Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
A rendering of the 2016 HOPE Clinic design which is 18 percent more energy efficient than the previous design.
What comes to mind when thinking of a carbon footprint? A fun art project? A futuristic robotic device? Village Green thinks of something different.
A carbon footprint represents the amount of carbon emitted by an individual through activities that produce gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and methane. Common activities that contribute to a carbon footprint include driving a gasoline powered car or using a natural gas heating system. While these are obvious examples, your footprint extends beyond energy and transportation. Did you know the food you eat, the length of the shower you take, and whether or not you recycle also affects your carbon footprint? That’s because food production, water heating, and waste in a landfill generate significant amounts of carbon.
DaVita is always looking for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and has committed to reducing carbon emissions per treatment by 10 percent by 2020. The Village has improved the efficiency of heating and cooling systems, updated lighting systems to light emitting diode, and installed renewable energy systems on buildings. These actions have resulted in DaVita reducing its energy use per treatment by 3.7 percent since 2015! There have also been efforts to reduce the lesser known aspects of DaVita’s carbon footprint including reducing food waste at business offices, increasing the number of centers with recycling, and reducing the amount of packaging used. Village Green celebrates these achievements but recognizes there is still work to be done to further decrease the size of the Village’s footprint.
You may be wondering how you can reduce your personal carbon footprint too. There are quick and simple actions that make a big impact you might consider:
- Eat local produce. Look for labels at your grocery store that say “local produce” or buy your produce from a local farmers market.
- Reduce the amount of meat you eat. Try to pick one day a week or one meal a day where you do not consume meat.
- Use alternative transportation when possible – think biking, walking, public transit, or carpooling. Google Maps has tools to find your local bus line or a safe bike path.
- Recycle waste instead of sending it to the landfill. Use Earth911.org to find methods for recycling anything you can imagine.
- Bring a reusable coffee cup to the café and pack your lunch in a reusable container.
Do you want to calculate your personal carbon footprint and discover your high use areas? Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon footprint calculator.