5 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint

It might seem like living a sustainable lifestyle is too difficult, or that your efforts might not be worth it, but as individuals we can make a real difference over our lifetime. It’s so important to cut carbon emissions to reduce pollution and prevent climate change. What small changes can you make on a day-to-day basis to limit your environmental impact?

Be aware of energy vampires

Be aware of appliances and gadgets that suck energy even when turned off. These could quietly add as much as 10% to your electricity bills. Look for appliances or gadgets which continue to power a digital clock or LED lights (such as standby lights) when not in use. A typical microwave uses more electricity running its inbuilt clock than it does heating food! Instead of just hitting the ‘off’ button next time, unplug them to be on the safe side.

Check your temperature

Being clever with your heating can drastically reduce your carbon footprint, alongside the obvious benefits of keeping you comfortable and saving you money on bills. A really easy way to cut your energy consumption is to turn down your thermostat a couple of degrees. You probably won’t notice the difference in temperature, but you will in your energy usage and bills – just one degree less can save you as much as £100 over the course of a year. Some methods of generating electricity create huge carbon emissions, so reducing demand is a great way to lessen this pollution. You can also make the most of your heating and lower your demand by using the right controls, and by properly insulating and draught-proofing your house.

Ditch plastic bottles

A million plastic bottles are sold every minute across the world, and this number is growing all the time. Tonnes of oil is burned to produce plastic for bottles, and most water bottles are not recyclable or biodegradable. Instead of buying water wherever you go, buy a reusable bottle. You’ll save yourself money, and send less rubbish to landfill. Also, the fewer plastic bottles sold, the fewer that end up in the oceans, having potentially devastating impacts on wildlife.

Eat less meat

The vast amount of meat we eat is one of the most environmentally damaging elements of modern life. If we were all to cut down, even just by going vegetarian once a week, it would make a huge difference. Meat farming uses massive amounts of land and water, produces shocking levels of greenhouse gases and leads to deforestation. As a society, cutting our meat consumption is arguably just as important as moving away from petrol cars and investing in renewables.

Remember public transport!

Try using public transport more instead of driving – even just once day a week. This is such an easy way for us to cut our carbon footprints, and it’s pretty shocking we don’t do it more. It’s not just global warming that carbon emissions affect – air pollution has serious impacts on human health too. It really doesn’t make sense for all of us to travel in separate half-empty cars, when a lot of us have great transport links where we live. Getting the bus will cut your carbon footprint and it means you can chill out and watch catch up or read on your journey, rather than starting your day sitting in traffic. Or walk or cycle and feel healthier too!

So there you have it – some little changes you can make to live a more sustainable lifestyle, a lot of which have benefits for you as well as the planet!