Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint in 2023 Through Beauty Habits
Climate change can be frightening. Science is complicated, and there are many unknowns about future consequences. While true solutions will necessitate global action, there are choices you can make in your daily life to reduce your personal impact on the environment.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
According to the World Health Organization, a carbon footprint is a measurement of the impact of your activities on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by the combustion of fossil fuels, and it is conveyed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tons annually.
The total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) produced by our actions is regarded as our carbon footprint. The average carbon footprint of an American is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world. Globally, the average carbon footprint is relatively close to 4 tons. To have the best chance of avoiding a 2°C increase in global temperatures, the average global carbon footprint per year must fall to less than 2 tons by 2050.
10 Ways to Reduce Carbon Footprint without Feeling Guilty
Sustainability is no longer an option, but rather a provision. Climate change is a real problem, but it is also solvable. There are numerous doable actions you can take to protect the planet from a constantly changing climate.
There are many simple and effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint. If everyone works together to reduce carbon emissions, we can have a big impact on our planet. Here are 10 ways how to reduce carbon footprint at home without guilt between consuming and living sustainably.
1. Driving Less
Carbon dioxide emissions from transportation overtook emissions from electricity generation as the leading source of greenhouse gases in November 2017. Electricity generation is transitioning away from coal and toward more renewable and natural gas sources.
According to a 2017 study from researchers at Lund University and the University of British Columbia, going carless for a year could save about 2.6 tons of CO2 — a little more than a roundtrip transatlantic flight. So, how do you avoid driving? Take the train, bus, or, even better, ride your bike.
2. Fly Less
If you fly frequently, taking one fewer long round-trip flight could significantly reduce your personal carbon footprint. Aim for environmentally sustainable flights with less carbon emissions.
If you can't avoid flying, you can compensate for the emissions by donating money to sustainable carbon offset projects like providing efficient stoves to rural homes or helping farmers in India sell crop waste as biomass. Sometimes airlines will provide this option, or you can use a third-party service like Atmosfair or Terrapass.
3. Consume Less Meat
While food systems are complex, and research on the most environmentally friendly diet is still evolving, experts generally agree that eating less meat, particularly red meat, is a better choice for the environment. This is due to the extensive use of feed, water, and land in the production of red meat. Cows produce methane emissions as well (a harmful greenhouse gas).
As a result, experts believe that following a vegan diet is best for the environment. A study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in 2017 found that red meat can have up to 100 times the environmental impact of plant-based food.
4. Less Waste
Americans waste roughly 40% of the food they buy on average. Fortunately, there are simple solutions to reduce food waste that can also save you money, such as;
- Planning before cooking. Cook no more food than you can consume. Consider the appropriate amount of food for the number of people eating, and tailor recipes to your specific requirements.
- Instead of throwing away leftovers, repurpose them.
- By freezing your food properly, you can extend the life of your food, including extra portions, as well as products such as fresh herbs.
- Instead of using disposable plates, wash your dinnerware. If you must use disposable plates, bowls, and cutlery, there are eco-friendly options (look for compostable or biodegradable options).
5. Consume Less Energy
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average American home spends 25% of its energy on heating, 13% on heating water, 11% on cooling, and the rest on appliances. Even minor changes to these can have a significant impact. You can accomplish a lot without using a hammer or a check.
So, turn off lights and appliances when not in use. Replace your lights to LED lights. Watch movies on your smart TV rather than your game console. Unplug your appliances when not in use.
According to a 2014 E.P.A. report, Americans generate approximately 258 million tons of trash per year, 169 million tons of which end up in landfills and incinerators. That same year, Americans recycled and composted 89 million tons of municipal solid waste, saving the same amount of energy as generated by 25 million homes. You can help by recycling paper, plastic bottles and tin cans.
7. Make Your Home More Energy-Effective
Small changes to your home's insulation and design, ranging from do-it-yourself hacks to structural changes, can aid you in reducing your carbon footprint at home. Before you begin, you can conduct an energy audit or hire a professional to rate and score the energy efficiency of your home.
