Greener lifestyle

How to reduce your carbon emissions – some of the biggest impacts you can make

1. Reduce air travels:

  • It is not so much about your yearly holiday but about business travels and short term trips
  • Business trips can often be replaced with video conferences, also saving money and time
  • Short term journeys by for train or transit bus are better, video conferences might also be possible for some
  • Why not have your yearly holiday closer to home? Every air mile makes a difference

2. Change your diet:

  • less meat consumption will most likely have additional benefits for your health
  • a vegan diet is best but even cutting meat consumption to a small level has a huge impact (Flexitarianism)
  • Cows and sheep in large numbers are particularly negative on climate – substitute steaks, lamb chops and dairy products with other choices whenever possible
  • It takes 16 times more fuel to produce meat than vegetable equivalent
  • A meat-free diet is as effective at lowering cholesterol as statins
  • Among vegetarians, cancer mortality is 39% lower and heart disease 28% lower, while all causes of premature mortality are 20% lower
  • A typical meat free diet will save you money

3. Make your home more energy efficient:

  • Insulation is absolute key to keep the warmth in your home. The cheapest option is to draught-proof your home, which you can do yourself.
  • Loft insulation is the next most effective. Wall insulation is a bit more complex, depending on the kind of walls your home has.
  • Windows are one of the biggest heat leaks – Double glazing or even better Triple glazing mitigate it
  • Old gas and oil boilers can be hugely wasteful. Even if your current boiler is working well, it’s worth thinking about a replacement if it is more than 15 years old. Your fuel use may fall by a third or more, repaying the cost in lower fuel bills.
  • Turning down your heating 1° or 2° saves significant amounts of CO2 emissions – and money on your bill. Just wear a sweatshirt instead of a T-shirt.
  • Replace 5 old bulbs with LED bulbs: each bulb uses 1/6 of the energy of an incandescent bulb, lasts on average 25 times longer!
  • wash clothes on colder cycles – saves energy and is more easy on your clothes!
  • Dry clothes naturally: save up to 280 kg per year
  • EU Grade A+ refrigerators save up to 210 kg per year
  • Electrical equipment on standby can use up to 80% of full power

4. Find alternatives to travelling in your own car:

  • The distance you drive matters. Reducing the mileage of the average new petrol car from 15,000 to 10,000 miles a year will save more than 1000kg of CO2
  • Keep fit: cycling burns 300 calories per hour

5. Connect Politics and the Environment

  • Ask your political representatives for policies with high environmental standards
  • Make your environmental concerns heard in political discussions
  • Voting at elections is incredibly important; consider environmental policies as one of the main topics when making your choice

Other general tips:

  • Recycle everything you can – tip for convenience: ask your local authority for kerbside recycling
  • buy less things, thereby reducing the need to get more storage. If you need more storage, have a clean out throughout your house before considering any other options.
  • Buy high quality things that last longer, thereby reducing the need to buy a replacement soon. Thereby it saves a lot of hassle too! A single T-shirt may have caused emissions equal to two or three days’ typical power consumption.

Disclaimer: The topic of overpopulation has been purposefully avoided as it is very complex and thus hard to calculate. It is clear that choosing to have fewer children will be considerably carbon positive – unless they change the people around them.