5 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint Every Day

1. Minimise food waste

According to the charity Waste and Resources Action Programme, U.K. households produced 6.6 million tonnes of food waste in 2018, most of which ended up in landfill where it would have released many more millions of tonnes of climate-destroying greenhouse gases. This isn’t the only way the food we throw away contributes to carbon emissions: when we waste food, we’re also wasting the resources that went into growing, transporting and packaging it. We’re all guilty of letting vegetables bought with the best of intentions go bad at the back of the fridge, but cutting down how much food we waste is one way to reduce your carbon footprint every day. From learning how to properly store fresh produce to meal planning and, if possible, composting your food scraps, you’ll soon be on your way to helping the U.K. meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal to halve global food waste by 2030.

2. Switch to an ethical bank

Very few of us get by without a bank account these days, but did you know that the majority of high-street banks in the U.K. invest your money in climate-destroying industries and initiatives including fossil fuel companies? HSBC alone invested $110.745 billion in fossil fuel-related operations between 2016 and 2020, despite claiming to be aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Fortunately, it’s never been easier or quicker to switch to an ethical bank, that’ll put your money into fossil-free, climate-positive funds where it can help finance solutions rather than disasters. Services like The Current Account Switch can be used to get things moving, and soon you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re contributing towards a brighter future for the planet. You might even catch the switching bug and change pension providers next…

3. Use public transport

The Department of Transport found that a journey from London to Glasgow by car emits over three times more carbon dioxide than by train. While most of our commutes are far shorter than that, it’s still a significant aspect of daily life where we can make a difference. All forms of motorised transport have a carbon footprint, but the more passengers they carry, the more the emissions are shared. If you’re jumping in the car to get to the office or do the school run, is there a bus or train you could take instead? Not only will you bypass the stress of driving, you can also rest assured that by taking public transport you’ll be helping to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

4. Get crafty with clothing

One of the environment’s biggest threats is hyper consumerism, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in the fashion industry. With social media piling on the pressure for us to wear only the latest, trendiest styles, a lot of us may have lost touch with the simple joy of re-wearing a loved item of clothing until it starts to fall apart – and repairing it when it gets to that stage.  From darning holes in socks to sewing buttons back onto shirts or even getting creative with visible mending and patches, learning how to repair your clothes (or using services like your local dry cleaners or apps like Sojo) ultimately keeps them out of landfill, saving on waste and carbon emissions.

5. Remove the rest – for good

While we can all get involved in measuring and reducing our individual carbon emissions, it’s crucial that the residual 10% of carbon is removed from the atmosphere for good. That’s where UNDO comes in. Through enhanced rock weathering, we’re permanently locking CO₂ away, and by becoming an UNDOer, you can join us in removing one billion tonnes of carbon. 

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