5 Ways To Reduce Your Climate Impact

Looking for simple ways to reduce your environmental footprint? Check out these five ideas.


Transportation makes up a large portion of emissions. Try biking, walking, carpooling or riding mass transit instead of driving alone. If you’re able to regularly commute to and from campus without a car, register for WolfTrails with NC State Transportation. They offer incentives for your alternative commute.


Energy makes up the largest portion of NC State’s greenhouse gas emissions. Any time you can reduce energy use on campus, you contribute toward reducing campus emissions. Turn lights off if you’re the last person to leave a room. Pull the plug on electronics not in use. Shut the fume hood sash in labs. What other ways could you reduce the amount of energy you use on campus or at home?


Water use also has emissions impacts. It takes a lot of energy to treat and distribute water. And if you’re using hot water, the energy impact is even greater. Take shorter showers, turn off the tap when water isn’t needed and report water leaks so they can be fixed fast.


Agriculture is a large source of emissions. Buying food from local farmers helps reduce transportation emissions. That’s one reason why NC State Dining buys some of its produce and other items from local and regional sources. Another action you can take is to reduce food waste so that the energy it took to create that food isn’t lost to a landfill. You can also research the environmental footprint of different types of food and consider incorporating more low-impact foods into your diet.


You have likely heard: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” While we most often focus on recycling, the act of reducing and reusing have a greater environmental impact. Any time you reuse an item, you prevent the creation or manufacturing of that item (and all the emissions associated with that process). Even better is reducing the need for a particular item. For example, bringing your own reusable water bottle reduces the need for disposable plastic water bottles.