Suggestions for Carbon Reduced New Years Resolutions
Canada is one of the world’s largest per capita emitters of greenhouse gases – Each Canadian produces 22 tonnes of greenhouse gas per year. So this year make a resolution to reduce your own carbon footprint and help Canada get on track to meet our climate goals!
CHANGE HOW YOU TRAVEL:
Transportation creates 27% of Canada’s emissions, so reducing your travel emissions can make a big difference. Living car free means saving an annual average of 2.4tCO 2 e from entering the atmosphere. nSwitching to an electric car reduces annual emissions by 1.3tCO 2 e, while a hybrid car saves on average 1.1tCO 2 e per year.
Commuting: Walking and biking can cut your commute emissions to zero. Switching to public transit can reduce your carbon footprint by 2.2tCO 2 e annually. Carpooling with just one other person every day to work can save 0.9tCO 2 e. *Based on a 15km commute each way.
Flying: Avoiding a single round trip flight from Toronto to Vancouver saves 1.4tCO 2 e while a transatlantic flight emits 1.75tCO 2 e per passenger.
Eco-driving:If you have to drive, being careful to ensure your driving style has no idling, avoids quick accelerations/decelerations, and no air conditioning while also frequently servicing your car, and having fully inflated tires can save up to 0.5tCO 2 e per year (and 30% savings in gas costs).
CHANGE HOW YOU EAT:
A meat lovers diet produces 3.3tCO 2 e per year compared to a vegan diet of 1.5tCO 2 e. A vegan diet isn’t for everyone, and even just cutting out beef can reduce a meat lover’s emissions by 1.4tCO 2 e! Going vegetarian can reduce emissions by 1.6tCO 2 e. Eating locally grown food, limiting food waste and composting unused food are also great ways to cut down the emissions associated with what you eat.
CHANGE HOW YOU LIVE:
The energy in our homes and buildings accounts for 22% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. Buying green energy can reduce personal emissions by 1.5tCO 2 e each year. Washing clothes in cold water and hanging them to dry saves 0.4tCO 2 e annually. Upgrading all home light bulbs saves 0.1tCO 2 e in a year.
CHANGE HOW YOU CONSUME:
The apparel and footwear industries account for more than 8% of global emissions, and as consumers we have a chance to directly influence this with our decisions of if or what we purchase.
Consume less: Use what you already have, borrow and share. The average Canadian throws out 36.7kg (81lbs) of clothing annually. A single kilogram of used clothing going to the land fill creates 3.6kg of CO 2 , meaning each Canadian could save 132 kg of emissions each year just by stopping clothing waste.
Buy secondhand OR buy quality Items: Buying one new white cotton shirt produces the same amount of emissions as driving a car for 55 km. Avoid fast-fashion: Buying high quality, classic items means they last longer and stay in style – reducing our urge to replace frequently. Extending the average life of clothes by just three months per item leads to a 5-10% reduction in the carbon, water and waste footprint. Also, just like plant-based diets reduce emissions, avoiding animal products in our clothing and gear reduces CO 2 emissions. Ensure you purchase items that will last and that are easy to care for.
CHANGE YOUR INVOLVEMENT:
We know that to take on climate change we need large-scale action. While it’s hard to directly quantify the impacts; supporting the climate movement, divesting away from fossil fuels, and voting on climate action are also important to reducing Canada’s overall carbon footprint.