Just by making simple changes to your home and everyday lifestyle, you can reduce your carbon footprint and positively contribute towards improving the environment for future generations.
Here are some practical examples of the steps you can take to shrink your CO2 footprint:
Walking or riding a bike releases far fewer carbon emissions into the atmosphere than driving a car. As an added bonus, you will also be getting more exercise, contributing to your overall health, fitness and well-being.
Many employers also offer a cycle to work scheme that can help you spread the cost of investing in a new bicycle and cycling equipment. Check with your employer or HR department to find out if this is available to you.
As a side note, if the idea of walking or cycling doesn’t appeal to you, then you could sign up to a car-share scheme with colleagues from work to reduce your combined carbon emissions.
Reducing your water usage
Using less water will reduce demand on your water supplier. Simple steps can be taken to save lots of water in the long run, such as having shorter showers and turning off your tap while brushing your teeth.
You should also consider switching out inefficient electrical appliances for Energy Star alternatives and only running your washing machine or dishwasher when it’s full.
Taking fewer vacations, and having more staycations
As we mentioned in our article what is your carbon footprint?, travelling by plane over a distance of 1.37 miles releases 1kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So imagine how much CO2 is released during a flight to a destination abroad.
Sometimes, there’s no better place to holiday than at home, with lots of leisure destinations in the UK available at a fraction of the cost of travelling abroad.
Reducing your carbon emissions at home
Adding additional insulation to your home will minimise heat loss, resulting in less dependency on central heating. This includes improving your loft insulation, wrapping pipes in foam and taking steps to reduce drafts.
You should also check to see if your home energy supplier offers a green tariff that supports renewable energy or, access to a feed-in tariff, if you have solar panels or wind turbines and want to sell back surplus energy.
Switching to an eco-friendly vehicle
If driving is unavoidable, you could consider changing to a green vehicle (the eco-friendly kind of green!). Eco-friendly vehicles use alternative fuels, such as electricity or hydrogen cells, as well as advanced carbon-reducing technologies such as hybrid engines to reduce CO2 emissions.
In many cases, eco-friendly vehicles are also cheaper to run, with cars that produce less than 100 grams per kilometre (g/km) of carbon dioxide being exempt from UK road tax. You may also be able to secure a discounted insurance premium from insurers that support carbon reduction via eco cars.
Where possible, you should always recycle. This includes separating your glass from your plastics and making sure that you’re aware of the recycling collection days for your area. Remember, you can also order a larger recycling bin from your local council absolutely free.
Changing your food and eating habits
Buying food locally not only helps to support local businesses but also reduces demand for goods brought in from afar. You could also consider going vegan as the meat and dairy industry is currently the seventh most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions according to the FAO.
Other ways to offset your carbon emissions
There are many other ways to offset your carbon emissions, such as supporting tree planting projects or contributing towards carbon offsetting projects. The important thing is that you choose to offset your CO2 emissions in a way that’s practical for you. That way, you’re far more likely to be able to maintain the changes in the long-term.