1. Reduce food waste
When food is wasted, all the energy that went into growing, processing, packaging, and delivering the food all goes to waste too. But that’s not all, as wasted food rots in landfill, it releases methane which is one of the most damaging greenhouse gases. Try to carefully manage the food that you buy and either freeze or give away food that won’t get eaten in time. Ensure that any waste gets composted or goes into your local food waste collection.
If food waste was a country, it would be the 3rd highest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US
2. Eat less meat and dairy
Follow nutrition guidelines and a balanced diet which includes lots of fresh fruit, veg, nuts, grains, and pulses. Doing so will naturally reduce the amount of meat and dairy that you eat. When you do eat meat, select local and the highest quality that you can afford. Try different plant milk to find the one you like and give Meat-free Monday a go.
3. Insulate our homes
Buildings lose heat through their roof, walls, windows, and doors. At home, check for draughts around doors, windows, and around skirting boards, sealing them up will save you money and make your home more comfortable. Insulating your loft and your hot water tank isn’t expensive and will reduce your energy bill by a considerable amount. Remember, as your home becomes more airtight, you may need to upgrade ventilation to remove moisture from your home, otherwise, you may see an increase in mould. Most homes would benefit from higher-quality extract fans in bathrooms and kitchens but it’s also good practice to ventilate rooms by regularly opening windows. Draw up a list of other improvements that will require some investment such as floor, wall insulation and double glazing. Then research switching from an old, inefficient gas boiler to a low-carbon alternative such as a heat pump. There are loans available for green improvements to your home so talk to your bank or building system. If you are already planning home renovations, then consider adding in low-carbon alternations at the same time.
4. Fly less
Many people in the UK never fly but for those of us that do, flying makes up a significant slice of our personal carbon footprint. This is because flying is one of the most damaging ways to travel. Swopping the plane for train, not only reduces your emissions but it can change the way you think about travel, slowing down and making the journey part of the holiday. If you are a frequent flyer, consider cutting down the number of flights you take each year.
Travelling to Europe by train instead of plane can reduce emissions by up to 90%
5. Switch to an EV
Lots of businesses now have EV Salary Sacrifice schemes to encourage their employees to drive a cleaner car. If you are a high-mileage driver or if you drive mostly in urban areas where pollution intensity causes health problems, then we recommend switching as soon as you can.
6. Drive less
Doing more walking and cycling saves money, improves fitness, and supports better mental health. Public transport is now cleaner, more reliable, and often cheaper too when you consider the full costs of owning and running a car. If you do drive, try, and cut your fuel consumption by driving efficiently.
7. Reduce energy use at home
If you have an older boiler and single-sized radiators, consider investing in an upgrade. Otherwise, gain control of your heating by swapping your regular thermostat for a smart thermostat. Thermostat radiator valves (TRVs) on each radiator allow greater control of the heat in individual rooms allowing you to adjust temperatures to suit your needs.
8. Food choices
Buying food locally and in season is climate-friendly. To reduce transport emissions, avoid regularly buying food that has been flown in and anything that is available too early in a season (think British strawberries and tomatoes in April). Local and seasonal food should be cheaper, fresher and contain more nutrients too.
9. Buy less stuff
While it’s important to recycle, reuse, and repair, we also need to reduce consumption. Buying less creates less waste, saves you money and stops your home from being cluttered. That means less cleaning up and more time spent on experiences. Win-Win!
10. Talk about climate change
As you challenge yourself to reduce your impact and begin to see the benefits, share your experiences with those around you. Talk about the changes you are making with your family, and friends, at home, at work and in your communities. Conversations spark big ideas and drive change.