The big trim

I’ve gathered the following tips as an extensive, but by no means exhaustive, guide to cutting carbon emissions. I’m planning on using it as a checklist, although most items are things to do continuously rather than one off fixes.

It should cut a few pounds off my bills too. And maybe a few pounds from the scales. So it’s a triple win for planet, pocket and paunch!

I’d like to point out that I’m no climate change guru. Nor do I claim to know how to combat it from a global perspective. I’m just looking at what I can do as an individual and within my family and if that helps anyone else along the way, then so much the better.

Home – lifestyle and clothing

  1. Insulate your home
  2. Replace incandescent and halogen light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs
  3. Switch appliances off (not just onto standby)
  4. Keep your fridge top free from clutter, check the seal is tight and clean filters
  5. Use the tumble dryer less
  6. Switch to a greener energy supplier that supports fossil fuel alternatives such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass energy
  7. Turn down the central heating
  8. When buying new appliances, make energy efficiency a priority
  9. Get solar panels installed
  10. Don’t leave the tap running while brushing your teeth
  11. Recycle everything you can including paper, tins, plastic and glass
  12. Invest in reusable water and coffee bottles
  13. Use reusable sandwich wraps and lunch bags and less tin foil and cling film
  14. Use reusable sanitary towels or a mooncup
  15. Repair damaged clothes and shoes or buy second hand
  16. Use smart technology to control your appliances remotely and switch them off when not needed
  17. Only fill the kettle with the water you need
  18. Take showers, not baths, and spend less time in them
  19. Fit thermostatic valves on your radiators

Food – diet, products and drinks

  1. Buy locally produced food
  2. Eat out less and get fewer takeaways
  3. Eat less meat (especially beef) and dairy. Better, go vegetarian. Ideally, go vegan
  4. Make your own compost from your leftovers and skins/peels
  5. Grow your own fruit and vegetables
  6. Choose seasonal fruit and vegetables

Travel – commuting, leisure and holidays

  1. Travel less by car and more by foot and bicycle
  2. Use public transport rather than your own car
  3. Use a car pool or share journeys with friends whenever possible
  4. Avoid flying. Book a staycation and use the money you save on days out
  5. Drive responsibly. Remove excess weight from the car, check tyre pressure and drive more slowly
  6. Pack lightly to enable the plane to burn less fuel
  7. Fly with greener airlines
  8. Fly economy class
  9. Stay in eco-friendly hotels
  10. Work from home whenever possible

Miscellaneous – shopping and offsetting

  1. Carry reusable bags at all times
  2. Buy fewer, better quality products
  3. Buy second hand clothes…and second hand everything!
  4. Buy eco-friendly children’s gifts and eco-friendly gifts for all ages
  5. Offset your carbon emissions by investing in international carbon reduction projects from £60 for the average annual carbon emission per person (10 tonnes)
  6. Buy fewer, better quality products
  7. Buy eco-friendly children’s gifts and eco-friendly gifts for all ages
  8. Offset your carbon emissions by investing in international carbon reduction projects from £60 for the average annual carbon emission per person (10 tonnes)
  9. Plant flowers, bushes and trees in your garden
  10. Create a wish list of eco-friendly products that would help you reduce your carbon footprint to give friends and family gift ideas

Campaigning – support climate change activists

  1. Sign Greenpeace’s climate change petition
  2. Sign the Greenpeace petition for UK supermarkets to ditch throwaway packaging
  3. Join the Extinction Rebellion
  4. Join your local Extinction Rebellion working group, eg. Extinction Rebellion Kent


2 thoughts on “The big trim

  1. All useful sensible stuff. Doing a lot of the above, as well as wearing clothes and bedsheets slightly longer, and using more refillable shopping options where possible. Have you experience of installing solar? An revamping summer house and was thinking of installing panels. A lot of good ideas also on the Facebook group – Kent’s Journey to Zero Waste.


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