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How to reduce your carbon footprint

Posted on 16 March 2017

How many electrical appliances or gadgets have you used so far today? For most of us, the answer is probably quite a few. Since many of us rely heavily on our electrical devices in 2017, this isn’t exactly surprising. Yet, as our dependency continues to rise, our carbon footprints are also expanding.

Luckily, for those willing to make a few small lifestyle changes, reducing your carbon footprint isn’t as tricky as you might think. In fact, it might even save you money. So, how can you start reducing your CO₂ emissions? For those of you looking to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle this year, here’s our quick guide on how to reduce your carbon footprint.

At home

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Our homes are full of electrical appliances and gadgets, which means for most of us, there are plenty of opportunities to reduce our carbon emissions.

Switch to LED lightbulbs

Switching all your lightbulbs to LEDs will not only reduce your carbon footprint, but it’ll also save you money further down the line. LEDs can last up to 25 times longer than your standard halogen bulb, and replacing just one halogen bulb with an LED will save 250kg of CO₂ per year. In fact, switching all your light bulbs to LEDs can reduce your lighting bill by up to 90%.

Check out our latest energy saving products that could help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Opt for energy efficient appliances

The next time one of your appliances reaches the end of its lifespan, think about opting for one that runs more efficiently. When choosing an energy efficient appliance, look out for the item’s EU efficiency label which should give you a good indication of how eco-friendly the product is. Some of our appliances, such as fridges and freezers, are switched on 24/7, so opting for an improved energy efficiency model can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Ensure your home is properly insulated

Poorly insulated homes require a lot of energy to heat. In an uninsulated home, a quarter of energy generated is lost through the roof and a third escapes through the walls. Insulating your loft will not only save between 550kg – 990kg of CO₂ per year, but it’ll also pay for itself in energy bill savings in just over two years – making it one savvy way to reduce your carbon footprint.

Want to know more? Find out how you can make your home more energy efficient.

Travel

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Travel is usually the biggest contributor to our carbon footprint, making it one area many of us need to actively try to change.

Carbon offset your air travel

For frequent flyers, air travel contributes a hefty proportion to our carbon footprints. If you fly regularly for business purposes, try and reduce the number of flights you take per year by relying more on video conferencing tools. If this isn’t an option however, you can also think about carbon offsetting your flights. This is the process of donating the environmental cost of your flights to a company or charity who carry out projects to reverse the effects of climate change.

Walk, cycle or use public transport

If possible, try to reduce the amount of time you spend driving your car. Is it possible to walk to work or use public transport? If so, you can reduce your carbon emissions by cutting down on your car usage. Not convinced? If you don’t fancy taking public transport, why not see if you can carpool with a colleague instead?

Drive a low carbon vehicle

Electric cars emit fewer CO₂ emissions over their lifespan, so switching your vehicle for a more energy efficient alternative can be a big factor if you’re trying to lead a greener lifestyle. If that’s not an option for you however, you could save more than a ton of CO₂ per year by simply changing your driving habits. Maintaining a steady speed, accelerating slowing and smoothly, and sticking to the speed limit can all reduce your CO₂ emissions.

Life

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Changing your everyday habits can be tricky at first, but these small changes can make a big difference to your carbon footprint. 

Eat less red meat and more local produce

Cows and sheep both emit large quantities of methane, a gas which contributes heavily to global warming. Although you don’t have to adopt an entirely vegan diet, reducing your red meat intake to just once a week can also have its environmental benefits. 

Reuse, recycle and upcycle

With most homes equipped with specific recycling bins these days, taking the time to sort your paper from your plastic shouldn’t be too tricky. In fact, up to 70% of our waste can be recycled or reused in some way, and with manufacturing new products producing an average 4-8 pounds of CO₂ per product, this can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

Want to make recycling a little more fun? Try giving upcycling a go – another great way to reduce your household waste.

Support ethical companies

Buying from businesses who are committed to supporting a low carbon future or companies that champion green technology is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Safe in the knowledge that the products you’re purchasing used less CO₂ to manufacture, buying supplies from companies such as Unilever, who have committed to being carbon neutral by 2030, will motivate other businesses to make similar pledges.

Serious about shrinking your carbon footprint? Our new Green Pioneer tariff allows you to power your home with 100% green electricity, making it easier for you to do your bit for the environment.

Know of any easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Share them with us via Twitter

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