Climate tips for November – Around the home

  1. If in doubt, switch it off: it is never more efficient to leave appliances running when you are not using them. Make sure you switch everything off at the plug before you go out and before you go to bed.
  2. Ensure your heating is switched off at night and when you are away from your home (except in sub-zero conditions) and save 500kg CO2e a year. Don’t heat rooms you don’t use, turn the radiator off and close the door. Smart thermostats can go even further, sometimes slicing up to 30% off your heating bill whilst keeping your home more comfortable.
  3. Read your meters monthly to check how much fuel you are using, or see if your supplier can fit a smart meter. This kind of monitoring can save on your fuel bills and also up to 250kg CO2e a year, as you keep a closer eye on your energy use.
  4. Find out if you have any unfilled cavity walls and (if yes) have them filled. This extra insulation can make a significant difference to the comfort of your home and save over 1 tonne of CO2e.

Climate tips for October – What’s on the menu?

  1. Think about your food before it reaches your table. 45% of the carbon emissions from food comes from production (on the farm), 28% in food processing, 7% in packaging and 19% from transport. Home grown has the lowest carbon footprint!
  2. Learn how to cook a new vegetarian or vegan meal each week. Why? Switching to plant based protein is better for your health and carbon budget. 1kg of beef or lamb releases 19kg CO2e (cows and sheep burp methane); chicken releases 4.5kg CO2e; beans only 2kg CO2e; and lentils a tiny 0.9 kg CO2e.
  3. Cut back on cheese and dairy products. Cows burp methane, a very strong greenhouse gas. Eat more plant based alternatives like oat or soya “milk”, hummus, olives, nuts and seeds.
  4. Stick to tap water. Bottled water comes with a 320g per litre carbon footprint, whereas tap water is a mere 0.24g CO2e per litre. If you don’t like the taste of your home tap water you can install an under the sink water filter, or pick up a filter jug.

Climate tips for September – At the shops

  1. Think before you buy: gold does not always glitter brightly. A new £500 gold necklace has a carbon emissions tag of 400kg CO2e, the mining process damages landscapes, ecosystems and contaminates water, and can be associated with human rights violations.
  2. Think before you buy: the manufacture of a new car uses a lot of energy and resources which generate 6 tonnes CO2e for a small vehicle (more than half your total year’s carbon budget), 17 tonnes for an estate car and up to 35 tonnes for a top of the range Discovery Land Rover.
  3. Buy local and in season produce and look forward to seasonal changes. For example a punnet of strawberries flown in or grown locally in a hothouse in winter has a 1.8kg CO2e emissions cost. Whereas locally grown in the UK in summer its only 0.15kg a punnet.
  4. Do you really need a new computer, laptop or phone? Manufacturing new goods has a high environmental cost. A new laptop has a carbon footprint of 200kg and a high end desk top 800kg CO2e.
  5. Think ahead to Christmas! How can you show love in your gift giving without costing the earth? Discuss having a Secret Santa or a price limit with family members, choose small thoughtful presents, or hand make gifts.