There is no mistaking that we have contributed as a civilisation to the impending global warming crisis, which will have catastrophic effects in years to come if not brought under control.
In 2015, many nations met in France to discuss the climate change issue and all of the countries in attendance signed the Paris agreement, which stated that they would work together to keep the planet’s temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.
There are some ambitious goals set out by these nations in order to achieve this, and while they work towards a larger impact, many people are opting to make some changes at home to reduce their own personal carbon footprint and do their part.
This article will explore some of the ways you can live more ethically and help the planet, all the while saving money too!
One of the first ways you can help reduce your carbon footprint is to shop locally. Whilst supermarkets offer a lot of conveniences and sometimes better offers in terms of pricing, much of their food is imported and comes with a higher carbon footprint.
Many supermarkets are offering the best of British produce now such as eggs, meat, and vegetables produced here in England, which is a good start, but if you want to take it a step further, local farm shops offer beautiful produce grown on your doorstep. They also tend to have fewer chemicals and less processing than supermarket offerings.
By doing this, you are not only supporting local businesses; you are also not contributing to the transportation of goods from abroad, which causes a lot of carbon emissions. In addition, these kinds of suppliers tend not to use as much plastic as supermarkets, which is always a good thing. (More on plastic later).
In addition to shopping locally, there are many eco friendly shops now which will allow you to refill bottles like salt, herbs, soaps, shampoos, etc. which means you don’t have to contribute to the plastic wastage a lot of households have an issue with.
The way you travel can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint. Where possible, walk or bike short journeys where you would normally take the car. This is a win-win for both your health and the environment.
You can also switch to public transport; after all, one bus load of people making a trip from A to B is far better than each of those people taking a car on the same journey.
However, cars are convenient, so if you do have to have a car, you may want to consider an electric vehicle. If you have never thought about electric cars, LV Electrix has a useful electric car guide, which looks at everything you need to know about electric cars. The site is a great place to start your research.
Electric cars are a big part of the government’s plans to reduce emissions, so there are currently a lot of incentives to switch to electricity. You can purchase or lease an electric vehicle, and in addition to them having less than half the negative impact on the environment as a traditional combustion engine, they are also a great way to save money.
Road tax is free on electric vehicles, and travel costs are on average one-third of the cost of a petrol or diesel motor.
A significant portion of emissions that contribute to global warming comes from animal agriculture.
This is largely because western society now eats an extremely meat-heavy diet in comparison to even just 30 years ago, with meat being the main staple of many dishes.
The problem with this is that we are breeding so many animals for slaughter that the gases they produce are impacting our environment heavily.
Luckily, in recent years, there has been a shift towards plant-based eating, and there are now more vegan alternatives available than ever before.
You no longer have to miss out on foods you love when you go vegan, but even reducing your meat intake will have a positive impact on your own carbon footprint.
By recycling (especially plastics), you are helping the environment, as these products are made by burning oil, which contributes to global warming. By remoulding the plastics being recycled rather than sending them to landfill, we are creating more ethical practices.
Recycling doesn’t just have to be the items you throw into your blue bin; you can also recycle in other ways. Mending clothes instead of throwing them, using multi-use nappies, wipes, sandwich wraps, etc. instead of disposable ones means you are also reducing your carbon footprint dramatically.
If everyone makes some small changes to reduce their own carbon footprint, then it will make a large impact collaboratively. Making these changes will not only allow you to live more ethically but also save you money, so it really is a win-win!