Our carbon footprint refers to the amount of harmful greenhouse gas (in carbon dioxide) we produce, whether it’s from manufacturing processes or driving to work. The bigger our carbon footprint, the more damage we are causing to the planet.
Thankfully, there are things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. Read on for five simple ways we can help our planet today.
Switch to paperless utility bills
Every month, we receive reams of bills in the post: energy, internet, phones, gym membership — the list is virtually endless. These often get looked at, paid, and then thrown away almost immediately.
To reduce your carbon footprint, switch to paperless billing instead. Not only does it reduce the need for loads of single-use paper, but you can also avoid overdraft fees or late payments by doing it all online. This is easy to do too — just email your utility provider and ask them to switch you.
Buy a reusable shopping bag
One reusable shopping bag has a lifespan of more than 700 disposable ones, reducing the need to produce more disposable shopping bags and easily reducing your carbon footprint.
And when it costs between 5-10p to pay for a disposable plastic bag, it just makes sense to buy one of your own. It’s cheaper in the long run, and you can buy one that’s easy to fold away and tuck into a jacket pocket or handbag.
Buy a reusable coffee cup
When you buy a reusable shopping bag, why not buy a reusable coffee cup too? Seven million disposable coffee cups are thrown away every day — that’s 2.5 billion cups chucked every year, a massive negative impact on our carbon footprint.
There are lots of affordable reusable coffee cups available to buy, and many retailers offer small discounts on your coffee when you bring your own cup. Not only could you save the planet, but you could save thousands of pounds every year.
Change your commute
Many of us think nothing of driving to and from work every day. But with so many cars hitting the roads at the same time, there’s a significant increase in our carbon footprint as a result. Changing how we commute to work goes a long way towards reducing our carbon footprint.
To start with, consider walking to work if you can. Driving to work might save you a few minutes, but walking is good for your health, gives you time to wake up in the morning, and saves you money in petrol and car park fees, as well as reducing your carbon footprint.
If you can’t walk to work, consider taking public transport. Paying for a bus or train ticket often works out cheaper than paying for fuel and car parking.
Finally, why not consider working from home one day a week? Speak with your employer about their flexible working arrangements and find a compromise that suits you both.
Change your laundry settings
How we do our laundry has a massive impact on our carbon footprint. We often use high temperatures and long cycles to get our clothes as clean as possible.
But switching to a colder temperature (around 30 degrees Celsius or lower) is just as effective at cleaning our clothes. Only wash bedding and towels on a high temperature, as this destroys germs properly.
There are lots of things you can do yourself to help reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. Follow the simple tips above and start leading a greener life today.