A major way to respond to climate change and help create a more sustainable future is to reduce your carbon footprint. At People’s Choice we are proudly carbon neutral and B Corp certified, you can read more about what this means and how we’re banking for a better tomorrow here.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas emissions (usually measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide) that is generated by the actions of an individual, an organisation, an event or community. When reflecting on your own carbon footprint, you can think of it as the amount of greenhouse gases that are produced as a result of your lifestyle and actions or activities. A carbon footprint is used as an important way to understand the impact of someone’s actions on global warming. That’s why if you want to take action against climate change, assessing your own footprint can be a great place to start.
How can I reduce my carbon footprint?
It’s well-known that reducing car usage is a significant way to reduce your carbon footprint. If you can, try to take public transport, or better yet, walk or cycle. When you buy a car, consider whether a hybrid or electric vehicle would be suitable. And if you need to get on a plane, you can offset your carbon emissions. Doing this supports organisations that remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, and as a result neutralises your footprint.
This is another major way you can help the environment. Reuse items where you can, use things like reusable shopping bags and coffee cups. When you do get rid of items, do this thoughtfully. Recycle correctly and remember to clean items before throwing them in the recycling bin. For things you can’t recycle at home, such as soft plastics or used batteries, places like some supermarkets have bins for these items. A simple online search will be able to help you find what’s accessible to you in your area.
When it comes to food scraps, you can compost these yourself or depending on where you live, your council may have provided you with an organic bin which you can put food scraps in. To reduce your entire waste overall, opt for items that have less packaging, or better yet, are free of packaging altogether.
When it comes to food, there are several benefits of going local, and one of these is sustainability. Buying local and seasonal produce saves the amount of travelling the food needs to do to get to you. If you can, grow some of your own fruit and vegetables too. Reducing your intake of animal products is another significant way to reduce your carbon footprint. This is because animal products require more resources such as water, feed, and land.
Your energy consumption impacts the environment, and there are several small things you can do at home to make a difference. Replace your light bulbs with LEDs, which can be used in most existing light fittings. They use up to 75% less energy than halogen bulbs, last 5-10 times longer, and are better value for money. Speaking of lights, remember to turn them off when you’re not using them.
Be mindful of the temperature of your home when you’re using heating or cooling. When you’re buying appliances, try to opt for more energy efficient ones by looking at the energy rating. Consider the investment of installing solar panels and switching to solar power.
Like energy, there are several small changes you can make to reduce your water consumption. Take shorter showers, make sure you don’t have any dripping taps, and turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth. Run the dishwasher only when it’s full. And when it comes to purchases, consider reusable products and only buying what you really need, as disposable items in particular can take a lot of water to make.
If you’re interested in measuring your carbon footprint, you can do this using Carbon Neutral’s online calculator.