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5 ways to offset your carbon footprint

March 15, 2022

This is having a huge impact on the environment, accelerating climate change and damaging ecosystems. More and more people are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint in a bid to reverse this. 

For five ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, keep reading.

1. Green banking🌳

There are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint, but one that isn't often considered is eco-friendly banking. Mobile banking with bunq allows you to manage your money securely while offsetting your CO2 output as you spend.

Several features are in place to help the environment wherever possible. Easy Green users plant trees to help reforest the world - one for every €100 spent. By working with Eden Project in Kenya and Madagascar, the bunq community has planted over 4 million trees so far, and that number is still growing!

Our Freedom of Choice feature allows you to earn interest and invest your finances in an environmentally friendly way, improving your carbon management. All banks invest their users’ money, but we ensure it's done ethically. We offer a range of eco-friendly industries that you can invest in to ensure complete sustainability.

A set amount of your money is invested in the ECB (European Central Bank). For the rest, you can choose how from the following categories:

  • Green companies
  • Personal mortgages
  • Personal Lending
  • Other bank loans
  • All companies

Since the launch of Easy Investments, you can also automate your savings and direct them towards green, ethical investments. 

2. Avoid fast fashion👔

Globally the fashion industry generates 10% of CO2 emissions, and uses over 1.5 trillion liters of water annually. To add to this, we use millions of barrels of oil each year to create polyester fiber, which is mass-produced and often thrown away quickly.

Fast fashion garments are worn very few times and often thrown away within weeks or months of purchase, greatly increasing the emissions produced. The nature of the clothing industry also means that CO2 is produced in large amounts just for transportation.

It adds to deforestation on a huge scale, as the fashion industry cuts down millions of trees each year so that manufacturers can produce cheap fabrics.

To reduce your carbon footprint, try to ensure your clothes come from environmentally conscious suppliers. You can also make an effort to shop local and purchase second-hand clothing, reducing the amount that ends up in landfills.

3. Reduce consumption of animal products🍗

Livestock within the meat and dairy industries account for 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. This is roughly the same as all cars, planes, ships, and HGVs combined.

On top of this, the meat and dairy industry causes mass deforestation, and it has also resulted in the extinction of several plants, insects, and animal species.

To combat climate change many people are turning towards plant-based diets. The carbon footprint of someone with a vegan diet is significantly lower than that of a meat-eater, and each person that switches helps make a difference.

But of course, going vegan is a big step for most people, and is rarely easy to do. You may find it easier to transition slowly, reducing the amount of meat and dairy you consume over a period of time. You could also try to ensure that animal products you consume are from sustainable sources.

Many food companies now produce meat alternatives. These are plant-based foods that are specifically designed to taste and feel like meat, making it easier for people to switch over.

4. Avoid single-use plastic🛍️

Single-use plastics are perhaps the most well-known source of carbon emissions. For decades, many industries have used them. It's only in recent years we've begun to notice the impact they've had on the environment.

Plastics aren't only harmful due to the emissions generated through production, but also because of the disposable nature of these products. Things like drinks bottles, coffee cups, straws, packaging, and more are produced in huge amounts and thrown away after being used just once.

These plastics can take centuries to break down, and as such, they remain in landfills. A lot of plastics find their ways into forests, rivers or oceans, where they cause harm to local wildlife. Animals will sometimes eat smaller plastics after confusing them for food.

There are many ways that you can reduce your plastic use, such as:

  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Reusable food containers/cutlery/water bottle
  • Use a bamboo toothbrush
  • Avoid foods with unnecessary packaging
  • Purchase packaging-free soaps/detergents/shaving creams

5. Switch to clean energy🍃

Everyone uses energy in their lives. Most homes, cars, workplaces and leisure activities rely on electricity or some other form of fuel.

Burning fossil fuels causes mass amounts of pollution, and the more we burn the worse it gets. Fossil fuels are limited, so as they become harder to obtain, more energy is used to source them.

Switching to sustainable energy sources wherever possible can help with this. Solar panels are becoming more popular. They can be installed on the roofs of commercial and residential buildings, supplying power with less reliance on the electrical grid.

Wind farms have become more common over the years, generating electricity with wind turbines rather than burning fuels. Electric/hybrid cars are also growing in popularity, reducing the amount of petrol we burn collectively.

Other renewable energy sources include:

  • Geothermal energy
  • Hydroelectric power
  • Biomass energy
  • Tidal power

These are less common for day-to-day use, but as advancements are made, they’re becoming easier to access.

Reducing your carbon footprint🙌

The key to reducing your carbon footprint is understanding the best ways to do so and making the effort to implement them. You may be a long way from buying an electric car, but something as simple as switching your banking over to bunq is a great first step. Click here to start your free trial today and plant 10 trees right away. 

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