After the Cop26 meeting in 2021, the UK government had pledged to slash emissions by 78% by 2035. With this in mind, what can you do in your day-to-day life to help reduce climate change? In the UK, around 22% of the countries carbon emissions come from our homes. UK residents can help to reduce carbon emissions by making small changes within the home. There are a number of ways in which you can help to reduce your family’s carbon footprint and have a positive impact on the environment for us and future generations.
What is your carbon footprint?
Your carbon footprint is the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere as a result of your actions. The gases released are known to trap heat and accelerate the rate of global warming. Reducing your family’s carbon footprint does not have to be time consuming or expensive and there are a number of ways you can help to reduce yours easily.
How to reduce your carbon footprint:
Recycle or reuse
One of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to recycle or reuse the things you already have. The things we buy at the supermarket have a carbon footprint of their own, but we can help to reduce what its footprint by what you do with it after. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of waste we sent to landfills and instead saves resources and prevents pollution. If you no longer need something, you could consider using it for another purpose or recycling it is possible.
Reduce food waste
Food waste from humans is one of the biggest accelerators towards climate change. Food that we disregard usually ends up in a landfill and releases methane gas which speed up the rate of climate change. By only buying the food you need or freezing meals for another time, can help to reduce the amount of food you waste. Many supermarkets have also adopted smaller portions and plastic free packaging to help encourage customers.
If you can help it, you could consider using your car less and cycling to work or getting public transport. However, for many of us, it may not be an option. If you need your car to get around, electric cars are better for the environment, and you could spread the cost by getting an electric car on finance. Electric cars don’t produce harmful gasses from tailpipe emissions which helps to improve air quality and environmental health. The purchase price of an electric car can be higher but the overall lower running costs make it worthwhile for many EV buyers.
Cut down on meat
Reducing your consumption of meat and dairy product can help to improve your carbon footprint. Meat and dairy use 83% or farmland and produce mass amounts of greenhouse gases. Having one day a week of vegan or vegetarian meals can help to reduce your carbon footprint and if every family in the UK did too, there would be a massive environmental impact. Farm animals such as sheep and cows produce large amounts of methane and cutting down on this type of meat can help the rate of climate change.
Turn the heating down
You can easily reduce your carbon footprint in the home by only using what you need. You should check that you aren’t using more eat than we need to. Many modern heating controls allow users to programme their heating needs automatically in terms of timing and temperature. You should try to heat your home only when needed at the lowest temperature possible.
Insulate your home
Many people overlook how their home could be loose heat and make their home more energy efficient. Making adjustments to your current insolation can help to save you money and stop you from losing as much heat. Switching to double glazed windows and insulating walls can have a huge impact on your heating bills and save on the energy you use.