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Concerns over the environment, including carbon emissions and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, are more relevant than ever. It isn’t doom and gloom, however.
In the UK, GHG emissions fell for the seventh year in a row in 2019. That’s promising news for achieving environmental sustainability. Data for 2020 isn’t yet available, but with the coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns, it’s expected that GHG emissions will fall even further. That’s one positive from the global pandemic; less consumption, fewer emissions.
For families looking to reduce their carbon footprint further, however, there are some practical solutions that are perfectly feasible without having to drastically change lifestyles. We don’t have to go back to a Mediaeval lifestyle to help our planet, in other words.
Here are five ways to reduce your family’s carbon footprint:
1. Go Paperless
There are few excuses not to be digitally connected in the modern world. We now do our banking, communications, work, photography, reading, and much more with our mobile phones. Wifi is now ubiquitous in developed and developing nations, connecting us nearly anywhere we go to the World Wide Web.
For this reason, there’s little reason why you should be receiving paper statements from your bank or mobile carrier, for example. Many banks in the UK such as Halifax provide customers with paperless statements by default, but if yours isn’t, ask them to cut down on the needless paper waste and to send it by email instead.
2. Grow Your Own
The convenience of buying mangoes in the UK and all sorts of other exotic foods is a huge benefit of our modern globalised world. Of course, the downsides are also there although perhaps not as apparent in our day-to-day business. Somebody has to transport and store those exotic goods to your local supermarket, and that comes at a price.
Space permitting, grow your own trees and shrubs, but also grow a small garden. Sustainable food from your very own garden is certainly going to contain fewer pesticides and preservatives when compared to what your supermarket’s got on its shelves.
3. Upgrade Your Lighting
There aren’t many good reasons why you should still be using incandescent light bulbs in your home in this day and age. The technology was world-changing for its time, but newer innovations such as CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) and LEDs have changed the game completely.
Sure, LED light bulbs may cost more upfront, but the energy efficiency and longevity of these bulbs will justify the cost as they’ll pay themselves off over time. Invest in LED or CFL lightbulbs in every room of the house and you’ll dramatically lower your energy consumption, thereby helping the environment, but you’ll also enjoy long-term savings in energy costs as well.
4. Change Laundry Habits
Water and energy consumption in the average household are disproportionately weighed more to your washing machine and tumble dryer than most other household appliances. It takes a lot of water and energy to wash a full load, and it’s incredibly wasteful to do it incorrectly or to wash a single shirt, for example.
Take the time to organise wash loads so that they’re fuller (but not too full, of course), choose energy-efficient settings such as cold water where appropriate, and choose energy-efficient appliances when your old ones have seen better days.
When it comes to drying, the UK is not as fortunate as Spain, Italy, or Portugal, for example, where tumble dryers are uncommon and hang drying is a possibility thanks to more sunlight. If you must use a tumble dryer, use a dryer ball to accelerate the drying process. If there’s sun this summer, hang your clothes out to dry instead. It has the added benefit of not wearing out your clothes as fast.
5. Switch to Eco Friendly Pet Food
There are nearly 17 million cats and dogs in the UK alone, mostly consuming meat-based pet foods. Livestock is incredibly unsustainable and is accelerating the depletion of water, land, and resources globally due to growing consumption and habits that aren’t changing fast enough.
Alternative pet foods such as Bug Bakes’ insect-based dog food and treats are an ideal solution that’s far better for the environment, healthier in nutritional value for your pet, and the most ethical choice as well.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your family’s carbon footprint is by switching to eco-friendly dog food by Bug Bakes. Our insect-based dog food and treats are healthy, but they’re especially eco-friendly and a great alternative to unsustainable livestock farming.