From reducing your car mileage to cutting down on meat, here are 8 ways to reduce your carbon footprint this year. Start 2018 the green way and keep your CO2 emissions at bay!
1 Air travel is by far the biggest contributor to the carbon footprint. According to The Guardian, a single return flight from London to New York contributes to almost a quarter of the average person’s annual emissions. Whenever possible, try to hop on a train instead of taking a flight, it may take slightly longer to get there but you will be making a difference to your carbon foot-print.
2 The second largest lifestyle change one can make is to eat less meat, especially red meats such as beef and lamb. The meat industry, with all its carbon emissions during the production process as well as the land and water needed to sustain the industry, is a significant contributor to global warming. By cutting down on the amount of red meat that you eat not only will you be contributing to a greener future, but you will also have a healthier diet. For those of you who are moving towards a vegan diet, living on a plant based diet can make as much as a 20% difference to your overall carbon emissions.
3 Home heating is perhaps the third largest contributor. Poorly insulated houses require a large amount of energy to keep warm. The best thing you can do is find ways to insulate your house properly and only turn on the heating system when it is absolutely necessary. The Carbon Fund has stated that by reducing your heating system down 1 degree centigrade, you can reduce your energy consumption by 8%!
4 Reduce your car mileage. The distance that you drive matters! According to The Guardian, “15,000 to 10,000 miles a year will save more than a tonne of CO2, about 15% of the average person’s footprint”. Perhaps consider the following – carpooling whenever possible, and, if you do not travel great distances often, perhaps consider exchanging your car for a bicycle!
5 Consume less. This is probably the easiest way to reduce your emissions. People often buy variations of items that they already own so it is important to ask yourself before you go out to buy something whether you actually need this item, or whether you simply want it. One great way to consume less is to build a capsule wardrobe made up of a few essential items that do not go out of fashion. Another way is to spend more money on one high quality sustainable piece rather than on five less durable fast fashion finds. Finally, consider the fact that ordering for home delivery also means more carbon emissions. Ask yourself if a visit to a local shop or market would have been more climate-friendly.
Here are some other no cost ways from the Carbon Fund to save energy and reduce your CO2 emissions:
6 Only fill up your kettle with the amount of water that you need to boil. By only boiling the amount of water you need for you hot drink will save 72kg CO2 a year – that’s £23 (USD 30) per annum.
7 Spend less time in the shower. Spending 1 minute less in the shower can save 23kg CO2 and £8 (USD 10) a year (based on one 9kW shower per day). So work out that better washing routine! Check with your water provider whether they send out some water saving freebies (you can order Thames Water freebies from here) such as a shower timer, which is a great way to save water! Try to aim for maximum 4 minute showers.
8 Turn electrical equipment off when not in use. Not only is it a safety hazard to have them on but it is also a waste of energy. Fully turning off just one LCD TV (rather than leaving it on standby) for 18 hours a day will save about 5kg CO2 a year – saving £2 a year (USD2.64). Turn off all other electrical equipment when not in use to multiply the savings.
Photo taken in Santorini, June 2017.
6 thoughts on “8 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint This Year”
Thanks for the tips! I’ve heard that unplugging electrical equipment makes a difference too!
Great post really! I do unplug. I compost and grow a garden. Recycle as much as possible. Thanks for sharing these tips.
Point 8 is super important. So many people leave there phones or laptops on charge for far longer than needed too as well as having screen brightness turned up which in turn leads to a shorter battery life and more charging. How we use and how long we use such devices for is important contribution to our environmental impact, it effects our expenditure, exposes us to misleading information and can have serious implications on our mental and physical health.
Really interesting post! We travel a lot, therefore our carbon footprint is really on our mind! Thanks for opening up our eyes to other ways of reducing it
Thanks for reminding us. It should all be blindingly obvious, but so many people forget or just don’t care. Why is it for example that airfares are so much cheaper than train travel? Another thing is the cancellation of ferry services from the UK to Scandinavia for example. Not a single passenger ferry remains. If you then want to try the cargo ferry you’ll be paying exorbitant amounts of money.
There should be greater awareness and support for slow travel: it might just enhance the experience of your journey!
Thanks for the tips. These are great. I do do my bit for the planet and am always looking for ways to leave less of a carbon foot print behind. some of these I had never even thought of so thanks for bringing them to my awareness. I am enjoying reading your blog and it is lovely to connect with you.