This guest post is by GR8Fires of http://www.gr8fires.co.uk/.
Cutting your carbon emissions need not be expensive or difficult. Some little tweaks to your routine can make all the difference.
- Begin by finding out your footprint and gain an understanding of what activities produces the most emissions.
- Carbon calculators like the WWF Footprint Calculator can then help identify where you can make the most effective carbon savings.
- Reduce your electricity consumption a little by washing clothes at lower temperatures and switching off appliances instead of leaving them on standby.
- Sites like AlertMe.com offer helpful products, including an iPhone App, that warn you if your energy consumption surges.
- Heating and using water is estimated to account for up to 25% of a UK household’s electricity consumption.
- The simplest way to combat this is to swap baths for showers and to avoid taking long showers too often.
Solar power is predicted to become a major source of energy. Fitting some panels is a great idea, as they pay for themselves in time, or better yet, you could get free panels (and free energy!) by signing up for ‘Rent-a-Roof’ schemes.
- Carbon neutral loft insulation is easy to install and could help you make substantial savings on heating bills.
- Alternative, eco-friendly heating also has added benefits. A rustic elegant Woodburning stove, for example, is much more stylish than an oil tank.
- Carbon Offsetting is when companies balance out their emissions by investing in environmental projects.
- Offsetting a tonne of C02 would cost about £8/$12. On this scale, a family can neutralise a year’s gas and electricity use for around £45.
Your trip to work offers numerous carbon-cutting options, like cost-effective carpooling and initatives which reward you for taking your bike to work, like discounts in local bike shops.
Food and Drink
Cutting down on foods that have carbon-intensive production can also help you adopt a healthier diet. Most meats produce a lot of greenhouse gases, for example Lamb and Beef produce 39kg and 27kg for each kilogram eaten respectively.
- Buying second-hand clothes from charity shops not only helps the environment and your wallet but good causes as well.
- Emerging labels like Continental Clothing promote awareness as they display the footprint of their clothes on the label and offer energy saving tips.
- Ways to reduce your print in the garden include starting a compost heap and collecting rainwater in barrels to water plants in dry times.
- Growing your own vegetables will not only help the environment, but the supply of delicious, fresh produce is rewarding in itself.
As you can see, practically every way of reducing your footprint comes with an added bonus, be it saving money or helping along your fitness regime and diet. So the only question surrounding reducing your footprint is – Why wouldn’t you?
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