This is a question I am often asked and with COP26 still in the forefront of our minds, I have put together 10 handy tips on how you can make some easy changes and reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Do a waste audit
It is vital that we reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.
Refuse what you don’t want, reduce what you need, reuse as much as possible, recycle consciously, and rot whatever you can’t.
Check out this easy to do guide on how to do a waste audit for your home.
2. Reduce shower time
Studies show that a 10-minute shower could use in excess of 25 gallons of water, depending on your showerhead.
By using water consciously in our homes, gardens and workplaces, we can reduce the pressure on our wetlands and rivers in times of stress. Saving water will ensure more stable, resilient habitats for the birds and other wildlife which rely on our waterways for their survival.
3. Reduce standby power
According to the Energy Saving Trust, it’s estimated that an average UK household spends £30 per year leaving devices on standby.
4. Use reusable batteries
Each year, in the UK, we throw away around 620 million batteries. Rechargeable batteries have a higher upfront cost, but the investment is without question more sustainable.
5. Donate to charity
It is estimated that 10 million household objects are sent to landfill each year, of which 3 million could have been reused by people in crisis.
Take an hour at the weekend to go through your kitchen cabinets and your wardrobes for items you can donate. For larger items including furniture check out the Reuse Network website.
6. Challenge yourself to go single-use paper-free
Use old shirts or cloth napkins. If you are less comfortable with this, we would recommend Bamboo Reusable Kitchen Towels and Don't Give A Crap Toilet Tissue.
7. Wash your clothes less
According to research carried out by Fashion Revolution:
• 25% of the carbon footprint of a garment comes from the way you look after it.
• 90% of our clothes are thrown away long before they need to be, because of our culture for ‘fast fashion’ and outdated laundry habits.
8. Ditch the produce plastic bags
Ask your greengrocer, butcher, baker or local supermarket if you can use your own containers. Produce bags are a must.
9. Cut down on your emissions
Carry out regular maintenance, go easy on the accelerator and brakes, use cruise control on long drives, and keep tyre pressure at recommended levels. Don’t leave your car idle for more than a few minutes as running the car whilst stationary can produce double the emissions of a car in motion.
10. Buy nothing
Try it for as long as you can. A week, a month, a year. Apart from food obviously. If you have to buy something, ask if there is a more sustainable alternative available.
If you wish to be more informed about environmental issues without feeling overwhelmed, visit National Geographic. The Natural History Museum is also one of my favourites.
And remember small steps can lead to big changes.
If you would like to know more about how you can reduce your footprint, please message me.