10 painless measurable ways to reduce your carbon footprint
Updated: May 30
You want to reduce your carbon footprint, but don’t have time on your hands?
I’ve got you covered!
Here’s a list of dead simple carbon footprint reduction ideas that will slash your CO2 emissions.
No pain, yes gain!
Spoiler: I’ll tell you exactly how much YOU will save per year!
Ready to start a new low-carbon life from today?
Let’s see what causes our carbon emissions and how to drive them down.
1. Be an eco-traveller
Whether you commute to work, or you go on holiday, your journey will release CO2.
Walk, cycle or take public transport to go to work rather than driving a car. If not possible, car sharing could be a low-carbon alternative too.
When you can't give up your own car, consider investing on an electric vehicle (EV), which emits 72% less CO2 than a traditional car.
Yet, carbon emissions from air travel are the Dumbo in the room!
Try to stick to only a return short-haul flight per year.
Consider a staycation. You’ll save time and money. Plus, you may discover hidden gems that were right under your nose!
Estimated saving per year: 3,500 Kg CO2 (10,675 miles driven by an average petrol car)
Call to action: Give up a long-haul flight (e.g. London to Hong Kong, economy class)
2. Produce clean energy
Saving energy should be your primary focus. But wouldn’t it be electrifying to produce your own renewable energy?
This will help turn your home into a carbon neutral house.
Call to action: Install a solar panel
3. Control your home temperature
Because of climate change, heatwaves will be more frequent.
While you can go to the beach during the day (put sun cream on!), you will struggle to sleep at night.
“Just put the AC on full blast, mate,” I hear some of you shouting.
Problem is cooling your home warms the planet!
So, how do we exit this vicious air circulation?
With a bit of common sense. Use a timer and set a reasonable temperature.
That’s another step to convert your home into a low-carbon hub.
Call to action: Increase your AC temperature by 2 degrees in summer
4. Change bank
Green is the colour of money, right? (at least if you handle dollars)
But money can have a black shade if used for dirty things like fossil fuels.
That’s what Barclays, HSBC and other banks are doing with your savings.
Make your money count by switching your account (rhyme intended).
Mortgages are not only painful for your wallet but also for the environment.
For a total amount of £200,000 and a 2.5% interest rate, you’ll release about 1,000 Kg of CO2 per year (as much as driving for 3,050 miles)
5. Use 100% green energy
If you can’t afford to invest in renewable energy technologies, choose an eco-friendly provider.
So, how to switch energy supplier?
Doing so, you’ll minimise the environmental impact of fossil fuels.
Call to action: Get 100% renewable energy
6. A low-carbon diet menu
Food's carbon footprint is about a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions.
If you switch to a vegan or flexitarian diet (more plants, less meat), you’ll slim down your impact by up to 45%!
Make your menu green (literally!)
Call to action: Swap read meat and dairy with chicken, fish, eggs or a vegetable-based meal one day per week
7. Buy second hand
Reusing is one of the circular economy principles.
By the way, I hope you’re aware of fast fashion sustainability issues.
Refresh your circular fashion wardrobe by shopping in sustainable fashion charities.
Call to action: Buy (and sell) reused items (e.g. a sofa bed and a mattress)
8. Declutter your digital carbon footprint
Here are a few tips to go green on the Internet:
● Go easy on video streaming, use wi-fi rather than mobile data, and switch off autoplay settings
● Send fewer emails (think before you thank!)
Estimated saving per year: 104 Kg CO2 (317 miles driven by an average petrol car)
Call to action: Switch off your camera during 2 one-hour video calls each week
9. Save water
Climate change is threatening water security. The WWF said two-thirds of the Earth’s population may experience water scarcity by 2025.
What can we do about it?
Here are a few small changes to be more sustainable:
● Fix leaks
● Fit a low-flow aerators to your showerhead
● Install a "hippo" device on your toilets
Call to action: Buy a hippo bag
10. Offset your carbon emissions
First, what is a carbon offset?
A carbon offset by planting trees or funding renewables projects is a way to compensate for your CO2 emissions.
Hmm...does carbon offset work? I can hear your suspicious question.
Having said that, we should focus on reducing our carbon footprint and leave carbon offset as a last resort.
Because it’s incredibly easy to use it as an excuse to produce even more emissions!
Once you’re aware of that, go for it.
For instance, if you really need to take an extra plane, airlines like Ryanair offer carbon offset for flights (though, remember point 1, it’s much better not to take the flight at all!).
Estimated saving per year: As much as you are willing to pay for
Call to action: Sign up for a carbon offset programme
The end (of a high-carbon life)
There you go! Don’t you feel lighter already?
A decalogue of no-brainers for reducing your carbon footprint by a whopping 7,622 Kg of CO2 per year!
The same carbon emissions released by driving the longest drivable distance on Earth 3 times!
But why should we be concerned about our carbon footprint?
As this post shows, individual action does count.
Numbers aside, changing our lifestyle will inspire others to do the same.
We need this lower-carbon domino effect to happen. Now!