10 ways to cut your carbon footprint
Climate Change is a very real and present danger.
Indeed, the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report demonstrates a 'code red for humanity'.
Whilst world leaders from across the planet have made commitments to help prevent climate change, how can we reduce our carbon footprints at home?
10 simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint:
- Eating with the seasons
- Carbon-clever travelling
- Source Organic
- Energy-saving in the house
- Renewable Energy
- Less but better meat
- The 5 Rs
- Sustainable Fashion
- Understand your personal footprint
Plus at the bottom of this page, there are links to very handy carbon footprint calculators to help you assess your own carbon footprint and where you can make changes.
It might feel like one small change won’t make a big difference, but don’t feel like the planet’s fate is in someone else’s hands. If cutting your carbon footprint is something you want to achieve this year there are lots of steps you can take.
Carbon Footprint Definition
We can define a carbon footprint to mean the impact that an individual's activities have on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere due to the burning of fossil fuels. Often, this is reflected as CO2 emissions in tonnes.
Eating with the seasons is one great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
Getting seasonal groceries will cut down on the CO2 released transporting food across the country – and will introduce you to new recipes and flavours. So, before you go to the supermarket, understand what’s in season and buy accordingly.
Another way to eat with the seasons is to get your local veg delivered, straight to your doorstep. They often tell you what you are going to receive before delivering so you’ll be able to create a meal plan around the food that is arriving.
What’s more, if you opt for an organic veg box, you are ensuring that the veg you are receiving is better for the animals, the environment and people.
Make the pledge to eat with the seasonsTake action today
Challenge yourself to rethink how you travel.
If it’s less than a mile, could you walk?
If it’s less than five miles, could you cycle?
If you have to drive, carpool.
If you can’t carpool, research low-carbon vehicles and make sure your car is regularly serviced.
Switching up a gear earlier, sticking to the speed limit and avoiding traffic can also cut unnecessary CO2!
Reducing the number of times that you use the car not only cuts down on carbon emissions but it means also getting out and exercising which has benefits too!
Where you choose to buy your food, beauty products and t-shirts makes a big difference to the planet.
Agriculture is responsible for almost a third of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
There are ways to produce the products you need that are much more climate-friendly. Organic farming works with nature rather than against it.
Look out for the Soil Association organic symbol next time you go shopping to make sure the products you buy have been produced to the highest possible animal welfare and environmental standards.
If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint at home, there are loads of small steps you can take.
Some simple ways to reduce your emissions at home include:
- Switching off appliances when not in use
- Turning off lights when not in the room
- Using energy efficient lightbulbs
- Turning down your heating by even 1 degree
- Installing a low-flow showerhead
Another way to ensure you are cutting down on carbon is to use energy when demand is lower.
Electricity demand peaks between 4 pm and 7 pm and will therefore often have to rely on non-renewable and carbon-heavy ways to meet demand e.g. coal. But choosing to shift your energy consumption outside of these times meets your energy needs are more likely to be met by renewables.
Choose a renewable energy provider whose electricity comes from renewable sources. Often as well, if your house is heated by gas, energy companies run schemes to allow you to offset your emissions.
So, when you switch, you’re not only cutting CO2 by saying no to fossil fuels, you’re also supporting low-carbon energy generation in Britain.
You don’t need to make huge changes to your diet to help make reductions in your carbon footprint.
We would suggest reducing the amount of meat that is intensively farmed.
But buying meat from an organic producer means the meat is grown with the health of the environment and nature in mind.
Supporting an approach like this means that we can all benefit from the advantages of grazing animals including:
- Helping to lock in carbon in the soil
- Reducing the need for chemical fertilisers
And reducing the amount of meat you have means that when you do have it, it’s a real treat.
Make the pledge to eat less but better meatTake action today
You’ve probably heard of the three Rs:
But adding 2 more ensures you are going even further when it comes to cutting down your carbon emissions.
These two are:
- Refuse and
Refusing to purchase additional products or items that are single-use or are very carbon-heavy means you are using your purchases to vote against practices that are harmful to the environment.
If you do need to buy something, have you looked at whether you can get it second hand? This prevents another product from being made and adding to the carbon emitted.
Rot on the other hand is about providing goodness back into the soil and helping build up soil health (which captures carbon). You could create your own compost or maybe your council runs a food waste recycling service.
Fast Fashion has so many negative connotations. The urgency to produce more and more clothes that quickly go out of fashion mean more products in landfill and more carbon used to make them.
Look to source your clothing from reputable companies that abide by organic standards mean that you are wearing products that put the environment at the forefront of their business.
Another sure-fire way to reduce your carbon footprint when it comes to clothing is to buy the products second-hand. Many charity shops have clothes that are not only in style, they are high quality too. This means you are ensuring more clothes aren’t having to be made, buy you are giving money to charity too!
Take action on fast fashionMake the pledge today
Cutting down on plastic means cutting down on carbon as well.
Make the effort to take reusable products with you wherever you go. That way, when you are enjoying your coffee from the local coffee-shop you are not unnecessarily adding to carbon emissions by choosing a non-reusable cup.
Moreover, choose your products at the shop that don’t come in plastic, or take advantage of a local zero-waste shop.
Additionally, this is sending a message to companies that you won’t accept products being packed in plastic without reason – you’re using your £ to vote for a different future.
Make your zero waste pledgeTake action today
Completing a carbon footprint calculator will give you a more concise analysis of what your carbon footprint is.
And more importantly, will give you the insight you need to make positive changes. The carbon footprint calculator below should help in providing the information you need to reduce your carbon footprint. Some of our favourite carbon footprint calculators include:
Climate change is a challenge that needs to be met with societal as well as individual changes.
But hopefully, with all of these things above in place, you can be assured that you are doing your bit to reduce our hunger for carbon.