8. Buy Less
According to the World Resources Institute, each person consumes 20 pieces of clothing per year. This is due to "fast fashion," which refers to clothing that is produced quickly, cheaply, and in an unsustainable manner. As the cost of our clothing declines, the environmental costs rise.
Invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. Purchase carbon offsets. Recycle or donate your old clothes. Shopping for vintage clothing also contributes to carbon emission reduction.
9. Refuse Using Plastics
Say no to single-use plastics and paper products and instead opt for reusables. If you must use disposable plates, bowls, and cutlery, there are eco-friendly options (look for compostable or biodegradable options).
10. Recycling Biodegradables
Set up a compost system for your food scraps, or locate a food scrap drop-off center (such as a farmers’ market or community garden) near your home.
What is Carbon-Neutral Beauty?
The only distinction is that carbon-neutral beauty is limited to the beauty industry. A carbon-neutral beauty product emits the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere as the amount offset by other means, such as contributing to global climate change initiatives.
To understand their carbon footprint, beauty brands must first examine the entire life cycle of their products and have a complete picture of what is involved in manufacturing their products.
Easy Beauty Habits We Can Change
Our skincare habits can help revolutionize our current situation regarding climate change, here are ways how to reduce carbon footprint of the beauty industry.
1. Reuse cosmetic jars and containers.
Finding new purposes for your makeup bottles or cosmetic containers not only saves you money but also saves the environment. Empty compacts can be filled with hair elastics or a tampon. It's small enough to fit in your purse, making it ideal for a girls' night out. Choose perfume brands that allow you to refill your perfume bottle at a lower cost.
2. Use reusable cotton pads instead.
Many people use disposable face wipes, cotton balls, or pads as part of their skincare routine, which generates a lot of waste. Almost immediately after we use them, they end up in landfills.
Cotton's most significant environmental impacts, according to the WWF, are the use of agrochemicals, water consumption, and the conversion of animal habitats for agricultural use. Consider this: it takes 20,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of cotton.
Reusable cotton pads made of cotton or bamboo are an excellent eco-friendly option for makeup removal. After you've used them, simply wash them and they'll be as good as new.
3. Purchase products with minimal packaging.
According to Zero Waste Europe, approximately 120 billion units of cosmetics packaging are produced globally each year, with the majority (95%) intended for single use. According to The Guardian, the shipping industry, which is an essential part of the process, emits more than 1 billion tons of CO2 per year. Surprisingly, only 9% of the world's plastic is recycled.
The more packaging there is, the greater the carbon footprint, so when shopping, choose items with minimal or no packaging. There are many bath products, hair care bars, and facial soaps available today with no packaging.
4. Look for refillables.
We are all aware that plastic is a problem: according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, at least 8 metric tons of it are dumped in our oceans each year.
Recycling isn't always as simple as we think; according to National Geographic, only 7% of plastic waste makes it all the way through to be repurposed. The vast majority of available pumps are not recyclable. Neither do applicators. Even if they are made primarily of eco-friendly materials, makeup brushes are generally not recyclable.
5. Examine for eco-labels.
Sustainable brands frequently strive for a quartet of eco-labels: recyclable, cruelty-free certification from Leaping Bunny, certification for good business practices (such as Fair Trade or B-Corp), and organic ingredients.
We help protect the environment by looking for eco-labels because it means control bodies certify and recognize them as truly eco-friendly. We have a positive social impact because human rights are prioritized, and the products' ingredients must be fair-trade whenever possible; and we help animals because brands selling certified products must use alternative methods to animal testing.
The beauty industry has perpetuated the idea of continuous consumption, and it's time to try to create and sell more multipurpose, multifunctional, and longer-lasting formulations. These five easy ways to reduce carbon footprint can help a lot. But as consumers, we can help the environment by purchasing eco-friendly and sustainable brands, supporting these brands and their advocacies, and using more products that serve multiple functions.