Best (& Most Effective) Ways To Reduce Your Own Personal Carbon Footprint

Best (& Most Effective) Ways To Reduce Your Own Personal Carbon Footprint

You’ve probably read a few of these ‘reduce your carbon footprint’ guides before … and, so have we.

But, did you know that some guides might be giving you only the ‘low impact’ ways to reduce your footprint?

There’s been research done into what the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint are, and the approximate CO2e (kg of carbon dioxide equivalent) reduced per year by implementing these actions.

What was found was that there’s a clear difference between ‘high impact’, ‘moderate impact’ and ‘low impact’ actions.

It makes sense to seriously consider the high impact actions on an individual level, and through society as a whole.


Summary – Most Effective Ways To Reduce Personal Carbon Footprint

Some of the high impact ways listed below include:

  • Think about the number of children you have – each extra person in the world introduces new carbon emissions to the world
  • Think about how much you use your car, and consider how you can walk or ride around more (or catch public transport) – cars/individual conventional fuelled cars contribute to a lot of carbon emissions because they burn fossil fuels
  • Think about how often you fly in planes – taking less plane trips a year can reduce carbon emissions
  • Switch to renewable/green energy – if your house currently runs on coal or gas power, switching to solar or another renewable energy technology reduces emissions
  • Consider how you drive – buying a fuel efficient car, buying an electric car, or simply reducing the amount of braking and accelerating you do can all reduce emissions
  • Consider what your food diet looks like – meat, animals based products and processed foods all tend to have a high carbon footprint than plant based diets. It’s also worth noting that the highest offending carbon footprint meats tend to be beef, lamb, and pork, with chicken usually having a smaller carbon footprint


High Impact, Moderate Impact, & Low Impact Actions For Reducing Carbon Dioxide Emission Footprint

Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas outline high impact, moderate impact and low impact ways to reduce carbon dioxide in terms of approximate CO2e reduced per year (in kg):

High Impact Actions

  • Have one fewer child – 23, 700 up to 117,  700 CO2e reduced per year (kg)
  • Live car free – 1000 up to 5300
  • Avoid one long range flight per year – 700 up to 2800
  • Purchase green energy – less than 100, up to 2500
  • Reduce effects of driving – 1190
  • Eat a plant based diet – 300 up to 1600

Moderate Impact Actions

  • Better home heating/cooling efficiency – 180
  • Install solar panels/renewable energy
  • Use public transportation, ride a bike, or walk
  • Buy energy efficient products
  • Conserve energy – 210
  • Reduce food waste – 370
  • Eat less meat – 230
  • Reduce consumption in general (of products)
  • Reuse – 5
  • Recycle – 210
  • Eat local – 0 up to 360

Low Impact Actions

  • Conserve water
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel
  • Minimize waste
  • Plant a tree – 6 up to 60
  • Compost
  • Purchase carbon offsets
  • Reduce lawn mowing
  • Eco tourism
  • Keep backyard chickens
  • Buy Eco labelled products
  • Calculate your home’s carbon footprint

Civic Actions

  • Spread awareness
  • Influence employer’s actions
  • Influence school’s actions

–, and

You can read more on their analysis into the climate mitigation gap at:



Further Solutions On Climate Change & Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We’ve also put together a guide on potential solutions for climate change and greenhouse gas emissions based issues, effects and impacts.

You might get some more ideas and insight into the issue by reading it.





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