10 ways to help you reduce your carbon footprint

June 2, 2021

Being a force for good so that our planet can thrive!

Today, people are rethinking their relationship with nature and the latest sustainability research commissioned by Mastercard has shown a marked increase in consumer passion for the environment, as personal attitudes toward the environment evolve.

The study revealed that 98% of adults in South Africa are willing to take personal action on sustainability issues. As the effects of climate change ravage many parts of the world and we experience some of the most extreme weather events on record, we must urgently think of innovative ways to inspire collective action to address climate change.

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With this in mind, the Priceless Planet Coalition (PPC) was formed by Mastercard last year where they uniting the efforts of businesses, financial institutions and consumers to do their part for the environment.

Globally, Priceless Planet Coalition aims to restore and protect 100 million trees by 2025 and contribute towards the fight on climate change. We know the climate is changing – but are you making those needed lifestyle changes that will lower our collective carbon footprint and fight climate change?

Mastercard shares 10 simple and yet highly effective eco-friendly habits and practices to incorporate into your daily lifestyle:

    1. Recharge your batteries.
      Use rechargeable batteries for toys, games, remote controls and other battery-operated devices in order to reduce waste. Rechargeable batteries are less harmful to the environment and have up to a 28% lower impact on the environment than alkaline batteries.
    1. Buy in bulk, avoid plastic packaging.
      Shop at big supermarkets that sell products in bulk, taking your own reusable shopping bags. Retailers typically offer discounts and cheaper prices per unit when you purchase a higher quantity.

      Bulk buying is not only economical, helping families and individuals save money but, it is also good for the environment. Individual items are wrapped in plastic, which contains harmful chemicals that can leak into water and soil, adversely affecting both the environment and the food chain.
    1. Start a compost bin to nourish your plants.
      Your organic waste can be composted. How? With a compost bin, or you can start with a vegetable crate from a local farm or vegetable stand.

      The compost produces a type of soil that further contributes to climate change mitigation by improving the soil's ability to stabilize carbon and increases plant growth, thereby removing more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
    1. Avoid using plastic packaging at home.
      Instead, try eco-friendly plastic wrap alternatives like Bee’s Wrap® or reusable containers to keep your food fresh in the fridge. As we buy in bulk, and make fewer trips to the grocery store, getting more mileage out of our food is important.

      Bee’s Wrap® for instance is made from certified organic cotton that's coated with sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil and tree resin. The result? An easy, reusable, all-natural way to store food.
    1. Plant-based Mondays.
      Optimise your diet and substitute meat with plant-based proteins and add beans as a side dish. When buying fruits and vegetables, try to buy organic wherever the option (and the price) will allow.

      Organic foods are healthier as they contain fewer harmful substances and growing them also protects the environment. You could even go one step further and help support local organic farmers by signing up to receive a veggie box directly from people who grow the food nearby, thus also helping cut down on the emissions caused by transporting produce.
    1. Reuse materials.
      Paper delivery bags, gift bags, cookie tins and glass jam jars can be reused multiple times.

      The Mastercard study revealed that 48% of adults in South Africa will actively try to recycle more, while 42% want to learn more about environmental subjects. By recycling waste, South Africans are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
    1. Do you really need that new pair of jeans?
      Visit thrift shops. You'll find clothes in excellent condition without any of the pollution generated to manufacture new ones.

      Thrift shopping has been on the rise in South Africa and championing the resale of goods that extend the active life of garments and other products also reduces waste.
    1. Candles for home use.
      Try soy wax candles. They don't pollute, are made of sustainable material and are biodegradable. They also last longer than paraffin candles.

      As paraffin candles gain notoriety for being unhealthy, soy candles have risen in fame as a healthy alternative.
    1. Go digital.
      Register online to receive digital bills, statements, receipts and newspaper subscriptions.

      Overall, digital bills, statements and receipts are friendlier for the environment because they waste less money and require no physical delivery.
    1. Support a good cause.
      Support causes that generate positive impact, like Mastercard’s Priceless Planet Coalition, which aims to preserve the environment through the restoration of 100 million trees in five years.

To find out more about our partners, tree planting projects and campaigns, please visit pricelessplanet.org.

Sustainability is embedded in everything Mastercard does – who they  are as a technology company, how they drive forward their business and how they support the communities and environment around them. Mastercard continues to support partners, customers and consumers by offering environmentally focused products and services, such as cards made from sustainable materials to reduce plastic waste.

Follow @MastercardMEA and the hashtags #PlantitForward and #pricelessplanet to join and grow environmentally conscious conversations and see how you can get involved.