How can individuals reduce their carbon footprint?
Reduce your carbon footprint enough and it
becomes a tiptoe!
Simple things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint
* Use low energy light bulbs - in every
room of your house and in as many lamps as possible. There are issues
with dimmer switches that you might have problems with though. They're
available quite cheaply now. They're available in different light styles
and come on much faster than previously.
Insulate your home with draft proofing, hot water tank and loft, cavity
Double glazing helps keep heat in too. Use thick curtains to conserve
Lost insulation can be done yourself and doesn't cost a lot. You can probably
get a grant for it. Contact your local authority to find out what grants
are available in your area. When I rang an insulation company from the
yellow pages they told me I was entitled to a grant.
You can get relfective panels to put behind the radiator to reflect their
heat back into the room. Radiators under windows are very inefficient.
Block up unused chimneys to prevent drafts and heat loss.
Use draft excluder tape round doors, and use draft excluders across the
bottom of the main doors in your house to reduce heat loss.
Letterboxes can also be insulated.
Loft hatches should be insulted too when you do the loft - and put clips
on them so it can be firmly pulled shut.
* Hot water
Insulate your hot water tank. It costs about a tenner and will easily
save you that much each year.
turn the thermostat down on the hot water tank, especially if you have
to run masses of cold water when you fill the bath or do the dishes.
Don't have a bath! Use a shower. You use so much less water too!
Replace your old boiler with a new energy efficient condensing boiler.
This can cost as little as £600 and will save you lots of money
C lose the curtains when it starts getting dark. This helps keep the heat
in. Also get lined curtains as these can also help. Tuck curtains down
the back of radiators rather than letting the hote air rise and heat only
You could also get window blinds and use these with curtains too - they'll
in effect be internal double glazing. If you have funny size windows you
can get cheaply - made
to measure blinds here
* Turn off the lights when you don’t
need them - this is such a simple thing to do. Shout at everyone who leaves
a light on when they've left the room.
* Turn the TV off when you're not watching
it! Ever sat there in the lounge with the TV on and you're not paying
attention to it?
* Unplug chargers and electricals not
in use. Save that standby power used! Those red dots use energy!
Buy switched mutlistrips so you can turn things off at the plug - or just
switch the whole strip off at once.
* Reduce the number of electrical items
you've got plugged in. Do you use them all? If in doubt unplug them and
if you've not plugged it back in after a month then maybe you don't actually
need the item - and you certainly didn't need it being left on standby.
* Drive less. Use other forms of transport
instead, use the bus, the bike, tram, train.
If you must drive then drive a car with a smaller engine. it'll save you
fuel and be cheaper to insure too! Keep your car as long as possible but
make sure its serviced regularly so it continues to meet all the emissions
Research biofuel - can you buy it in your area?
keep your car tyres at the right pressure.
Don't carry junk round in the boot unless you have to. The extra weight
takes fuel to carry! Don't keep roof racks on any longer than neccessary.
Join a car share pool.
* Travel less. Do you really need to go
out every day? Reduce the number of journeys you need to make. Reduce
the length of journeys where possible. Could you live nearer work, or
work nearer your home, or even work from home?
Don't drive the kids to school. If you feel you need to then should they
go to a nearer school or use the bus?
Fly less. Go by ferry or train.
* reduce your heating bills
Turn the thermostat down a degree
Get the boiler serviced so its working efficiently.
get thermostatic radiator valves to be able to fully control the temperature
Use a timer to reduce the hours the heating is on. You don't need it on
during the night when people are tucked up in bed.
Fleecy pyjamas and a hot water bottle can save you money!
Install renewable energy systems, especially solar thermal systems - there
are grants available
* Recycle more
Find out what you can recycle through your local tip. Ask neighbours if
they want you to take things for them - this'll save a journey and encourage
them to recycle more!
Take part in your local authorities recycling schemes
Compost your garden waste.
Think about a wormery to compost food waste. I know people are a bit squeamish...
but the kids will love it!
* Shop greener
Shop from local shops.
Eat food produced locally in season.
Use your local farmers markets
Use the milkman. He drives an electric float! The glass bottles can be
washed and given back - recycling them!
Refuse to buy over packaged goods - some people have been taking off excess
packaging after they've bought things and giving them to supermarket staff
to make a protest.
Reuse your carrier bags for carrying things! Use those thicker bags and
take them back each time to the shops when you go. Don't use new bags.
* Plant trees - you could plant a fruit
tree and then have locally grown fruit for free! Join together with your
neighbours to plant an orchard on a bit of land near you.
* Contact your MP
Question politicians standards and ask questions of them. Look up their
record on They
Work for You - a site which shows you what your MP does and votes
on issues. It's an essential site and gives you contact details for them