Terms like “sustainable” and “green” have been popping up on just about every product on the market within the last few years as consumers become more and more educated on the impact we have on our environment. At KW Plastics in Troy, we are the world’s leading plastic scrap recycler, and we are passionate about preserving and protecting our environment! This passion is behind everything we do, and has been the basis of our operations for more than 40 years. As a company, and as individual consumers, we are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint.

Taking care of our environment should be high on everyone’s priority list, and there are a lot of ways that the public can work to reduce our carbon footprint. In today’s article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the more common threats to our environment and some solutions for combating the destruction and depletion of our natural resources. Read on to learn more!

Transportation Impacts

It surprises some people to learn just how detrimental simple actions like driving and flying can be to our environment. Over the last several decades, the general public and manufacturers of cars, planes, and other means of transportation have learned more about the effects of CO2 emissions on our environment. Because of this, great strides have been made in the production of more fuel-efficient vehicles and clean emissions laws. There are even government incentive programs available to those who make the leap to a more efficient vehicle, such as an electric car. To reduce the impact your transportation has on the environment, consider the following:

  • Planning ahead. Do you have multiple errands to run in one day? Try to make one trip out of it, planning your stops accordingly to reduce unnecessary driving back and forth. Also try planning your errands during times of the day when traffic is likely to be minimal. This will reduce wasting fuel, and that is good for the environment.
  • Carpooling. When you and others share a ride to work, this reduces the emissions of CO2 while also lessening congestion on the road.
  • Transportation alternatives. If your destination is within a close distance, consider walking or riding your bike to get there. This not only reduces, but eliminates any CO2 emissions from your trip. Additionally, it’s good for your health!
  • Go electric. Many of the major car manufacturers today make low carbon or electric vehicles specifically with our environment in mind and, as we mentioned previously, there are also government incentives available to those who take the plunge.
  • Reduce air travel when possible. The advent of technology has made it easier than ever to have meetings from afar. When you choose video-conferencing over face-to-face business meetings, you can feel good knowing that you’re reducing your carbon footprint, and you won’t have to worry about lost luggage!

Food and Other Product Consumption Related Impacts

Let’s face it: we are a nation of consumers, and some of us are better at consuming more efficiently than others. Just like transportation and other related activities, there are ways you can be more efficient with food consumption and food waste. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Grow your own food. When you grow your own fruits, vegetables, and spices at home in your garden, you’re reducing the amount of packaging materials your family purchases. For example, there is no clear, plastic container holding your strawberries when you pluck them from the garden and there’s no plastic produce bags protecting your lettuce. Additionally, you’ll know where your food came from. You can also rest assured there were no CO2s emitted from transporting the food you’re consuming.
  • Reduce meat and dairy intake. Do you know how much land and natural resources it takes to raise cattle, pigs, and other meat sources? Did you also know that the average American consumes just under 200 pounds of meat each year? This staggering consumption requires a lot of land on which to raise the animals, and when land is cleared, carbon emissions climb, contributing to climate change.
  • Recycle! Most cities in the United States have adopted curbside recycling programs that make recycling easier than ever! If you’re unable to buy locally-sourced food or cut out meat and dairy, it’s worthwhile to make recycling your glass, paper, and plastic scrap so that these materials may be re-purposed in order to reduce your carbon footprint. To learn more about the plastic scrap materials we buy, contact our purchasing team today!

Home Energy Impacts

Aside from transportation and consumption-related concerns, the very way in which we live in our homes can prove detrimental to our environment unless care is taken.. From construction materials to lighting, every part of our home has the potential to either increase or decrease our carbon footprint. Some of the following simple lifestyle changes and small tweaks here and there can make a big difference over time. Some of these include:

  • Program your thermostat. If you still have an old, analog thermostat, there’s never been a better time to consider upgrading to a digital, programmable thermostat. Any reputable HVAC tech can install it for you, as well as provide recommendations on the most energy-efficient temperature settings for your home.
  • Reduce water waste. Are you someone that likes a long, hot steamy shower at the end of each day? Or do you leave the water running while brushing your teeth? Try shortening your shower and turning off the tap while you brush. Cutting back on your water consumption is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and you’ll save money on your water bill, too!
  • Consider energy-efficient appliances. Furnaces, AC units, refrigerators, and dishwashers use a lot of energy, and we’re not suggesting that you should get rid of perfectly good appliances. Instead, as your appliances end their life, you can research which new ones might make energy-efficient replacements for the old ones when they die.
  • Consider solar. Solar panels are a great way of converting the natural resource of the sun’s energy into a usable energy alternative. Just like there are incentives for people who purchase electric cars, there are also incentives for those who power their homes completely or partially by solar energy.

As you can see, there are so many easy ways to reduce our carbon footprints as consumers, and many of them cost little to no money to put into practice! KW Plastics is dedicated to doing our part to protect the environment and reduce the negative effects consumer consumption has on our environment. By buying plastic scrap from plastic recycling programs around the nation, we recycle and process unwanted plastic into high-quality resins and pellets that are used by some of the world’s largest manufacturers. Contact us today to learn more about our company and the resins we sell! We look forward to hearing from you!