Earth Day Part 3: How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Here at Dime Bags, our goal has always been to bring durable and environmentally friendly hemp bags to fans all over. Dime Bags are Made on Earth, for Earth. This is how our iconic Hempster, a blend of recycled polyester and hemp, was born! We hold ourselves to a certain standard, knowing as a company it is our duty to protect the environment by living and consuming as consciously as we can. Check out part 2 of our 4-part Earth Day blog series to read about how we practice sustainability!
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions caused by something, including individuals. Unfortunately, the average carbon footprint of an American is 16 tons, whereas globally, the average is closer to 4 tons. 😲 Curious about your footprint? You can calculate it here!
We’re not here to tell you how to live your lives, but we at least wanted to give you some earth-friendly tips in case you were interested. With a promise of a fresh new year in our sights, let’s look at a few easy ways we can all reduce our carbon footprints. 👣
Check out the first two installments here!
- Earth Day Part 1 - The History of Earth Day
- Earth Day Part 2 - Our Sustainability Promise at Dime Bags
Shopping sustainably can mean many things--whether you’re choosing to support brands who use recycled materials or ones who give back to environmental organizations, where you spend your money matters! We like to think of it as voting with your dollars. 😉
According to the UN, “fast fashion” is responsible for about 10 percent of all global emissions, along with 20 percent of global wastewater, ICK! This is why it is so important to do research before making your next purchase. Look for brands that are not just environmentally focused, but also have ethical practices.
One of our favorite sayings here at Dime Bags is “quality over quantity.” As a consumer, you should be opting for items that will last you a lifetime rather than trendy and cheaply made garments that just eventually end up in landfills. Even when you’re on a budget, you can always check out your local thrift store and give clothing a second chance at life. 👚
Invest in Reusable Products
We’ve all heard the phrase “save the turtles,” but seriously, we need to save our whole planet. One easy way we can reduce the amount of plastic we’re contributing to this world is to purchase reusable alternatives. Single-use plastics such as straws, plastic bags, and water bottles are modern conveniences that get quickly thrown away without a second thought.
Although recycling these items can be a better option than just throwing them in the trash, a recent study shows that only 9 percent of plastics end up even being recycled. Atrocious, we know. This means that even if we choose to recycle, these items could still end up clogging up our landfills. So, now what? Well, the best way to eliminate plastic is to opt for something reusable instead. Here’s a list of some of our favorite, and super easy, reusable alternatives.
- Refillable water bottles and travel coffee mugs - A great way to show your personality too! Don’t forget to slap a Dime Bags sticker on there 😉a
- Reusable grocery bags - You can get some at gift shops or the store itself. (P.S. did you know the plastic zip bags that hold our patches are reusable, smell proof Dime Baggies? Well, now you do!)
- Metal or bamboo reusable straws - Many come in cute travel cases or can bend for easy to carry!
- Bring your own produce bags - Stuff some mesh bags into your reusable grocery bags for your produce.
- Use Beeswax wrap instead of plastic - A fun and natural alternative to wrap up your food. And hey, it’s made from bees! 🐝
- Silicon food bags instead of zip-lock - These babies are reusable, washable, and come in many fun color/ pattern options!
One of the most effective ways to combat climate change is to stop eating meat, which is one of the leading causes of pollution. The meat industry is associated with fossil fuel usage, methane production, as well as water and land consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. We know that this is not a realistic option for everyone to become vegetarian or vegan. However, just limiting your daily meat consumption or having “Meatless Mondays” can end up making a huge difference in the long run. 🥬
Here are a few more ways you can choose to eat consciously:
- Eliminate or reduce meat and dairy consumption
- Choose Organic or local foods that are in season
- Buy in bulk rather than individually packaged foods
- Plan meals ahead of time to reduce food waste
- Compost if possible!
Rethink the Way You Travel
One of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to reconsider your mode and frequency of travel. The typical car releases about 404 grams of CO2 per mile and 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Let’s be realistic, most people can’t just give up driving a car. But there are some other simple ways we can reduce our carbon footprint while still getting where we need to go.
If you can, try riding a bike to work or to your local coffee shop instead of driving. This is obviously the most eco-friendly way to travel, emitting 0 greenhouse gases, while also being a nice workout! You can also opt for riding the bus, taking a train, or carpooling to make your trip more climate-friendly. 🚉
If you can’t possibly give up driving your car, don’t fret! There are still other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint without giving up the luxury of driving.
- Limit your gas/break usage
- Invest in fuel-efficient, hybrid, or electric cars
- Fly less
- Make sure your vehicle is regularly serviced
- Cut down on your AC usage
- Use cruise control on longer trips
- Limit the amount of weight in your car
Get Politically Active
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, VOTE! I bet you’ve heard this one a lot recently, but it really is necessary to take governmental action against climate change. Pay attention to the candidates you're voting for and what their environmental stances are. Become politically active, do your research and make sure you let your representatives know that this issue is important to you. You can do this by writing a letter to your representative, or even sending an email. But of course, make sure you avoid being a “one-issue voter”. Look at all the items on your ballot and make sure your candidate aligns with the issues that are important to you!