There are plenty of simple easy things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. They won’t cost you a penny and you’ll barely even notice the difference in your life.
That’s not to say every change is this easy. But if you look at the amount of carbon (and money) each one saves you, it’s easy to see that it pays off handsomely. Not only are you helping the planet, you’re also aiding your wallet – and that can never be a bad combination.
Don’t leave electrical items on standby when you’re not using them. Shut them off completely, and unplug those mobile phone chargers. Don’t leave your computer on overnight, either. All together, those can save a surprising 567 kg of carbon as well as around £125 on your electricity bill over the course of a year. The easy way to do it is to have everything plugged into a power strip and simply unplug that at night.
Do you use your tumble dryer a lot? For centuries we didn’t have that option, and we used a lot less energy. Dryers devour electricity and push CO2 into the atmosphere. Why not hang your clothes outside, whenever possible (they smell wonderfully fresh, too), or fit a line over the bath? Eliminate the tumble dryer from your life and you’ll save £75 a year and cut 635kg of carbon from your footprint.
When your light bulbs burn out, replace them with the newer, energy-efficient kind. They’re long-lasting and give good light, and fit naturally into the existing sockets. You’ll also find that they save you money. The more you replace, the more you’ll save, but it can be £30-40 a year, and 136 kg of carbon.
The experts say you end up cleaner taking a shower than from taking a bath. What they don’t mention is that you also save energy using the shower. Replace a daily bath with a daily shower, and that’s a savings of 317kg of carbon dioxide, and £18 a year in your wallet. Install a low-flow shower head and that’s another 68kg of CO2 less going into the atmosphere, and a further savings of £37. Cut down on the shower time to save even more, and lower the temperature on your hot water heater to 49 degrees to save another 217 kg of CO2.
Turn down your heating by one degree. It’s not much, and simply putting on another layer will make you feel comfortably warm. But you’ll be doing something good for the environment as you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint by 400kg, and you’ll stand to save £30 or more a year.
Making a cuppa? Just put in the water you need for the cup or pot. Too many of us overfill our kettles and simply waste energy. Putting in the right amount translates to a savings of 45 kg a year.
The weekly (or often more than weekly these days) wash is a chore. But it can be a chore you use to save energy, if you wash at 30 degrees instead of 40 or 60. With modern machines and powders your clothes will come out just as clean, and the average household will save 90kg of CO2 a year.
Those are all easy to implement, and quickly bring literally tons of saving on your carbon emissions, as well as giving you significant financial benefits. What’s better than a win-win situation?