COP26 did not provide the outcomes we were hoping for to limit global warming to well below 1.5 degrees. Therefore, if we are to mitigate the effects of climate change, we all must take action and reduce the volume of carbon emissions we are responsible for releasing into the atmosphere. We have outlined below the best actions you can adopt to reduce your carbon footprint in 2022.
Change your diet
Reducing your meat and dairy consumption is one of the best ways you can reduce your environmental impact. Adopting a vegetarian diet can reduce your carbon footprint by approximately 30%, and going vegan can reduce it by up to 60%. Try to choose fresh, locally grown, seasonal produce to help reduce the emissions created by transportation, prolonged refrigeration, and preservation.
- Take part in Veganuary and check out their website for resources.
- Check out the Vegetarian Society’s website for lots of tips and recipes.
Reduce your consumption
As consumers, everything we use has a carbon footprint. Avoid fast fashion and single-use items, and try to buy only what you need. Make the most of charity shops and buy second-hand items where possible. Reuse items and repair them when they break. Giveaway your unwanted items so they can have a second life. Avoid food waste by planning your meals and only buying ingredients you need. Choose brands that use recyclable packaging and contact those that you think are unsustainable.
- Check out Love Food Hate Waste for lots of leftover food recipes.
- The Family Handyman will help you repair any household item, so you don’t need to buy a new one.
Reduce your energy use
Small changes to how you act at home will reduce your energy use, cutting your carbon footprint and your bills. Turn down the heating by a degree or two and put on an extra layer. Make sure you turn off lights and appliances when you don’t need them. Fit energy-efficient appliances such as water-efficient showerheads or low-energy light bulbs. Ensure your home is energy efficient by draught-proofing doors and windows and ensuring that the building has proper insulation. Switch to a green tariff to invest in renewable energy sources and potentially save money on bills too.
- The Energy Saving Trust has multiple ways to reduce your home’s carbon emissions.
- Check your home’s Energy Performance Certificate with Simple Energy Advice.
- Conduct your own home energy assessment with energy.gov.
Leave your car at home where possible and walk or cycle. For longer journeys, use public transport or check out car-sharing schemes. Alongside releasing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, cars’ exhaust fumes cause air pollution, posing a serious threat to public health. If driving is unavoidable, look at eco-alternatives such as all-electric or hybrid vehicles. Think about how you drive, switch off the engine when possible, ensure your tyres are fully pumped – this can improve the car’s fuel efficiency by up to 40%. If you need to fly for work, consider hosting an online call instead. If trips are in the same country, take the train instead of flying.
- Check out Zipcar for a car-sharing scheme.
- Compare your journey’s carbon footprint to find the best option with this calculator.
- Rent a car with Co Wheels instead of owning your own.
Offset your carbon emissions
Reducing your carbon footprint is the first step to making a meaningful difference. However, despite the changes you make, you will still be responsible for carbon entering the atmosphere. One way you can act on this is by ensuring that the volume of carbon you release into the atmosphere is absorbed or prevented elsewhere. Carbon offsetting with Climate Wise makes this possible, allowing you to lead a climate-positive life: https://climate-wise.com/.