Reducing carbon emissions is essential for fighting climate change. It’s something that we can all play a part in – and in surprisingly easy ways. Whether it’s changing the food you buy or switching to LED lightbulbs, here are some small actions that can make a surprisingly big difference to your carbon footprint.
Shop seasonally and locally
From the moment vegetables are planted right up until you eat them, they undergo a number of carbon-intensive processes including fertilising, harvesting, transport and storage. Shopping seasonally and locally can make eating your greens even greener, as the vegetables don’t need to be kept in cold storage for long periods of time or travel as far.
Most vegetables are seasonal which means they only grow at certain times of the year. For example, carrots only grow in the UK from August-April, so any carrots you eat in the summer months are often shipped from overseas, meaning they will have a higher carbon footprint than carrots grown domestically. The further food has to travel, the higher its carbon emissions will be. By eating seasonal, locally grown vegetables, you can support lower-carbon food production that fights climate change.
Switch your lightbulbs to LEDs
You might think that small changes like changing your lightbulbs might not have much of an impact. Each halogen bulb that you swap to an LED bulb saves around 5kg of carbon emissions. Which means that if every home in Britain switched all of their lightbulbs to LED bulbs, around 1.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions will be saved each year.
Changing to energy efficient bulbs coupled with turning lights off when you leave a room will help to lower your carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions by up to 40kg a year. Not bad for flicking a switch.
Switch your money to a greener bank
When thinking about helping to fight climate change, banking is probably the last thing on your mind. Some banks, however, have been funding the development of new fossil fuel projects such as oil exploration, with £2.7 trillion being invested since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Barclays and HSBC are the biggest contributors in Europe, with Barclays providing $85 billion to fossil fuel companies from 2016-2018.
If we stop using banks that fund fossil fuels and deforestation, it will send a clear message to the banks that there’s no money in helping destroy our future.
Leave your car at home as much as possible
Leaving the car at home where possible for short journeys has several benefits for the environment and can help to fight the causes of climate change. Cars and taxis alone are responsible for 68% of UK transport emissions, whereas buses only account for around 3%.
By walking, cycling or taking public transport you can reduce the number of harmful greenhouse gases and particulates in the atmosphere, and help to fight climate change.
Switch to renewable energy
One of the easiest ways to fight the causes of climate change and lower your carbon emissions is by switching to renewable energy sources. If every country in the world transitioned to renewable energy, global emissions would be reduced by up to 90% and we can help to keep the global temperature rise below 2°.
The UK’s fuel mix now consists of around 37.9% renewable sources, but does still generate energy from gas, nuclear and coal. Good Energy provides 100% renewable electricity from sources such as wind, bio-generation, solar and hydro power – supporting independent generators to sell their power and make the whole electricity grid greener. Read the full breakdown of fuel mixes here.
By supporting the development of renewable energy sources, we can mitigate the impact of climate change by causing less pollution and carbon emissions.