An article on ‘wishcycling’ inspired me to put together my thoughts on reducing our impact on the environment by recycling and cutting down on plastics. I’m following that up now with a few thoughts on reducing our carbon footprint.
With negative stories in the news it can often seem like we as individuals can’t make much of a difference in this area.
There is no doubt that change needs to come at a national level with government policy and you can influence this by considering who you choose to support in local and national elections – what are their environmental policies and what are they doing to effect real change?
At a time where many of us are disheartened and find it difficult to feel motivated by politics, there are some things we can do on an individual level.
Start by looking at your energy supplier, can you switch to one that uses renewable energy?
Thinking more about energy, how energy efficient are your appliances? This is a big consideration when buying a new appliance and with existing ones which you aren’t planning to replace, consider what can be turned off or down to make it more efficient and use less energy.
Insulating your home can make a big difference. Houses built less recently often have a lot of issues with drafts and even in modern homes, draft proofing can really reduce your energy usage.
When it comes to clothing, think about caring for the items in your wardrobe so they last longer – for example washing at 30 degrees, not filling the washing machine too much which can cause fibre damage when clothes rub together, and ensuring clothes are washed at the right setting for their fabric will all help prolong their life.
If you have things you’re not completely happy with and don’t get worn, look into altering them. A good tailor can make something unflattering into a great fit so you can wear it.
Lastly, of course, we all need to think about buying wisely when it comes to clothing. Investing in fewer good quality pieces which we love.
Buying fewer things in general will help reduce our carbon footprint and we don’t often consider what we could rent or borrow instead of buying. Big items that won’t be used many times can be hired or borrowed and there are sites like rentmy where you can rent almost anything from sports to home cinema equipment.
Out and about
We all know about the effect flying frequently has on our carbon footprint and flying less is an obvious way to reduce it if you can.
Another common recommendation is using public transport more, where you can do this it’s a great option but where I live is not well serviced by public transport and it’s often not a possibility for the journeys I need to do.
If like I often do, you do need to use your car, try to do it efficiently. You can do this by ensuring you get your car serviced, checking your tyres are inflated properly and by not carrying things you don’t need which add extra weight. There is also the option to share journeys, for example to a work place.
Reducing our carbon footprint is a daunting task and I know it’s still a work in progress for me, I’m learning more about this subject all the time, but I hope this has given you some food for thought.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, please do share them with me over on my instagram channel.
Founder of Ondine