How to reduce your carbon footprint

October 06, 2022

reduce your carbon footprint

This isn’t a drill — our planet’s facing huge change. Average temperatures are rising, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are becoming more common.

While climate change is a complex problem that needs to be addressed at a global level, there are things we can do individually to mitigate the problem. And one of the most important things you can do is reduce your carbon footprint. 

Read on to learn more about how you can do so and play your part in helping the planet.

What is a carbon footprint?

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced (carbon dioxide and methane) by a person, event, product, or organisation.

These emissions come from different sources, including:

  • Electricity and heating — from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas;
  • Transportation — from cars, trucks, buses, and planes;
  • Industrial processes — from manufacturing, construction, and agriculture;
  • Agriculture — from livestock, deforestation, and food production.

An individual’s carbon footprint refers to the total emissions that come from their daily activities. It’s important to note that almost everyone has a carbon footprint, and it’s near impossible to have a “zero carbon” lifestyle if you live in urban areas.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to reduce your emissions. Even small changes can make a big difference in the fight against climate change.

Ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Use less energy at home

less energy consumption

Good for the environment and your wallet — it’s a win-win! One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to use less energy at home. Here are some things you can do:

  • Invest in energy-efficient appliances and lighting;
  • Turn off lights in unused rooms (remember when your parents used to nag you about this?);
  • Unplug electronics when not in use;
  • Fill the washing machine and dishwasher before starting them;
  • Wash your clothes in colder water;
  • Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer;
  • Spend less time in the shower (yes, that means a little less singing!).

Use public transport or ride-hailing

According to the European Commission, passenger cars produce 12% of total EU CO2 emissions. If you can, choose public transportation — it’s shown to produce 76% less greenhouse gas emissions per passenger mile than an average private vehicle.

If public transport isn’t an option, or you prefer more convenience, consider carpooling or a ride-hailing service like Bolt. This can help reduce the number of vehicles on the road and, as a result, emissions.

If you want to take your efforts one step further, Bolt offers electric vehicles in select cities. Fewer cars on the road and less emissions? Yes, please!

Walk, bike or take an electric scooter

electric scooters

This one’s pretty simple — walk if your destination’s close enough. If it’s a bit further, hop on a bike. And if it’s too hot or you don’t feel like pedalling, take an electric scooter or an e-bike.

Electric scooters are increasingly popular worldwide as they offer a fast and efficient way to get around. Say goodbye to being stuck in traffic, and hello to fresh air!

And if you’re worried about the cost of an electric scooter, don’t be — Bolt offers on-demand scooter rental in select cities. Just open the app, find a scooter, and start riding!

Recycle and compost

You eat, you drink, you use products, and then they end up in the bin. But is there a better way? Estimates suggest up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food waste.

Recycling and composting are two ways to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment. Here’s how they work:

  • Recycling: This involves sorting your waste into different categories to be turned into new products. For example, glass bottles can be melted into new bottles, jars, or other glass products.
  • Composting: A process of breaking down food and other organic waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment. This compost can later be used to fertilise soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilisers (read more from our blog post on composting).

Buy local produce to reduce food miles

reduce food miles

When buying local produce, you’re not only supporting your community; you’re reducing your carbon footprint. That’s because local produce doesn’t have to travel as far to reach your plate, which means fewer emissions from transportation.

Food miles is the distance food travels from production to consumption. According to a study, food miles were responsible for 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions in just one year. 

So, next time you’re at the grocery store, check the labels and see where your food’s coming from. If it’s from your local area, great! If not, consider opting for something else.

Avoid single-use plastic

We’ve all seen pictures of turtles with straws in their noses and dolphins with plastic bags around their fins. And we know that plastic pollution is a huge problem. But did you know it’s also a major contributor to climate change?

Plastic’s made from fossil fuels, which means that its production results in greenhouse gas emissions. And once it’s produced, plastic can take centuries to break down. In the meantime, it harms wildlife and pollutes our oceans and land.

So, to reduce your plastic footprint, avoid single-use plastic whenever possible. Hit the shops with reusable shopping bags, invest in a reusable water bottle, and say no to plastic straws.

Offset your carbon footprint

Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid emissions altogether. That’s where carbon offsetting comes in.

Carbon offsetting refers to the process of compensating for your emissions by investing in projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions elsewhere. For example, you might invest in a wind farm or a reforestation project.

At Bolt, we’re neutralising our carbon footprint by supporting sustainable projects like Seedbolts — a seed-planting initiative in Kenya. 

To date, we’ve neutralised the environmental footprint of over 4.5 billion kilometres of Bolt rides. And we’re not planning on stopping!

Let’s reduce our carbon footprint!

Now that you know a few ways to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s time to put them into action. 

Remember, every little bit helps. Whether it’s recycling, sustainable travel, or offsetting your emissions, every small step can make a big difference.

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