After our tips and tricks on how to have a Sustainable Christmas, we’re guessing you might want to know what you can do to reduce your environmental impact into the new year. Perhaps you’re even considering a New Year’s resolution with a green theme? Good on you!
If you’re keen to know the numbers around your impact, we have a tool to help you work it out. Check out our Household Calculator. If you register (it’s free), you can store your data to compare against for next time.
Once you’ve got your baseline, you can start to make changes (they may be big or small) to help reduce your environmental footprint. We’ve rounded up seven ideas to give you a head start:
- Rethink your transport. Driving petrol cars and catching a plane are carbon-heavy transport options. Why not try out car-sharing, e-bikes or e-scooters to reduce your travel footprint? You never know, you might find you can decrease the number of cars in your household with a little planning and flexibility – and save on money too!
- Reduce your meat consumption. It’s now well accepted that vegetarian diets are lower in carbon emissions. But if that’s not achievable, even reducing the number of meat-based meals you eat in a week will help reduce your impact.
- Remember – reusable! Keep your reusable bags in your (electric) car so that you don’t forget them when you go to the grocery store. When you get your coffee to go, BYO your cup (or better yet, sit down and take five minutes to enjoy it). Take your reusable water bottle with you when you head out, so you don’t need to purchase single use plastic bottles. Reusable straws come in all forms now including; glass, metal and bamboo. We could go on…
- Buy less. Do you really need that new shirt? We wrote recently about the impact of fashion’s carbon footprint: “If the fashion industry were a country, it would be the fourth largest carbon emitter in the world” Quilae Wong, Common Objective. If you want a new look, try your local second hand store instead.
- Do a detox. Look at the cleaners and other chemicals you use around the house. Can you replace the products you use with plant-based cleansers? Or options that are less harsh on our aquatic environments, like “grey water safe”? We can reduce the difficult (and often costly) task of processing our wastewater if we all chose differently. Better yet, buy concentrates and dilute them yourself to save on packaging too.
- Wash “Navy” style. Have you ever had a “Navy” shower? Basically, you turn the flow of water off whilst you lather up, saving the wet stuff for the beginning and the end. It saves a lot of water and the energy required to heat that water. Try it some time.
- Choose packaging-free food. The less ‘stuff’ wrapped around the things you really want, the less you’ll have to throw away. This means your waste-to-landfill (red bin contents) is lower which decreases your carbon footprint.
Try one, or try many, but the main thing is to give it a go! Found some great tips? Share them with us. Measure your carbon footprint again after you’ve implemented some changes and let us know your achievements.