Easy ways to help reduce your carbon footprint
Busy Lizzie @
But, Lizzie, what exactly is a carbon footprint?
I’m glad you asked! A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the atmosphere as a result of our everyday actions. Every little thing we do, eat and buy contributes to our very own personal carbon footprint.
I took the WWF Footprint calculator and my results surprised me a little bit! I’ve always thought I was pretty eco friendly, but I guess it shows there’s always more to be done! I was told by the clever computer that I am ‘over the target but there’s still time’, so I’ve downloaded the ‘My Footprint’ app to try and get into more eco conscious habits. It’s a fantastic bit of tech if I do say so myself! You can set targets and complete daily eco challenges, as well as add up to 6 family members to the app, which is handy for me to keep track of the kids and Ady to make sure they’re doing their bit!
Here’s some ways I’ll be reducing my carbon footprint, that you can get involved with too:
Transporting food to and around the UK produces 19 million tonnes of CO2 annually, which is enough energy to power most of London for an entire year! Doing your weekly shop in a local store or market is so much better than shopping at large supermarket chains, as the produce will usually be locally and ethically sourced, with the money going straight back into your community. If you shop in a supermarket, look out for British grown produce and try to stay away from imported goods, as all of that air travel racks up some serious air miles! I wonder if they fly first class or economy...
We already do this as much as we can, but we’re all guilty of throwing something in the bin when we can’t be bothered to wash the food waste out. Well, waste no more! I pledge to add those dirty plastic containers and glass jars to my ever growing pile of washing up...
Meat and dairy account for 14.5% of all global emissions - even shopping local can’t help us with this one! This is because it takes a lot of resources to take care of the animals (I certainly know what that's like!) and they release even more harmful gases into the air via stinky methane (I definitely know what that’s like!). Why not try ‘Meat-free Monday’ and try out some of these fabulous meat substitutes you see all over the shelves nowadays? The Quorn chicken nuggets are so good, your kids won’t know the difference - mine certainly didn’t!
This is a tricky one for me, because I can’t help but be drawn to… pretty much anything and everything! Every little gadget and trinket we buy has a life span, most of which don’t last very long at all before they end up in landfill, where they release harmful toxins into our atmosphere. Before buying something new, ask yourself “where will this item be in 5 years time?” If the answer is “in landfill” or “in the bottom of a random cupboard”... don’t buy it!! Our Hug Rugs may have a 5 year guarantee but something tells me that fast fashion dress probably won’t!
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to start cycling 10 miles to work or stuffing yourself inside a packed bus during rush hour, but try and reduce those unnecessary trips we’re all guilty of making. If your destination is less than a mile away, ask yourself if you can walk there, or if you’re planning a girl’s day out, suggest carpooling to save money and reduce your carbon footprint! Ady and I love some occasional cycling on the weekends, so we’ve pledged to turn our short weekend drives into more fun bike rides!
We know how unpredictable the great British weather can be, but whenever possible, why not use Earth’s natural tumble dryer and hang your washing outside? Giving your tumble dryer a well earned rest when it’s not needed will save so much energy... and money!
I know I bang on about it all the time (well, either that or the dogs) but we take sustainability seriously here at Hug at Home. Take a look at our environmental story to see what we do here to help reduce our carbon emissions, like recycling our water and using renewable energy to power our machines!
Busy Lizzie x