Unexpected Ways to Reduce Your Community’s Carbon Footprint

As the eco-conscious movement travels throughout America, communities take steps towards sustainability. Reducing localized greenhouse gas emissions both prevents climate change and improves air quality. Communities with low-emission technology have a higher market value, improving real estate and commercial revenue.

Sustainable communities also support President Biden’s national carbon neutrality goal. Upon entering office, he develops a plan for increasing climate change prevention measures. Various cities and neighborhoods can adopt green technology and energy-efficient practices, improving ecological protection.  

Installing Bike Lanes

During combustion, cars release carbon dioxide into the environment, generating atmospheric degradation. Communities can decrease their greenhouse gas emissions by establishing bike lanes and paths. Cycling is a sustainable alternative to driving fossil fuel-reliant vehicles.

The transportation sector produces 29% of the nation’s total emissions. Installing bike lanes may promote alternative forms of travel using zero-emission devices. The upgrade can significantly shrink a community’s carbon footprint.

Regions can additionally install community bikes, creating regional accessibility. Communities can increase resident’s likelihood of biking over driving by providing the necessary resources. Adding bike lanes and community resources can also improve the localized air quality.

Researchers unveiled the connection between high emission areas, like cities, and poor lung health. Air pollution increases one’s risk of developing lung cancer. It also causes chest pains, coughing, wheezing, and asthma attacks.

Develop New Parks

Individuals may evaluate community parks as resources for play and social engagement. They often overlook their contribution to greenhouse gas emission reductions. Community parks promote ecological conservation by encouraging kids to shut down their electronics.

In the U.S., the majority of our electricity source derives from fossil fuels. Coal, oil, and natural gas generate nearly 81% of our electricity. The more time we spend on our electronic devices, the bigger our carbon footprint becomes. Promoting outside play reduces the quantity of time spent in front of the TV or computer.

Increasing the number of parks in a community additionally limits greenhouse gas emissions. Building community play spaces in scarce areas can reduce transportation emissions, improving transportation by bike or foot. Community health also increases with more parks, stimulating cognitive development and weight reduction.

Build a Community Garden

Community gardens promote healthy eating, and they reduce pollution. The transportation of food generates a significant quantity of carbon emissions. Food travels from the farm to a processing and packaging facility, then the grocery store, and then your home.

Community gardens limit the emissions necessary for accessing healthy foods. They also eliminate plastic packaging and container waste. The agricultural industry generates 14.5 million tons of plastic garbage each year.  

As the waste breaks down, it creates microplastics, littering the ocean. The microscopic pollutants cause ecosystem degradation, entering aquatic species’ bodies. Microplastics work their way up the food chain, ending up on our plates.

When humans consume plastic, it causes adverse health effects. Community gardens limit the number of microplastics we consume. They also reduce pesticide and synthetic fertilizer runoff, further protecting marine species.

Industry-scale farming relies on artificial additives, yielding enough crops to satisfy consumer demands. When it rains, stormwater carries the substances to the ocean, generating algal blooms. As algae grow, they deplete localized oxygen levels.

Over time, the regions become uninhabitable by aquatic species. Without adequate protection and nutrients, the species become endangered. Fortunately, small-scale agriculture can utilize permaculture and other sustainable growing methods, eliminating reliance on pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  

Host a Community Toy Swap

Swapping toys is another method of conserving energy and reducing emissions. Many manufacturers create toys out of plastic. When you purchase a new product, you take on its carbon footprint.

The Barbie company is notorious for generating trendy dolls, and their production methods cause environmental degradation. The $1.5 billion company uses 3.2 cups of oil to produce one doll. A significant number of dolls also end up in landfills at the end of their lifecycle.

The company’s packaging methods additionally create plastic waste, generating surface pollution. Rather than purchasing new toys when your child outgrows theirs, you can swap used products with kids in the neighborhood. Recycling toys eliminates production emissions and plastic pollution.

When you host a toy swap in your community, you can reduce the emissions one would generate traveling to the store. Communities can also utilize the exchange for recycling clothing and other products. Unlike adults, children are less concerned with the prior use of their products and more about changing their play environment.

Bring in Electric Vehicle Taxis

Communities can increase their sustainability by transitioning away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles towards the electric alternative. Since Tesla released the first zero tailpipe emission car, other companies have developed similar commercial models. Recently, New York City adopted electric taxis, significantly reducing transportation emissions.

Few individuals can support the upfront cost of an electric vehicle. Fortunately, green taxis can decrease community emissions without requiring residential investments. They shrink the local carbon footprint while increasing air quality.

The Future of Green Living

When individuals consider transitioning towards a sustainable lifestyle, they think of giving up the things they love. Fortunately, environmental scientists and engineers develop zero-emission technology that supports the modern lifestyle. We can improve climate change prevention efforts in the coming years while engaging in the activities we enjoy.

Renewable energy and energy-efficient devices support our current lifestyles while reducing our environmental impacts. The green future will look a lot like our lives today, with better air quality and fewer health problems.

Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief of Momish Magazine and believes in science, that climate change is real, and is doing her part to keep Mother Earth healthy for the future of her four kids.