Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of your activities, be it as an individual, a household, an organisation or a community. For example, if you walk practically everywhere, wash your clothes at 30 degrees and don’t use the central heating too often, your personal carbon footprint will be very low. However, if your workplace constantly has the air con blasting out, sends employees across the country on a regular basis and has an inefficient plumbing system, its carbon footprint will be sizeable.
In the end, what each of us does adds up and has an effect on our planet, so here are some tips for changing your carbon footprint from King Kong’s to Tom Thumb’s.
- If you’ve finished with an appliance, turn it off right away. This includes TVs, DVD players, stereo systems, computers and games consoles, but obviously not the fridge.
- What’s your thermostat set at? Does it need to be that high? And does the heating have to come on that early and go off that late? Just shaving off ten minutes here and there can make all the difference.
- Same goes with the water heating. Turning it down by just one or two degrees will reduce not only your footprint, but also your utility bills.
- When you stay in a hotel, make sure you turn off all lights and air conditioning, and choose the option of having your towels washed every other day.
- If you use a dishwasher, make sure it’s fully loaded before use. Better yet, grab the scrubbing brush and washing up liquid and do the dishes the old-fashioned way!
- However, when it comes to the kettle, only fill with as much water as you need.
- If your employer will allow you to work from home one day each week, you’ll have a lower carbon footprint and can even wear your PJs whilst updating those spreadsheets.
- When you go shopping, do it in a single trip. Need to top up the essentials? Take a trip to the corner shop on foot or bike.
- If it’s a clear day, hang the washing on the line rather than using the tumble drier. Make sure to do so straight away, as leaving wet clothes in the machine can result in odours, and a second wash is a waste of power and money.
- Use the bus, bike or your feet whenever you can, saving on both petrol and a LOT of CO2 emissions.
- Energy saving light bulbs save money too, as they’ll last until the end of time (or a good few years anyway).
- Loft and cavity wall insulation can save you hundreds of hard earned pounds over time as it keeps all of that lovely heat from escaping through the roof.
- If your fridge is more than fifteen years old, you should replace it with a new one with an energy efficiency rating of “A”.
- Bottled water is a waste of resources and certainly not cost-effective. Once you have one water bottle, fill it from your tap from then on.
- A greenhouse or allotment means that you can have fresh produce regularly. It will also mean less transit by the big and mighty corporations.
- Buy local goods when possible, as this will further reduce the amount of CO2 emissions.
- Solar panels. They look cool and in a decade or so everyone will have them. Might as well start now.
- Recycle, recycle, recycle! Oh, and compost, compost, compost too!
You may not be able to stick to all of these tips all of the time, but the more you can achieve, the healthier the environment will be and the more cash you’ll save as a result.