The term ‘carbon footprint’ is something that you see a lot within the media in relation to environmental impact and global warming, but what does it actually mean? Well, your carbon footprint is the overall amount of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide, associated with your personal usage and that of your home. It is one of the most common methods used to measure individual impact on the environment, and reducing it will not only have a positive impact on the ecosystem and wildlife but also on your lifestyle and wellbeing. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, then here are some simple changes you can make to your home and lifestyle to do just that.
Most people believe that if you switch a device off, they no longer drain any energy from the sockets when they’re plugged in. However, all electronics actually continue to channel energy when they’re plugged in, even when they’re turned off, contributing to a lot of extra energy usage each year. This means that even when your devices are fully charged but are still plugged in you are receiving no benefit from the energy usage, you’re still contributing the growth of your carbon footprint. So to combat this, make sure to unplug all electronics in your home when you’re not using them.
Donate items you no longer need
If you have items lying around your home that you no longer want, from children’s toys to old clothes and worn down pieces of furniture, don’t just chuck them out. There are lots of places that will gladly take your unwanted items to be reused, recycled, or even upcycled so that they can go to a new home. If you have some things which are still in a good enough condition to be rehomed, you could take them to a charity shop, give them away or sell them at a garage sale. Alternatively, you could sell, donate them to a thrift store or even give any scrap resources to a designer, such as a carpenter or seamstress, depending on the desirability of the materials you have to get rid of.
Reduce your energy usage
The amount of energy you use in your home has a huge impact on your carbon footprint. Every time you switch on the toaster, plug in the hoover or turn on the lights, you’re using up valuable energy and contributing to your carbon footprint. Of course, a lot of energy usage is unavoidable to daily life, but there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of energy you waste. Firstly, make sure that your home is properly insulated, as a lot of excess energy is lost through convection as warm air escapes out outside.
You may even find that you are eligible to receive Double Glazing Funding to help reduce the impact of heat loss in your home and keep your energy bills down. Adding better insulation in your roof, and using an energy company powered by renewable energy, can also have a massive impact on your carbon footprint.
Avoid plastics and fast fashion
If you’re looking to get something new for your home, whether it be an appliance, furniture or clothing, try to avoid buying from major retailers. These companies only care about selling high quantities of items, increasing their profit margins through volume and caring little about the quality of the things they sell. While from a consumer standpoint this can be beneficial to your bank account and budget, these companies waste an unthinkable amount of materials each year, filling up landfills with unrecyclable materials. Not to mentation the excess materials which are wasted in packaging, and then thrown away by consumers instead of being properly recycled.
If you can, you should instead try to buy local so that you avoid the high carbon footprint impact that comes with materials being shipped overseas. Stay away from plastics where possible, as the manufacturing of these materials alone has a huge impact on the environment; but, where necessary recyclable, plastic is preferable. Additionally, try to find out more about the history of the products that you bring into your home: this will not only help you to reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also make you feel as though your have curated a welcoming living environment through your thorough research.
Introduce more plants into your home and garden
As you may know, plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and, in return, produce oxygen. So, by bringing more plants into your home and introducing a few more into your garden, you will counteract some of the emissions you put out and create a small but positive impact on your carbon footprint.