Learning how to reduce our carbon footprint is important for our environment, as we look for more sustainable ways of living.
Caring for the environment is important for us today, and is essential for future generations. Small changes can make a big impact on your individual carbon footprint, for a cleaner, brighter future.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon emissions we, as individuals, are responsible for putting into the environment. These can be from energy usage at home or on the go, from the food we eat to our everyday activities. There are easy steps you can take to decarbonise our lifestyle and reduce our carbon footprint.
The home is where people consume a great deal of energy and, in turn, contribute to their carbon footprint. People also spend a lot of time in the office and on the move, so taking small eco-friendly steps in these environments can help reduce this footprint.
Here's our top 8 ways to reduce your carbon footprint:
1. Use less water
Using too much water not only uses up the planet’s resources, but also uses energy for filtering and heating the water. Running a bath uses more water than a speedy shower, so reduce the amount of water you use by opting for a shower instead.
Another easy way to reduce water usage at home is turning taps off when they’re not in use. Taking extra care to avoid dripping taps and not letting them run while brushing your teeth are small steps that will make a big difference. You could also look at installing sensor taps to support water reduction.
2. Buy local where possible
Locally sourced goods and produce travel less and have a lower impact on the environment whilst being transported.
3. Opt for energy efficient appliances
When it’s time to replace your household appliances, choosing energy efficient ones will have a positive long term effect on your carbon footprint. Read our article for more advice on how to choose energy efficient appliances to find out more.
4. Think lighting
One of the main overuses of electricity and energy in the home is lighting. Energy efficient lighting has less impact on the environment, whilst also helping to reduce your energy bills. Remembering to switch off lights when they’re not needed will also reduce energy usage.
Recycling means that fewer items are sent to a landfill and less energy is needed for creating new materials. It also means less of the planet’s raw materials and resources are used in production. Find out other ways you can reduce your carbon footprint at home with our ‘How to make your home energy efficient’ article.
6. Print less
Printing is a huge use of the planet’s resources. Not only does it require energy to run the printer but the use of paper results in more trees being cut down. Try only printing when it’s truly necessary, or use recycled paper and vegetable based inks as sustainable ways to reduce your carbon impact.
7. Don’t leave your computer on standby
As you log off your computer in the evening, make sure you turn it off at the wall. Leaving appliances on standby means they use energy when they’re not in use. Turning them off fully will cut off power consumption completely.
8. Drive less
Excessive driving increases the carbon emissions put into the environment, so the more cars on the road, the worse it is for our planet. Looking into car sharing or using electric cars can also help to reduce your carbon footprint. Short journeys mean that your car doesn’t have time to warm up efficiently, using more fuel and increasing pollution.
Roof racks or boxes affect how your car drives, making it use more fuel to reach the required speed. Removing them when they’re not in use is an easy way to reduce your car’s fuel consumption.
These simple steps may not seem significant, however, they can all add up to significantly reduce your carbon footprint.