Life is busy as like most people – I tend to live life in the fast lane. I’m forever rushing here and there to do this, that and the other without really considering the bigger picture, a permanent picture which I and you etch upon the planet, the carbon footprint which I leave behind.
Energy consumption is an important factor to consider when taking your carbon footprint into account, the energy which we use in some cases still relies upon fossil fuels, that and the fuel which we fill our cars with.
How Big Is My Carbon Footprint?
It begins quite literally from the moment I wake until the moment I sleep, even when I’m sleeping in fact continue to add to carbon footprint as my phone charges overnight, my landing light remains on and the boiler ticks over throughout the night.
Upon waking I tend to have a drink (having boiled the kettle and removed the milk which has remained cool in the fridge). I then eat corn flakes from a packet which has both cardboard and plastic packaging only one of which material will be placed into recycling).
I then brush my teeth (having squeezed toothpaste from a plastic tube which was unnecessarily packaged in a cardboard box. I then run the tap being sure not to leave it running thus to reduce my carbon footprint. Having brushed my teeth and washed my face I then switch on my big light and straighten my hair once again using power. It’s not even 8am and already I’ve made quite the carbon footprint!
If I were to continue describing the entirety of my day I’d no doubt bore the pants off you. I’m sure that you can imagine the amount of energy we use, the amount of packaging and rubbish we get through and the sheer scale of our carbon footprint simply by reflecting upon your own day, your own life and perhaps by taking a look at your energy bills, those and your trash.
It’s Time To Take Notice & To Take Care Of Our Planet!
Given that this is ‘our planet’ we don’t seem to care much for it. Look at the news and you’ll see articles about global warming, the G8 summit, plastic in the oceans, animal extinction and all sorts of issues which WE are the root cause of. So how exactly can we reduce our carbon footprint? As I see it, if we start small then it’s far easier to work up to reducing and repairing the bigger issues over time.
Having done a little research, I decided to put together a list of twenty-five top tips for reducing my carbon footprint, you may wish to use these for yourself. After all – if we work together, we are bound to make a bigger difference.
- Reuse: You may have finished using something but could it be reused? Perhaps it could be reused as something else, for another purpose or by another person.
- Reduce: Reduce your waste by choosing high quality products which may last longer, ideally those with less packaging!
- Rot: Don’t throw your veg peelings in the bin, they won’t rot in a plastic bag! Why not create your own compost bin? You can then use the compost in the garden.
- Recycle: Sort your waste into recycling boxes. Items such as empty bottles, cans, boxes, tins, papers and such like can be recycled with ease.
- Avoid Meat & Dairy: Reducing the amount of meat and dairy you consume is one of the biggest, single steps said to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Switch Off The Tap: Why waste water? Switch the tap off if it’s not in use. Try to reduce water wastage also by switching to showers (rather than baths) and reducing the length of time you are in the shower for.
- Unplug Devices: A device left charging will continue to consume power once it fully charged. Unplug those devices.
- Bike: Leave the car on the drive and take a bike ride instead. Not only will you save money on fuel and increase your exercise but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint too!
- Smaller Cars: Driving smaller cars results in lower fuel consumption. Do you really need a utility vehicle? Look into using roof racks and roof storage boxes as an alternative to larger vehicles.
- Driving Style: It’s all very well boy racing around the block like you’re an F1 contestant. Your fuel gauge will tell you otherwise though, all that pedal to the metal also results in a higher fuel usage and therefore larger carbon footprint.
- Tyre Inflation & Pressure: Be sure to keep your tyres inflated to their optimum pressure, soft tyres require more fuel.
- Avoid Traffic: Standing stationary in traffic uses fuel fast, try to avoid heavy traffic where possible.
- Less Air Travel: Reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your air miles.
- Drive Low Carbon Cars: Lower carbon cars produce fewer emissions thus reducing your carbon footprint.
- Eat Seasonally & Locally: By eating locally you are benefitting businesses within your area whilst also reducing the amount you buy from elsewhere. Locally grown fruit and veg needn’t be shipped in from around the world, this reduces shipping costs, boosts local business and reduces your carbon footprint.
- Switch Suppliers: Switch to sustainable cleaner energy when possible.
- Solar Panels: If possible have solar panels fitted, this will increase sustainable energy sources, reduce your energy bills, reduce your carbon footprint and may even make you some money!
- Insulation: Be sure to have good insulation within your house, it’s no use heating your house for all that warmth to escape!
- Efficient Boiler: Be sure to have an efficient (ideally A-rated) boiler. Your boiler is an important aspect of reducing energy consumption and heating your house. As it’s of such importance, ensure that you chose a high quality, energy-efficient boiler such as a Viessmann
- Appliances: Consider the appliances within your home. Do they need to be plugged in at all times? Do you need to use them as often as you do? Simply washing by hand rather than using a dish washer can help save your pennies whilst saving our planet.
- Lighting: Remember when your parents would compare their house to Blackpool Illuminations? Once you’re the bill-payer, you may realise that they had a valid point. Switch off unused lights and lower your energy bill.
- Switch Off Unused & Unneeded: Not just lights but switch off anything else you may not be using; the ceiling fan, the television blaring away in the background, the radio left on in the other room. Switch off as you leave each room.
- Thermostat: Do you really need to set your heating to come on an hour before you arrive home? Does your house really need to be heated to such a tropical temperature? Throw on a jumper and turn down the thermostat!
- Don’t Buy Fast Fashion: It’s all very well buying cheap, fast fashion but will it last? Can it be reused? Buy quality clothing which will last, it’s far more economic in the long run.
- Line Dry Clothes: Why bother tumble drying clothes when they can line dry? Fair enough if you like your towels fluffy, try line drying them for a few hours then finish them off in the dryer for a minute or two instead of having them tumbling away for hours on end. You can save money and your carbon footprint all with a few clothes pegs!
So there you have it, my twenty-five tips for saving your pennies whilst saving the planet by reducing your carbon footprint. Should you have any further ideas please feel free to comment below.
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