We’ve had almost a year of living under the Paris Agreement, which aims to restrict global warming to just 2C over the coming decades. It’s not just aimed at the big multinationals, though – everyone has to do their bit, so how have you been doing since last November? If you’ve been doing your recycling and feeling sorry for polar bears but not much else, then here’s some ways to get green…
LED lights are a fraction of the price they once were and it’s possible to replace all your bulbs with LEDs for around £120 if you shop smart. This might seem like a big outlay, but if you do it gradually, it’ll hurt less. Once the change has been made, though, you’ll see the benefits as LEDs can last for 20 years and they use less than 10 of the energy used by halogens and incandescent bulbs.
Cool it down a bit
If you turn down your thermostat by a degree or two you really won’t feel it and you’ll be saving between 10% and 15% on your energy bills. It’s a real benefit if you use oil for heating as that winter order from Super Saver Oil will last that little bit longer, too.
Watch your plugs
You can reduce your carbon emissions by pulling out plugs if the device or appliance isn’t in use. Mobile and tablet chargers are the main culprits here, as they soak up electricity – sometimes to the tune of £100 each year!
Get on your bike!
Cars are serious carbon emitters, we all know this. Look at your lifestyle and see when and where you could use a bike or even those two legs of yours. You could also take public transport or car-share with colleagues – anything to burn less diesel.
Switch to a laptop
Laptops tend to have very energy-efficient batteries – their selling point, after all, is that they don’t need to be tied to a socket. As some laptops are 80% more efficient than desktops, it might be an idea to replace your PC with a laptop when the time comes.
We’d all love to be able to eat strawberries in January, but they didn’t grow on magic trees just down the road – out-of-season produce is almost always grown a long way away and to get it to your table costs money and fuel. Eat as locally and as seasonally as you can, or try to grow your own fruit and vegetables for the ultimate in low food miles.
Plant a tree
If you really want to cut your carbon, plant a few trees – the average mature tree can absorb 48lbs of CO2 a year. It also releases enough oxygen to keep two adult humans alive.
Have an energy-efficient kitchen
Get creative and start using pressure cookers, a slow cooker and your microwave. If you’re reheating a stew, use your microwave, or even the top of your woodburner if you have one. Pressure cookers are brilliant for reducing energy usage as they take much less time to cook veg through. If you batch-cook and store meals in your freezer, you’ll have, say, five meals for the energy of one.
Thanks for reading.
*This is a collaborative post*