Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The question on everyone's minds is what actually is ‘carbon footprint’ and how can I reduce it to help protect the environment and help combat global warming. Carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.
Everyone needs to play their part in helping reduce all the emissions that are being produced. By making a small change in your life you can help reduce emissions. By recycling/reusing 1kg of plastic we can save 1.5kg of CO2.
We take a look at ways you can help reduce your own carbon footprint which will result in reducing greenhouse gasses and help combat climate change.
Always reduce, reuse and recycle
Recycling reduces the need for extracting, refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution. As recycling saves energy it also reduces the pollution caused by waste.
Avoid single use plastic
Single use plastic is one of the main culprits of polluting the environment. Plastic pollutes our oceans and land, harms our sea and land animals and takes 450 years to decompose. The less single plastic we use the less demand there will become of it meaning that less will be produced. So, make sure to say no to single use plastics like strats, plastic cutlery, cups bags and any other kinds of plastics when you can.
Manage your fuel usage
Cars and trucks create approximately 38% of total climate change emissions and contribute significantly to global warming. In the UK the government has announced a 2030 petrol & diesel ban meaning that this is the best time to invest in an electric vehicle to help cut down on emissions and use clean fuel to produce less emissions.
Reduce the use of water
We always take water for granted but be mindful of how much water you use as by conserving water it will save a lot of energy. Energy is needed to filter, heat and pump water to your home, so reducing your water use also reduces your carbon footprint. Using less water keeps more in our ecosystems and helps to keep wetland habitats topped up for animals.
Invest in a smart meter
A smart meter will help you track how much energy you use in a day and is a great tool to track your energy usage and find ways to reduce it. Every home in the UK will have a smart meter by 2024 and will help millions of citizens to cut down on their energy usage which will help them to cut down on their carbon footprint
Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances
Upgrading to energy-saving technology is one of the best ways to make sure that your home is energy efficient, for example an energy saving lightbulb uses 90% less energy and lasts 10 times longer than a normal light bulb.
Buy your produce locally and seasonally
Buying locally will help reduce the pollution caused by long-distance transportation of goods. By shopping locally, you are purchasing goods produced in your local community. This also helps to support small businesses as they will have more homegrown produce than the supermarkets and will reduce your food miles.
Limit meat consumption
Reducing meat consumption - even one vegetarian meal a week - can have many benefits including saving water, deforestation, lowers greenhouse gas emissions, decreases soil degradation and also helping reduce climate change.
Many companies now provide the option of signing up to receive their information digitally, from statements to anything else. Turning a single tree into 17 reams of paper results in around 110 lbs of C02 being released into the atmosphere so by going paperless you can help cut down on deforestation.
Buy from sustainable/second-hand clothing brands
Fast fashion is damaging our planet, a lot of clothing companies use polyester in their fabrics which are sold and quickly binned, much like single-use plastics. It also takes 200 years to decompose. Around 300,000 tonnes of used clothes are burned or buried in landfills each year.