Living a greener life can help fix your January blues, as well as save the planet. So, what better New Year’s Resolution than reducing your carbon footprint?
Take part in Green January this month to discover just how easy it is to become part of a sustainable future.
What is a carbon footprint?
A quick Google search will tell you that a carbon footprint is defined as: “the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community.” But what does that have to do with saving the planet?
Carbon dioxide accounts for almost 85% of all emissions and is a large contributing factor to global warming. An increase in the release of CO2 has had a damaging effect on climate change, the greenhouse effect and human health. Check out the guide below to learn more on this.
“How do I calculate my carbon footprint?”
Ten years ago, the UK government announced the Climate Change Act 2018, which set a target to “ensure that the net UK carbon account for the year 2050 is at least 80% lower than the 1990 baseline.” In 2017, we were sitting at 42% lower than the 1990 emissions levels.
How do I reduce my carbon footprint?
Inspired to reduce your ecological footprint? Follow our 5 extremely simple #GreenJanuary tips to reduce your bills and personal contribution to climate change.
- Insulate your home
With the weather getting increasingly chillier by the day, it is important to wrap up and stay warm. While putting the heating on is often a necessity in winter, make sure you are properly insulating your home before doing so.
The last thing you want is to be wasting energy (and money) heating your home only for most of the warmth to escape through draughts and lack of insulation. Next time you feel the urge to crank up the boiler, check that your house is fully draught-proofed.
Another thing you ought to consider is the age of your boiler. If your current tank is more than 15 years old, it’s worth thinking of a replacement as older models can be significantly more wasteful.
Currently using solar or wind power in your property? We strongly recommend exploring the capabilities of eddi, our state-of-the-art energy-saving device, which diverts surplus power from such sources and uses it to heat your water and rooms.
- Changing your diet to reduce your carbon footprint
Veganism has been a huge discussion point in recent weeks, what with Piers Morgan’s highly publicised sausage roll outrage and the new McDonald’s vegan Happy Meal.
Tesco labelled veganism the “fastest growing culinary trend of 2018 with the percentage of vegans increasing tremendously in the last 12 months, so much so that large companies such as Greggs and McDonald’s are having to update their menus.
But what effect does eating meat have on your carbon footprint, we hear you ask?
University of Oxford researchers recently discovered that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce your carbon footprint from food by up to 73%.
Meat and dairy account for 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions, while the meat industry has caused substantial deforestation across the world. Not to mention the fact that livestock emissions from fertiliser and methane-based cow waste make up between 14.5% and 18% of total global greenhouse emissions.
Those looking to reduce their carbon footprint when it comes to food should also set a New Year’s resolution to buy more locally produced products. It may seem easy to eat food that has travelled half-way across the world to make it to your plate, but transported goods are a massive contributor to global warming.
- Reduce your carbon footprint while driving
Need your car for work and other commitments? Changing how you drive can still tremendously reduce your emissions. For instance, speeding and unnecessary acceleration can reduce your miles-per-gallon by 33%.
This year, try to be warier of how you use your vehicle. Seemingly little things like avoiding sitting in traffic (by taking alternate routes or driving outside of rush-hour), combining errands (to reduce back-and-forth trips) and ensuring your tyres are properly inflated all contribute to reducing your carbon footprint when travelling.
If you do need a vehicle but want to significantly reduce your ecological footprint, we recommend driving an electric car, which studies show are able to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half. Combine this with zappi, our new intelligent Electric Vehicle eco charging point, and you will significantly reduce your carbon footprint in no time at all.
- Replace your lightbulbs with LEDs
In 2017, LED bulbs reduced 570 million tons of carbon emissions. This type of illumination requires 20% less power than regular household lighting yet can last up to 15 times longer. So, have you joined the LED revolution yet?
95% of the energy used by LED lights is converted into light, with only 5% wasted as heat. This is, of course, a huge environmental improvement on regular lightbulbs. There is no better time to start saving energy and money on bills than January.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to learn more ways to reduce the amount of energy used in your home.
- Recycle more
An obvious tip but one we could not leave out: recycling. Thanks to recent technological advances in recycling technology, it has never been easier to ensure you are conserving resources when it comes to waste.
Are you recycling as much as you should be? Did you know, for example, that a staggering 1 billion Christmas cards will end up in bins each year? That’s the equivalent of 33 million trees! This year, why not use recyclable Christmas cards as a simple way of carbon offsetting.
In terms of household waste, make sure you have two bins in your home for recyclables and non-recyclables, and do your research on what items belong where. If you are ever in doubt, refer to one of the many recycling guides available online.
Carbon Offsetting – One Step at a Time
We at myenergi are committed to helping businesses and homeowners save money (and the planet) through reducing their energy bills.
If you want to learn more about how you can become part of a sustainable future, explore our range of effective, easy to use green products.