April 22, 2022 marks the 52nd annual Earth Day. First established by the United Nations in 1970, this global event is a day for people everywhere to celebrate the environment, demonstrate support for environmental protection, and make personal commitments to reducing their carbon footprints.
There are a lot of ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint. Read on to learn about a few, and check out our Earth Day Workbook to calculate your “Save the Earth” score and explore global per capita energy usage.
1. Change up your daily commute by walking, biking, or taking public transit
Personal vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to your carbon footprint. Instead of making your daily drive, opt for a greener method of transportation if possible. Compared with driving, taking public transportation reduces CO2 emissions by 45% and saves the US over 35 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year. If your commute is short enough, you can cut your carbon footprint even more by walking or driving. And if you can’t avoid driving, try carpooling with family members or friends with similar commutes.
2. Use reusable bags and water bottles instead of disposable alternatives
Between 4 and 12 million metric tons of plastic waste pollute the ocean every year, much of it made up of single-use plastics like disposable bags, water bottles, and packaging materials. Oceanic plastic pollution harms animals, damages fragile ecosystems, and ruins the natural beauty of coastlines and waterways. You can reduce your own plastic contribution by opting for reusable items like bags, water bottles, and straws instead of their single-use counterparts. Make a habit of bringing these with you when you run errands or travel, or opt for paper alternatives when available. If you have to use single-use plastics, make sure you properly recycle when possible.
3. Be mindful of your home energy usage
There are a lot of ways you can reduce your carbon footprint from the comfort of your own home. Small things like turning off the lights when you leave a room, taking shorter showers, and unplugging electronics when they’re not in use can add up to significant environmental impacts. By reducing your home energy usage, you can also reduce your monthly energy bill, meaning the environment and your wallet will thank you.
Bonus: With the money you save from reducing your home energy usage, consider reducing your environmental impact even further by shopping sustainably.
Take the Save the Earth Challenge
Learn more about ways to reduce your carbon footprint with our Earth Day Workbook. Check out the Save the Earth Scorecard sheet and check off each task you complete to calculate your score. While you learn about saving the earth, you can also learn more about Spreadsheet.com’s unique features like row grouping and Data Types such as Select and Attachment.
Explore Global Energy Usage
Take a look at the Energy Use by Country sheet to see how countries around the world measure up in their energy use per capita. Explore the stacked column chart – built with Spreadsheet.com’s built-in charts feature – to compare countries and visualize how different energy sources contribute to each one’s total usage.