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Articles > Politics June, 05, 2019

10 Tips for Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Helen Rodgers
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With social media forming a key part of daily life, our ability to access information has been increased, and with it our awareness of our carbon footprint.

There is a rising concern as to the impact that climate change is having on the environment, and there is a growing sense that time may be running out.

When almost every household has a car, and long-haul holidays are common, we need to do more in order to reduce the impact we are having on the environment. The information is readily available for those who are interested, and for those who are not, you should really be asking yourself why. This is the only planet we have, and it is our children who will be suffering due to our inability to act now. Our ‘intelligence’ made this mess, and it’s time for us to use it to clean it up again.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! There are lots of simple ways you can do your bit to help save the planet. Here are my top tips for reducing your carbon footprint:

1. Keep your recycling separate.

Ensuring you recycle whatever you can is very important. At the moment, only 9% of plastic is actually being recycled which is running our oceans and harming wildlife all over the planet.

2. Don’t buy food in excess.

Plan weekly meals in order to help minimise food waste, and freeze what you can to make everything last. Always check packaging info, because it can help you save food that you might not realise you can freeze.

3. Walk.

Not only does walking reduce your carbon footprint, but you can also save lots of money on transport/ and petrol.

4. Cut down on showers.

We all love a good shower karaoke session, or even a second attempt at winning and old argument, but no one needs to be in there for 45 minutes; it wastes so much water. Experts say we should only shower for 5-10 minutes.

5. Turn everything off at night.

It’s good to turn off your phone at night and let it charge; you know where it is and it’ll be ready in the morning. Turning off your phone at night will also help you sleep better. Just make sure all the other electronics you aren’t using are switched off at the mains rather than left on standby!

6. Don’t fill the kettle up.

Instead of filling the kettle all the way to the top, it’s better to only fill it up with the water you actually need.

7. Get thrifty.

Look at vintage shops and second-hand apps for clothes and material possessions. We are considered a throwaway society; when new clothes and material possessions can be bought easily online it becomes second nature to buy the latest style and throw the old one away. Fast fashion is becoming a big problem, and this can be reduced easily. How many of your old clothes end up in landfill? Pass them on!

8. Cut red meat out of your diet.

Beef requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken. It produces 11 times more greenhouse gases than staples like potatoes. By cutting it out entirely or reducing, you will be reducing your impact on the environment.

9. Buy a reusable water bottle.

For students, this can help ease all those hangovers while also making sure you stay hydrated! It also cuts down on the amount of plastic being used for water bottles.

10. Take bags with you when going shopping.

Let’s only use the ones we have; we don’t need any more, right?

All these may seem relatively small differences to make in your life, but no matter how small, it’s still a contribution. It is important that issues like climate change are not brushed aside due to people’s own personal egos. Everyone will suffer if the planet suffers, so let’s act now.

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