mode right now. Because we can still change things and limit the rise in temperature.

Before we tell you about the easy-to-implement hacks to reduce your carbon footprint, let’s take a look at what the carbon footprint is.

What is my CO2 footprint?

The carbon footprint is used to determine the impact of an activity, a person or a country on climate change.

Take a look around. All the things you see are part of your carbon footprint: your clothes, your phone, your dinner and so on.

Before these things ended up in your home, they made a journey from sourcing to production to transportation.

The way you consume determines how high or low your carbon footprint is.

To have the best chance of meeting the Paris Agreement target and the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to reduce our individual carbon footprint to 2 tons, say scientists and researchers.¹ By comparison, the average carbon footprint of a person from the US is 16 tons, from the UK 12 tons and from Germany 9 tons.¹ Awesome, right?

This doesn’t mean you have to move into a cave without electricity, give up traveling and grow all your food in your garden. You just have to make smarter decisions.

Why planting trees is not enough

When a tree grows, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the air through a process called photosynthesis. It stores carbon as wood and releases oxygen molecules. For this reason, forests act like a giant filter. They extract the greenhouse gas from the air and only release it back into the air when they are burned or decomposed back into the earth.

Great in itself!

Some time ago, this cycle worked really well. In the meantime, we have lost our balance.

Unfortunately, our human activities are at a level where our forests can only absorb a small percentage of our emissions. This leads to more CO2 in the air and thus to accelerated climate change.

Ready to save the planet? Then let’s not waste any more time, here are the 7 easy-to-implement steps to reduce your carbon footprint.

Reduce CO2 emissions – 7 simple hacks

1. buy regionally

As a rule of thumb, the longer your food is on the go, the worse it is for the environment. Get food from your local farmer or farmers market. The great thing about it is that the food is fresh and tastes much better as it is most likely seasonal.

If you don’t have access to a farmer’s market, you can simply make smarter choices when grocery shopping. For example, choose loose fruit and vegetables instead of buying products packaged in plastic.

Pssst… I know your little secret. I know that there is a place in your kitchen cupboard where several plastic bags are filled in one. And that’s fine, but start bringing a reusable bag with you when you go shopping. It’s a simple hack to reduce not only emissions but also plastic waste.

2. green travel

The best option is to reduce transportation emissions by choosing a destination that is not too far away. However, if you would like to travel abroad, choose environmentally friendly destinations.⁴

Destinations that you can reach by train or bus are a good option. If you are flying, choose non-stop flights, as these usually take a shorter route. In addition, take-off and landing cause the most emissions during your flight.

Did you know that you can also plant a tree when you book your trip? More info about B’n’Tree here.

3. less driving

We’re not telling you to get rid of your car because we know that’s not possible for everyone. However, there are other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Start carpooling with colleagues, take public transport at the weekend, cycle to work. Every time you choose an alternative to driving, you help the environment.

And no, although it is quite popular at the moment, jets and rockets to Mars are not the alternative we are talking about.

4. check what you have before you buy something new

Much of what we have at home can be used in a variety of ways, be creative and make use of what we already have.

I’m sure we’ve all experienced shiny object syndrome at least once in our lives. Let’s make sure we don’t get caught again. The next time you want to buy something, ask yourself if you have anything at home that you can use.

5. turn your back on fast fashion

Some brands release new designs at lightning speed. You only have to blink once and boom! there’s a new shirt to buy. Unfortunately, it is no surprise that many perfectly good items of clothing end up in landfill or rotting away in a warehouse.

My personal tip: no window shopping! Seriously, if you can’t see it, you can’t buy it.

Of course, sometimes you have to replace a shirt or two if it looks like a piece of Swiss cheese. Good alternatives to fast fashion stores are second-hand stores and sustainable brands.

6. is it working for you? Water, of course.

Water is a precious resource and if you have an unlimited supply, consider yourself lucky! But this is not the only reason why you should be careful with water. The more water you use, the more emissions you produce.

Emissions are produced not only when we pour water into our homes, but also when we heat it for our daily shower.

Do not let water run for no reason. Make sure you turn off the water while brushing your teeth or soaping your body in the shower.

Bonus hack for the extra hardy from the garden: Reduce your carbon footprint by showering with cold water.

Remember, you are only as strong as your mind. At least that’s what my fortune cookie from last night’s dinner said.

7. stand-by mode? You can save yourself the trouble

You can compare the stand-by mode with your sleep. Your eyes are closed, you are asleep BUT you are still breathing. (I hope)

Because when you switch your appliances to stand-by mode, they are still running and therefore still generating CO2.

One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to switch off your electrical appliances when you’re not using them. Especially if you’re going away for the weekend.

We are all in the same boat

You have the power to change things. These 7 easy-to-implement hacks will help you make better choices and reduce your carbon footprint.

The change doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore, does it? And you don’t have to implement them all at once, just start with one hack and try it out for a week. Then choose another hack the following week and so on.

It feels great to know that you have done something good!

Plant a tree and create jobs for people in Ghana, Thailand and the Philippines




⁴ -umweltfreundlichsten-laender-welt/