10 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Your “carbon footprint” is a fancy name for measuring how much carbon dioxide you, er, produce. Whether or not you believe carbon dioxide is the cause of global warming or not, it is harmful to the environment and reducing your carbon footprint is a great idea.

Step 1: How Big Is Your Carbon Footprint?

Before you can reduce it, you need to know how big it is. The average person in the UK causes the emission of 13,000kg of carbon dioxide equivalent gases per year. The global average is 5,800kg, in India it’s around 1,300kg. There are various ways of measuring your carbon footprint. Usually they’re made up of a series of scores, such as Transport score, Energy score, Food score, and Waste score. Try this carbon footprint calculator, or this one, this one, or finally this one.

Step 2: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

  1. Turn down your thermostat. Turning your thermostat down by one degree centigrade could save a typical home £49 a year.
  2. Close and/or line your curtains to keep in warmth. Setting your heating to turn off one hour before you leave the house and come on half an hour before you get home could save you £51 a year.
  3. Turn off lights. Switching off four unnecessary lightbulbs and you could save £32 a year.
  4. Turn off standby. Leaving your TV and all accessories attached to it on standby all the time could cost you £46 a year.
  5. Turn down and use the half load setting on washing machines and tumble dryers. Washing laundry at 40 to 60 degrees centigrade in your washing machine could save you £12 a year.
  6. Don’t boil more water in the kettle than you need to. If you always boil the amount of water needed for one cup rather than boiling a full kettle, you could save £30 a year.
  7. Fix leaks as these are not only wasting water but also energy if they’re from a hot water source.
  8. Use energy saving lightbulbs to save even more money and energy.
  9. Recycle more!
  10. Fly less. Train travel is up to 10 x more energy efficient than plane travel. Of course, not travelling at all is even more effective…

Step 3: Save Money and Feel Smug

🙂 Other ideas welcome. If you want some other great suggestions, try our free 100 quick and easy ways to save the planet. If you have less time, try our top 10 tips to reduce your carbon footprint.

Sources: The Independent and Daily Telegraph

32 thoughts on “10 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

  1. Re point 10, for all you budding (European) skiers, I highly recommend Eurostar’s Ski Train service – direct to the French Alps from London in 7hrs and very green compared to flying, and actually a bit quicker than a flight and a transfer. Plus there are two cafe bars serving fine continental beers, meaning the 7hr journey quickly flys by – as I found out last week!

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  2. And they recycle the blankets they give you on the ski train you know – they go to dog’s homes and homeless charities. Supposedly using the train is 10 times more environmentally friendly than going by plane!

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  3. If anyone sends gifts to Australia (from the UK) or to the UK (from Australia) I have found a fantastic website http://www.pegog.com which allows you to purchase gifts in the country the item needs to be sent and they also gift wrap the gifts. It not only reduces your carbon footprint as gifts aren’t sent by air but it also saves you money cutting out the international postage costs. I’ve used it for my mums birthday and intend to use it for all my christmas gifts this year. It’s only a small thing but everything we do makes a difference!

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  4. Great find Daz, thanks for letting us know. It’s getting more and more commonplace to order gifts in the country of destination, rather than posting it over. It’s a practice I know mail companies are geting concerned about!

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  5. I struggle with a passion for traveling and compassion for the environment. I would be happy to start using trains more instead of planes. Unfortunately, the cost is prohibitive. How do we go about reducing train costs to be comparable with flights such that trains are more attractive? Does anyone know of inexpensive ways of traveling by train, particularly within the UK and from the UK to the rest of Europe?

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  6. Hello,
    Suggestion #1 is a great idea,and you eluded to this in suggestion #2 — You can buy a programmable Thermostat which can help you save money when you are at work! How great is that? I love it. I would recommend that you turn your thermostat up or down about 5 degrees when at work – think how much money that will save and it will help reduce your carbon footprint at the same time.

    Commonwealth Heating and Cooling, Norfolk, VA
    http://www.cwheatcool.com

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    1. Hi Jessica. I have one of these and actually turn it off when I’m at work so it’s not using any energy at all – it’s great.

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  7. Thanks Jon. I knid of see carbon credits as a last resort, in a way like recycling. It’s better not to use it in the first place, but if you HAVE to then it’s not a bad idea.

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  8. This is so interesting. My daughter had just told me about this term today. She learned it in her environmental studies class and I found it fascinating. She’s the one who is enlightening me and helping me to go green.

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  9. Great, thanks Elizabeth! I just read an article today about the over 70’s being into being green so perhaps the old and young can teach the “middle”?

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  10. Pingback: ecopointers.com
  11. Here’s another great way to reduce your carbon footprint and mailbox clutter: Sign up for Catalog Choice-a free, not-for-profit service sponsored by the Ecology Center that reduces your junk mail. Instead of constantly throwing everything in the trash or recycling bin, have Catalog Choice remove your name from subscriber’s lists and you’ll be paperless in no time! Just go to their site at http://www.catalogchoice.org. Sign up is easy and safe-so spread the word!

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  12. Reducing ones Carbon footprint! Why create it in the first place. everyone is on a high when they switch off their lights for an hour in 8760 hours in a year !! I call myself an eraser, having planted 10,000 trees in my estate since last 20 odd years. I help remove the carbon others create. What do people like me get for this. Not even a thank you. They sing songs about people cutting down on a measly 10$ worth carbon

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  13. I am doing a project about carbon footprints and all these things are AMAZING about how to reduce your carbon footprint!!!!
    I will support and help as much as I can!!
    A for my project here I come
    I am now in Grade 6
    will be back
    Klara Rademeyer
    17th November 2010

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  14. The Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
    Try buying less, and reusing and fixing things when you can instead of buying new. And for a lot of people, recycling is as easy as rolling the trash bin to the curb. Just remember to do it at work, too.

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  15. To reduce air pollution I suggest, use public transport instead of your own vehicle. Increasing your use of public transit will help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in our cities. It will also cost saving, energy saving and safe.

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  16. With the current concerns about global warming and energy rates going up every day, it’s no wonder people are looking for alternative ways to power their lives. Solar power is one of the most efficient and affordable energy alternatives available today.

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  17. Today, there are vast number of environmental problems and all have their own consequences. Current air pollution control efforts are not all highly effective. In wealthier countries, industries are often able to shift to methods that decrease air pollution. However, in developing countries and even in countries where pollution is strictly regulated, much more needs to be done.

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  18. Great Top 10 – looking through the list many are very easy to incorporate into everyday life – scarily all are pretty much no brainers too, it’s surprising how many people DON’T do these as a matter of course. Also very impressed with the age range and demographic of comments!

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  19. another tip is to turn down the thermostat even further and work out if you get a little cold. i find a quick 10 minute excerise can actually make me too hot and i end up turning the heating right down saving me lots on the heating bill and further reducing my carbon footprint

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  20. i am doing project on carbon footprints with my team and we like yours 10 ways to reduce carbon footprints.it is helping us to spread awerness in people.

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  21. Roller blinds are much cheaper than lining your curtains. They only cost about £30 per window. I fitted them to almost all my windows recently and the chill when I stand by a window and open the blind is very obvious – so they are clearly doing a good job in holding back the cold.

    But low energy lightbulbs are very expensive and don’t always work. I recently wasted about £150 on LEDs because the damn things flicker intolerably, so I had to go back to conventional bulbs. Try one bulb before you try to replace them all.

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