How to reduce your carbon footprint

1. If you fly frequently, be aware that they leave a significant carbon footprint. Just one round trip makes up almost a quarter of the carbon footprint of the average person in a year. Therefore, the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is to travel by train or at least fly as little as possible.

2. The second most important point in changing the lifestyle is, of course, the exclusion from the diet of meat. Cows and sheep emit large amounts of methane, a gas that contributes to global warming. A vegan diet reduces a person’s carbon footprint by 20%, and even eliminating at least beef from the diet will bring significant benefits.

3. Next – the heating of cottage-type houses. A poorly insulated home requires a lot of energy to heat. If you properly insulate the attic, insulate the walls and protect the house from drafts, you will not have to spend valuable energy on heating.

4. Old gas and oil boilers can be extremely wasteful heating sources. Even if your current boiler is working well, it’s worth considering replacing it if it’s over 15 years old. Fuel usage can be reduced by a third or more, and the reduction in fuel costs will pay off your purchase costs.

5. The distance you drive your car also matters. Reducing the average car’s mileage from 15 to 000 miles a year would reduce carbon emissions by more than a ton, which is about 10% of the average person’s carbon footprint. If a car is an indispensable means of transportation for you, consider switching to an electric car if possible. A car with a battery will save you money on fuel, especially if you drive tens of thousands of miles a year. Even though the electricity to charge your car will be partially generated by a gas or coal-fired power plant, electric vehicles are so efficient that overall carbon emissions will decrease.

6. But keep in mind that the production of an electric car can produce more emissions than the car itself during its lifetime. Instead of buying a new electric car, it’s better to use your old car in moderation. The same is true for many other electrical appliances: the energy needed to build a new computer or phone is many times greater than the energy needed to power it over its lifetime. Apple claims that 80% of a new laptop’s carbon footprint comes from manufacturing and distribution, not end use.

7. In recent years, LED lamps have become a cheap and efficient lighting option. If your home has halogen lights that consume a lot of energy, it makes sense to replace them with LED counterparts. They can last you about 10 years, which means you don’t have to buy new halogen bulbs every few months. You’ll reduce your carbon footprint, and because LEDs are so efficient, you’ll help reduce the need to run the most expensive and most polluting power plants during peak hours on winter evenings.

8. Frequent use of household appliances is a significant waste of energy. Try not to use household appliances without special need and choose models that consume less energy.

9. Simply buying less stuff is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint. Making a suit out of wool can leave a carbon footprint equivalent to a month’s worth of electricity in your home. The production of one T-shirt can generate emissions equal to two or three days of energy consumption. Buying fewer new things will play an important role in reducing emissions.

10. Sometimes we may not even suspect how much emissions are behind the production of certain products and goods. Mike Berners-Lee’s book How Bad Are Bananas? is an example of an interesting and thoughtful way of looking at this issue. With bananas, for example, there are no particular problems, since they are sent by sea. But organic asparagus, which is delivered from Peru by air, is no longer such an environmentally friendly product.

11. Invest in your own renewable energy sources. Placing solar panels on a rooftop usually makes financial sense, even though most countries don’t subsidize their installation. You can also buy shares of wind, solar and hydro power plants seeking funding. The financial return won’t be that great – for example, in the UK it is 5% per year – but some income is still better than money in the bank.

12. Buy from companies that support the transition to low carbon technologies. More and more businesses are aiming for 100% renewable energy. Those concerned about climate change should look to buy from businesses that are genuinely committed to reducing the climate impact of their products.

13. For a long time, investors ignored the move to sell the assets of fossil fuel companies. The big fuel companies and electric power companies were raising billions. Now money managers are increasingly wary of supporting oil companies’ investment plans and are turning their attention to renewable projects. Support those who refuse oil, gas and coal – only in this way will the result be visible.

14. Politicians tend to do what their constituents want. A major study by the UK government found that 82% of people support the use of solar energy, while only 4% oppose it. In the US, even more people have come forward to use solar energy. Also, many support the use of wind turbines. We must actively communicate our opinion to the authorities and draw their attention to the fact that the use of fossil fuels is much less beneficial from a political point of view.

15. Buy gas and electricity from retailers that sell renewable energy. This helps grow their business and enhances their ability to provide us with cost-competitive fuel. Markets in many countries offer renewable natural gas and electricity produced without the use of fossil fuels. Consider switching to a supplier that provides 100% clean energy.

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