Carbon Footprint – 5 top tips to reduce yours
Did you know that flying is the single most climate-polluting thing you can do to contribute to your carbon footprint? A return flight from London to New York makes up almost a quarter of the average person’s annual emissions. Sadly, long-haul flying isn’t the only well-camouflaged planet-destroying activity we do without a second thought. Here’s what you really need to know about curbing your carbon footprint.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is an estimation of the total emissions caused by an individual, event, company or product. Due to the complexities of contributing factors and processes, no carbon footprint is precise and is calculated by estimating the CO2 emissions that the activity in question causes as well as the emission of any other greenhouse gases. The carbon footprint is expressed as a single number which represents the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming.
You can have a go at calculating your own carbon footprint using this brilliant footprint calculator created by WWF.
Carbon footprint: 5 top tips to reduce yours
1) Invest in renewable energy
More than 80% of the UK’s population support the use of solar power. Investing in your own renewable energy sources is not only a sound financial investment helping you make savings on your annual energy bill but also an effective strategy for lowering your household’s total contribution to global warming. By choosing to go green, you’re also sending a powerful message to the biggest players in the energy market: the bigger the demand for alternative energy, the faster the suppliers will move away from burning fossil fuels. And if you’re already consuming solar power, then the next step for your household is to install a solar battery to gain more value from the energy you produce.
2) Insulate your house
Getting your house properly insulated will deliver on both fronts: it uses less energy to heat and reduces your carbon footprint in the meantime. Even cheap and quick fixes like draught-proofing the house can have a huge impact on its energy performance.
3) Cut down on your travel
As one of the worst climate-polluting activities, air travel should be at the top of your do-less list. If you really want to make a difference, take a staycation this year. You won’t be alone, as in 2021, due to ever-changing travel restrictions, many holidaymakers have opted to stay close to home again rather than jet off abroad. If you are looking for staycation ideas, take a look at VisitBritain and get some inspiration.
4) Consume less stuff
You can cause less damage to the planet simply by buying and consuming less stuff. When you think about the fact that the environmental footprint of a single t-shirt is comparable to two or three days’ typical power consumption, resisting the urge to buy cheap and new could be one of the best routes to lowering your carbon footprint.
5) Embrace the vegetarian diet
It’s widely known that cows and sheep emit huge quantities of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that accelerates global warming by trapping heat. One of the fastest ways to curb your carbon footprint is to embrace the vegetarian diet and eat less meat, especially lowering your intake of beef and lamb. Simply cutting out beef from your diet will help the planet as much as ditching your car, and that’s a huge step forward!