5 Ways to Lower Carbon Footprint Explained

Ways to lower carbon footprint are; energy conservation, water conservation, sustainable manufacturing, organic farming, and renewable energy usage.

This article discusses the ways to lower carbon footprint, as follows;



1). Energy Conservation (as one of the Ways to Lower Carbon Footprint)

Energy conservation reduces our carbon footprint by reducing the rate at which fuel is burned and greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide) are emitted [3].

The direct link that exists between climate change and energy consumption, implies that conserving energy is a potential means of mitigating environmental degradation, and protecting the ecosystem.

Energy conservation usually goes along with the optimization of energy efficiency.

Using energy-efficient methods, materials and technologies, will enable more work to be done with less energy [4], so that economic productivity is improved while resource depletion (with specific reference to energy resources) will be mitigated.

Aside increasing energy efficiency, practices that can help conserve energy include regulating appliance-usage, building insulation, material substitution, method-modification, technological innovation, and energy storage.

Energy conservation has the advantage of being a very flexible, simple and scalable way to lower carbon footprint. As a result, it is applicable at the individual, organizational, and regional levels of decarbonization efforts.


2). Water Conservation

Water conservation reduces carbon footprint simply by reducing the rate at which energy is consumed by water management systems.

These systems that consume energy in the process of water-handling, include those used to treat, extract, heat, and distribute water resources.

Energy savings are most significant when hot water is conserved, since the production of this type of water is very energy-intensive.

Water conservation can occur within any of various contexts, and can be achieved using any of various approaches.

These contexts and approaches include sustainable irrigation, greywater reuse, and direct volumetric minimization for domestic purposes like bathing and laundry.

Water conservation is effective as a carbon footprint reduction measure especially in urban and semi-urban areas where water supply is heavily dependent on electricity and fossil fuels.


3). Sustainable Manufacturing (as one of the Ways to Lower Carbon Footprint)

The manufacturing industry can reduce its carbon footprint by substituting raw materials, switching to renewable energy, conserving available energy resources, and using energy-efficient methods and equipment.

Carbon footprint reduction in the manufacturing sector, is an important metric, as it has a broad scope of relevance that extends from the individual level and consumer behavior, to the general-public level and government policies (like carbon taxation).

Sustainable manufacturing itself signifies a shift from conventional methods, equipment and materials, to alternatives that have lower environmental impact.

If such manufacturing approach is adopted, it can go a long way to help in the establishment of circular economy, with conservation of resources and sustainable economic growth.

It will also lead to the creation of high-quality products and services, to reduce the rate of waste disposal and lessen the impact of landfills and waste-to-energy practices, on the environment.

Ways to Lower Carbon Footprint: Sustainable Manufacturing (Credit: Siyuwj 2011 .CC BY-SA 3.0.)
Ways to Lower Carbon Footprint: Sustainable Manufacturing (Credit: Siyuwj 2011 .CC BY-SA 3.0.)


4). Organic Farming

The type of farming that has the smallest carbon footprint is arguably organic farming; as it aims to minimize the application of energy sources, tillage practices, and agricultural chemicals that could harm the environment and alter the carbon cycle.

However, all principles and practices of sustainable agriculture have lower carbon footprint than conventional methods, due to their conservation nature.

There are multiple ways in which organic farming can lower the carbon footprint of agriculture. One of these is by increasing the performance of soil as a natural carbon sink.

Rates of carbon sequestration are generally increased when organic farming is implemented [1]. This can be attributed to measures like conservation tillage and organic mulching, which are often applied.

Such measures protect soil from mechanical disturbance that could facilitate the escape of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and also conserve water by reducing evaporation rates.

Organic farming may also utilize sustainable irrigation, which is a means of reducing carbon footprint by saving energy.

Lastly, organic farming reduces carbon footprint of agriculture by minimizing the rate of mechanized farming.


5). Renewable Energy Usage (as one of the Ways to Lower Carbon Footprint)

Renewable energy reduces carbon footprint of energy production and consumption because most renewable energy resources are not carbon-intensive, especially when compared to non-renewable energy resources like fossil fuels.

The type of energy that has the least carbon footprint is arguably wind energy; as it is based solely on conversion of kinetic energy to mechanical energy and then to electric power, using a fuel-less wind turbine and the electromagnetic effect.

A total switch to renewable energy will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the entire power sector.

However, such an absolute energy transition required significant levels of innovation to improve the performance and efficiency of renewable energy systems, while increasing the effectiveness of energy management and storage.

Efforts to replace conventional energy resources with renewable ones are pivotal to the decarbonization of human society, and have always been a central theme of sustainable development [2].

Aside direct renewable energy transition, other energy-dependent technologies like automobile systems, must experience significant innovation as well, in order for renewable energy usage to be fully adopted and established.

Examples of such innovations so far include the electric car and hybrid car.



Ways to lower carbon footprint are;

1. Energy Conservation

2. Water Conservation

3. Sustainable Manufacturing

4. Organic Farming

5. Renewable Energy Usage



1). Holka, M.; Kowalska, J.; Jakubowska, M. (2022). “Reducing Carbon Footprint of Agriculture. Can Organic Farming Help to Mitigate Climate Change?” Agriculture 12(9):1383. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12091383. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

2). Kabeyi, J. B.; Olanrewaju, O. A. (2022). “Sustainable Energy Transition for Renewable and Low Carbon Grid Electricity Generation and Supply.” Front. Energy Res., 24 March 2022. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3389/fenrg.2021.743114. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

3). Moriarty, P.; Honnery, D. (2019). “Energy Efficiency or Conservation for Mitigating Climate Change?” Energies 12(18). Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/en12183543. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

4). Olughu, O. U. (2021). “Energy Efficiency and Conservation.” IOP Conference Series Earth and Environmental Science 730(1):012026. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1088/1755-1315/730/1/012026. (Accessed 1 December 2022).

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