Many people wonder which daily activities can have the biggest impact on reducing their carbon footprint. The good news is that a study published in August 2020 tackled exactly this question and came up with a list of impactful actions. You may be surprised to learn that living car-free is at the top of the list. Not ready for such a drastic shift? There are many daily choices you can make to reduce your carbon footprint.
Globally, transport contributes 23% of greenhouse gas emissions. You can do your part by taking public transport where you can. Walking or riding a bike are carbon neutral options while also providing the benefit of exercise. Forgoing one long-haul flight per year is also a great way to cut down on carbon emissions. Of course, battery, solar and hybrid powered options are always preferable to standard models that operate on petrol or gasoline.
A significant proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with red meat production. This is related to the carbon emissions from grains grown to feed cows as well as the methane emitted from them. The most significant way to reduce carbon emissions related to food is to change what you eat. In fact, one study found that cutting meat and dairy could reduce individual food related carbon emissions by 73%. Many people are also realising that adopting a predominantly plant-based diet is not only good for the planet - it is also good for your health.
The remaining ways to reduce your personal carbon footprint involve transitioning to renewable energy and making home improvements that save energy. For example, insulation and certain home improvements, such as replacing old windows with double glaze or upgrading cooking equipment, are worth the effort in terms of reducing carbon emissions. Keeping your central heating at a slightly cooler temperature, wearing a jumper inside & turning your boiler to a lower temperature are easy small tasks that all add up.
Climate change can be overwhelming. The science is complex, and when it comes to future impacts, there are still a lot of unknowns. While real solutions will require action on a global scale, it’s always good to start somewhere as an individual and amplify your impact from there.