Climate change is a huge problem- and science agrees that the next 10 years are our final chance to deter a climate catastrophe before it’s too late.
Following World Environmental day this year, the UN stated that we face a triple environmental emergency — biodiversity loss, climate disruption and escalating pollution, rapidly reaching the point of no return for the planet.
However, it's not too late. We can make a big difference together by making small lifestyle changes, so why not take advantage of the New Year by making a resolution that counts?
To help you get started, we’ve put together 10 ways to reduce your carbon footprint this year, and for many years to come. Taking these actions won’t just help you reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they will help to reduce waste and can save you money too!
1. Start composting
This New Year, when setting sustainable resolutions, composting food scraps and other biodegradable items is a great place to start.
Composting has many benefits, and compost is essential for people living a low-waste lifestyle. Home composting is a fantastic way to live more sustainably because it helps to divert garden and food waste from disposal, whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Once something has reached the end of its lifecycle, it’s a fantastic feeling to throw it out into the compost bin, knowing that as it breaks down naturally it will create an organic material that will help your garden.
Credits: Photo by Matthew on Unsplash
2. Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are a tried and true environmentally friendly solution that decreases oil usage, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and reduces plastic pollution, helping you to reduce your carbon footprint.
By bringing a reusable water bottle wherever you go, not only will you reduce plastic and save money, but your body will be grateful for the on-hand hydration. We think you’ll love our beautifully designed, sustainably made water bottles from Kept.
3. Meatless Mondays
The livestock sector generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined. Scientists have warned that huge reductions in meat-eating are required if the world is to stave off dangerous climate change, with beef consumption in western countries needing to drop by 90%, replaced by five times more beans and pulses.
By reducing our meat intake or even just cutting out meat one day a week, this can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a substantial amount.
Credits: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
4. Switch up your commute
In countries like the UK and the US, the transport sector is now responsible for emitting more greenhouse gases than any other, including electricity production and agriculture.
Taking public transportation, carpooling, cycling or walking to work at least once a week instead of commuting by car, can help to reduce your carbon footprint by a large amount.
Credits: Coen van de Broek on Unsplash
5. Switch from regular paper towels to a cloth alternative
Whilst undeniably very useful, as a single-use and disposable product packaged in plastic, Paper kitchen roll isn’t the most sustainable option. Even though paper towels can be made from recycled paper, they can’t be recycled or reused as they are considered ‘contaminated waste’.
6. Wear sustainable clothing
The fashion industry accounts for about 8-10% of global carbon emissions, and almost 20% of wastewater, sucking up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined.
In order to wear more sustainable clothing, you could try thrifting or buy from sustainable clothing brands. Making second-hand purchases will give new life to something ordinarily destined for the landfill, and if buying new clothing, ensuring the clothing brands you buy from are sustainable will help you to save resources, reduce wastage, and reduce carbon emissions.
Credits: Cam Morin on Unsplash
7. Growing your own food
When we buy foods from shops, these foods travel an average of 1,500+ miles before ever being consumed, emitting huge amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Additionally, shop-bought food often is wrapped in unsustainable single-use plastic packing.
By growing your own food, you’ll get peace of mind knowing what you are eating and what has gone into producing that item. Growing your own food will enable you to enjoy fresher fruits and vegetables, reduce waste, and reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
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8. Waste less food in the New Year
Wasting food negatively impacts the environment because when thrown into landfills, food waste produces a large amount of methane. As food rots and degrades, it emits these harmful gases which have more than 80 times the warming power of carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat into the atmosphere.
Furthermore, huge amounts of water is used when producing food, with food accounting for approximately 66 percent of our water consumption, which is also wasted when we waste food.
By wasting less food as a sustainable resolution for 2022, as well as saving money, this is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce water wastage.
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9. Try to avoid single-use plastics
In the United Kingdom, an estimated 4.9 million metric tons of plastics are placed on the market each year, of which three-quarters become waste, making the UK is a major contributor to the plastic waste problem.
Disposable plastics, such as plastic straws, bags, coffee stirrers, food packaging, and soda and water bottles, never break down completely- when they degrade, they continue to pollute the environment as microplastics.
By cutting down on your usage of single-use plastics, this will help to reduce plastic wastage and reduce plastic pollution, which will help to protect both our planet and ocean wildlife.
Credits: Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash
10. Covert to bar soaps and shampoos
On the topic of plastic pollution, why not convert to bar soap and bar shampoo? Soap and shampoo bottles are other examples of single-use plastic that contributes to the plastic wastage problem that is polluting our planet and increasing greenhouse gasses.
Switching from plastic soap and shampoo bottles to bar soaps and bar shampoos is a brilliantly easy and eco-friendly New Year’s resolution to add to your list. By making this simple switch, you’ll help to reduce your plastic wastage and reduce your overall carbon footprint.
Credits: Dan-Cristian Paduret on Unsplash