Public services, businesses, and schools are all considering what they can do to respond to climate change. Every individual, every family and every organisation can make a difference.
Every person and every organisation has a ‘carbon footprint’ - the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of an individual, organisation or community.
Nearly everything you do and buy releases some amount of greenhouses gases (often just referred to as ‘carbon’) into the atmosphere.
- This may be when we drive our car or use our gas cooker or gas central heating
- This may be when the electricity we use is generated in a power station
- This may be when the goods we buy are manufactured or produce and transported to the shops for sale.
We all need to play a part in reducing their impact on our environment, no matter how big or small.
Start finding out about your carbon footprint with the WWF environmental footprint calculator.
Carbon footprint calculator for individuals and households is more comprehensive, takes a little longer, asks for more data such as energy bills and travel mileage, and therefore gives a more accurate view of your carbon footprint.
Businesses may begin with this Carbon Footprint Calculator for Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Easy things you can do to begin to reduce your carbon footprint
- Making small changes at home and in the office - Energy Saving Trust provides advice on how you could be saving on your energy bills.
- Small changes can make a big difference over time - turn your heating down by one degree, don't leave lights on in unoccupied rooms.
- Unplug your devices - anytime a cord is plugged into a socket, its drawing energy and contributing to your carbon footprint, even if your device is not charging. Always leave your electronics unplugged unless you are using them.
- Smart meters can help you monitor and understand more about your energy use and savings could be made.
- Consider how you could improve your household waste recycling, look for less packaging, use Doncaster’s A-Z of recycling
- Waste Less South Yorkshire provide advice and guidance for people across South Yorkshire about all things recycling and waste reduction.
- Love Food Hate Waste campaign – as a nation we waste more than we think.
- Could you walk more, reduce your short car journeys, could you car share or use public transport more often or get a bike?
- This carbon calculator allows you to compare the environmental impact of any journey by train, car and plane.
- Could your next car be an electric vehicle? See next green car.
- Keeping your car tyres properly inflated can increase fuel efficiency by 3% plus small changes to your driving style can make a huge difference to fuel consumption.
- Eat less meat and dairy - You do not have to become a vegetarian but eating meat less - especially red meat - will significantly help the environment.
- Eating a more plant-based, seasonal diet can help tackle climate change, supports the local economy and helps us to live healthier lives.
- The Grantham Institute has some advice for saving the planet, one meal at a time.
- Think about the food you buy, where it has travelled from and if it's in season.
- Avoid single use items, fast fashion, and unnecessary packaging.
- Repair or reuse items, give unwanted items a new life by donating them to charity, or swap clothes with friends and family.
- Plant more flowering plant in a garden or in pots to encourage bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
- Leave a corner of your garden wild to encourage insects.
- Wild About Gardens is a web resource to help encourage more wildlife in your garden.
Talk about your ideas and raise your concerns
Talk about it and share your ideas - as you make these positive changes to reduce your environmental impact, share your experience with your family, friends, customers and colleagues.