52 Ways to improve your Carbon Footprint

We had an interesting discussion in the pub about being more green – the challenge was, could we think up 52 simple ways to lighten our carbon footprint.

This is what we came up with – you might be able to add more. We would love to hear your suggestions

  1. Avoid food waste try not to buy or make too much food
  2. Buy fruit and vegetables when they are in season rather than those that have to be flown in from miles away
  3. Compost peelings, and any cooked food scraps (not meat or fish)
  4. Avoid the temptation of “Buy one Get one Free” if it makes you buy more than you need
  5. Shop carefully – look at labels and consider which product is most environmentally friendly to buy
  6. Cook things from scratch rather than buying readymade food
  7. Eat less meat and try to buy ethically sourced fish
  8. Sort your recycling carefully – check the labels of things as you throw away to see if they can be recycled
  9. Check any cosmetic products to make sure they do not contain micro beads
  10. Recycle batteries and ink cartridges or use refillable cartridges and rechargeable batteries
  11. Use peat free compost
  12. Plant bee friendly flowers and encourage other wild life through careful planting
  13. Feed birds and wild life
  14. Grow some vegetables if you have a garden, balcony or window box
  15. Resist the temptation of using chemicals in the garden. Use nematodes, egg shells, coffee grinds and wool pellets etc to prevent slug and snail damage and spray plants with dilute washing up liquid to keep away other garden pests.
  16. Have a pond – even a small amount of water in a garden encourages and helps wild life
  17. Buy a reusable take away cup rather than using the throw away ones you purchase hot drinks in
  18. Insulate your loft
  19. See if your property is suitable for cavity wall insulation
  20. Investigate buying power from ECO friendly energy suppliers
  21. Can you get solar panels for your property?
  22. Can you use wind power for your home?
  23. Avoid using Amazon – a company that has put many local firms out of business and uses large amounts of packing and fuel to ship goods to your home
  24. Look for more ECO friendly materials as alternatives to concrete in building projects
  25. If you don’t have a duel flush toilet – put a brick in your cistern
  26. Keep wearing your clothes until they wear out rather than always buying new ones
  27. Pick up rubbish left lying around when you are out and bin it – try to recycle it if possible. Many towns now have recycle bins for plastic, cans, paper etc.
  28. Use the correct amount of water in your kettle. A kettle uses a huge amount of power to heat water.
  29. Switch off your tap when you are cleaning your teeth rather than leaving it running
  30. Ask for goods to be wrapped in paper bags that can be recycled
  31. Recycle carrier bags – most super markets have a recycle bin for carriers and will replace those reusable plastic bags when they get damaged and then will then recycle old ones for you
  32. Buy food not wrapped in plastic if possible – be prepared to leave plastic wrapping in the place you have purchased from to show your dislike of the excess use of the material. Campaign where you do your shopping and ask / email / sign petitions or write to say you do not want goods wrapped in plastic
  33. Buy glass bottles of liquids where possible and recycle them
  34. If you buy a product and have a choice about the colour of the plastic container buy the white one – it can usually be more easily recycled
  35. Use Freegle (Freecycle) or charity shops as this saves lots of things going to landfill
  36. Think carefully about holidays, can you use public transport, stay in the UK or travel abroad without flying?
  37. If you use HRT patches be careful how you dispose of them as they are hazardous to the environment
  38. Always carry a bag when going shopping
  39. Conserve energy (switch off)
  40. Switch on heating for less time – use a timer for switching on and off
  41. Turn heating and hot water down or off when you are away
  42. Put on an extra layer rather than the heating
  43. Use low energy light bulbs
  44. Put thermostats on radiators adjust heating in each room rather than have all rooms at the same temperature
  45. Turn your heating down a degree or two
  46. Is there a way you can cut down on junk mail sent to your home if not make sure you recycle paper correctly
  47. Travel light it uses less fuel
  48. Support local food growers, markets and farmers markets
  49. Share, borrow and lend or think about hiring rather than buying something you might seldom use or never use again
  50. Resist advertising and the lure of “new and improved”- ask yourself – is what you have perfectly adequate?
  51. Tell your MP that the environment matters to you. That clean air, water, national parks, habitats and resources need to be protected for those who come after us
  52. “The lads” spent the time discussing the virtues (or not) of electric cars – something not quite so easy but all of us should consider how we replace our vehicles when the time comes.

That is one for every week of the year – best of luck!