Simple steps you can follow to reduce your household's impact on the environment

Environmentalist William Ogutu. [File, Standard]

With all the concern about climate change, more and more people want to contribute towards its mitigation.

According to a 2021 report by MasterCard on consumer behaviour, 94 per cent of Kenyan adults care about the impact of their actions on the environment. About 52 per cent of Kenyans also plan to spend more on pro-environment products and services.

Additionally, eight out of ten Kenyans feel that reducing their carbon footprint is important. These statistics indicate increased consciousness in the public to manage their actions to protect the environment.

So how do we reduce our carbon footprint? First, we have to define what a carbon footprint is. According to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCCC), a carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon emission that a country, a business, or an individual is responsible for.

Since carbon emission is the most significant contributor to global warming, reducing it is one of the biggest priorities to combat climate change. It takes as little as switching off the lights when natural light is sufficient to light your room.

Additionally, you can power down your electric appliances when not in use. A computer uses 65 per cent less energy when shut down than when on and idle. It might surprise you, but electronics continue to use energy even when shut down.

That is why reducing your plug load may be wise to reduce the number of appliances running. The better if you can share appliances with your roommates, such as an iron box, a printer, and a mini-fridge. You certainly do not need two when you can work with one.

Showering can be a soulful experience. Tiny drops of artificial rain bounce off your body ever so gently, its warmth engulfing you in your little heaven while the sweet scent of your body wash tingles your nostril. Although you may be tempted to overstay your showering experience, try to keep it to a minimum. Twenty minutes of that heavenly experience, and you will have generated 1.2 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Also, try walking or cycling over short distances whenever possible; it is good for you and the environment. If your destination is a bit far, consider using public transport instead of your personal car.

- The author is an environmentalist with a BSc in Environmental Education