ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Going Green: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Updated on April 30, 2012

Going Green: Save Money, Your Health and the Environment

This guide offers ways to learn about your carbon footprint and reduce it for your health and the earth. Tips include: How to go green by recycling and re-using, living green at home, driving less and walking and bicycling more for fitness and the environment -- and natural cleaning and shopping alternatives to using chemicals in your home. Save money and the environment by going green.

Simple go green changes such as using natural personal care products, reusable grocery bags and getting more exercise instead of driving make a difference in the quality of our lives and help to improve air quality and cut down on carbon emissions from vehicles and manufacturing.

One of the most delicious ways to go green is to buy local. Benefit your locally-owned business and eat fresh, local produce, local dairy, local eggs. Buy locally made gifts and home decor, and grow organic herbs and vegetables in a conservation garden to save water. Quick green strategies such as walking more, eating organic food and cutting down on chemicals in the home improve your health. Going eco-friendly can be easy!

Bicycle Commuters

Photo by Richard Masoner.
Photo by Richard Masoner. | Source

Transportation & Food: Buy Local

Campaigns urging people to take public transit, carpool, bicycle or walk address one of the areas where going green makes a major difference. Rather than driving solo or driving for every work, class and errand transportation need, teaming up with others to share the car for errands and selecting alternate, cleaner modes of transportation when possible creates an immediate improvement in your carbon footprint.

A creative way to work on the goal of using the car less involves combining your green goal with your fitness goals. Mark days on the calendar for walking or bicycling where you want to go. For example, on Saturday bicycle to the farmer's market rather than driving to the grocery store. This gives you double green points as local produce requires less fossil fuel to reach you, and picking it up and delivering it to your home on your own power gives you a healthy cardiovascular workout while using clean energy for transportation.

Buy local -- selecting locally produced products from locally owned stores, benefits your local economy and reduces emissions by reducing your reliance on groceries and other products transported long distance. Growing your own organic herbs, vegetables and flowers beautifies your home and provides fresh food high in antioxidants. Farmers markets offer a source of local fresh food -- produce picked closer to ripeness tastes better than food harvested early and shipped long distances. Based on widespread cases of contamination linked to commercial produce, buying local food may reduce your risk of food-borne illness -- in addition to sparing the planet all the carbon emissions from long-distance trucking. Spread the word. Natural peaches, tomatoes, greens, berries and squash free of pesticides and full of the flavors and aromas lacking in supermarket produce -- eating this way spares your body and the environment from unnecessary toxins.

Go for triple points: buy organic and non-toxic cleaning products and natural personal care products to reduce your use of chemicals. Look for cruelty-free products that aren't tested on animals. Continue the green theme by making a salad for at least one meal a day, saving the gas or electricity of cooking and increasing your produce intake.

Easy Eco-Friendly Tips

1. Carry reusuable grocery bags in your car. Take them into the store with you for your groceries. This reduces all the waste and energy involved in making plastic and paper grocery bags.

2. Use vinegar and baking soda for home cleaning tasks. This reduces chemicals in your home and in our water supply.

3. Make decorations out of natural materials, such as garden flowers, foliage and ribbon instead of paper streamers and plastic party favors that end up being thrown away.

4. use jars to store food. This protects your food from plastic that can leach into food, makes it easy to see what you have in the fridge and reduces waste from plastic containers and the manufacturing of plastic.

Reuse, Donate & Recycle

Donate clean materials such as leftover scraps from remodeling and pots from gardening to elementary schools and senior centers.

Bust clutter in your home, garage and storage areas by donating items eligible for reuse or repair to thrift stores. Goodwill and computer recycling facilities accept electronics, even dead and outdated computers and components, and some will take TVs and other small electrical items. This provides a convenient means to keep these items out of landfills. Your donations benefit the community as these operations provide jobs in addition to keeping waste out of the earth. Some electronic recycling programs accept all kinds of electronics, from answering machines to microwaves, heaters and televisions.

Many communities offer a variety of recycling and waste collection options such as curbside recycling and recycling drop-off stations. Common recyclables that often get thrown in the garbage include plastic containers, buckets, cans, jars, cardboard boxes, computer paper, newspaper and bottles. In areas that don't offer curbside recycling, getting together with friends, family members or neighbors and making an outing out of a trip to a recycling drop-off center helps make it a habit and saves on gas.

Go Green: Conservation Garden

A conservation landscape conserves water and energy.

  • Replace lawns with drought-resistant ground cover plants or rock gardens.
  • Limit plants that require regular watering to one or two areas of the property and water them early in the morning or in the evening to reduce water loss from evaporation.
  • Employ solar power for a fountain and for outdoor lighting to use clean solar energy rather than electricity to power your landscape features.

Natural Home Products

Making your own non-toxic cleaning and personal care products from natural ingredients saves on chemicals, transportation pollution and waste from packaging. Making your own personal care products such as shampoo, conditioners and lotions also allows you to customize them with natural scents. Glass containers offer the convenience of refilling them and selecting containers the go with your decor, such as cobalt, green or red glass.

Health food stores carry unscented, naturally scented and chemically free cleaning, personal care and beauty products. Some health and natural food stores carry some of these products in bulk, so you can purchase castile soap, vinegar and other basics and keep them in refillable, non-toxic containers, instead of adding to the amount of plastic in the world.

Thanks for visiting.

Please vote up if you appreciated this hub. Thanks!

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint Poll

Have you made changes in your lifestyle to reduce your impact on the environment?

See results

One world

The devastation of the rainforests causes irreparable harm.

Your Carbon Footprint: Baseline and Goals

As with a diet, fitness program or project for work, starting from a baseline and creating goals gives structure and a way to measure your progress on going green. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Nature Conservancy maintain online carbon footprint calculators. Enter information about your current lifestyle to receive a look at your contribution to greenhouse gases. Both websites offer information on reducing your carbon footprint.

The EPA calculator helps you estimate your current carbon emissions. Carbon emissions contribute to climate change. After finding your baseline, the calculator offers suggestions for reducing your emissions and let's you calculate your savings -- in both carbon emissions and money by reducing your carbon footprint.

EPA: Individual Emissions Calculator -- Climate Change -- Greenhouse Gasses

Going Green: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint -- Author's Note

This year I increased my bicycling and walking -- I leave the car parked at home more of the time.

I do all the yard work by hand -- more exercise and no racket or energy use from power tools. I grow organic herbs for year-round cooking, eat as organic as possible and have enjoyed discovery artisan cheeses, organic wines, farmers' markets, outlying produce stands and other sources of food in my region in my buy local adventure. I even discovered locally raised grass-fed beef.

My lifestyle is closer to the lifestyle of my ancestors, eating fresh whole foods, doing most of my own cooking -- I avoid processed foods -- and getting lots of outdoor exercise.

When I'm moving through my community without a car, I meet neighbors and see aspects of nature I would have missed moving at a faster pace. Last week I discovered wild orchids.

Going green and living lightly on the earth are healthy practices that save money and improve health.

Please share this page if you enjoyed it.

Updated April 30, 2012

Copyright Travis Arts, 2011, 2012, all rights reserved.

Protected by Copyscape; do not copy.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 

      8 years ago from Jamaica

      The goal is to use less petroleum based products, buy less things in plastic, grow plants for food, buy from farmers. love it.

    • SanneL profile image


      8 years ago from Sweden

      This is an excellent hub!

      We all should start to think more how we can go green. This list with its Eco-friendly tips is very helpful. I will share this hub, because of its importance.

      Well done! Voted up and useful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)