Climate change is already affecting communities around the globe, and attempting to mitigate its effects is sure to be the biggest challenge of this generation. The energy we use – the kind and the quantity – is the single biggest driver of climate change, and so it is imperative that we move as a society towards low-carbon solutions. Along with governments and institutions, individuals can do a lot to help.
Here are some of our favourite tips for saving energy and reducing your carbon footprint.
- Consider switching to a green energy supplier. There are a number of options for competitive companies that supply green energy and are investing in renewable infrastructure, such as Ecotricity, Good Energy and Green Energy.
- You’ll have heard this one before, but turn off unused appliances at the plug. Appliances on standby or energy-saving mode still consume loads of energy, and it costs you money too – this may account for up to 16% of your energy bill.
- If you haven’t already, be sure to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.
- Those of us working on computers all day can make a big impact by turning down the brightness of our screens; going from 100% to just 70% brightness can save 20% of your monitors energy.
- Dress for the temperature – both yourself and your home. Making sure that your house or room is well-insulated can save a lot of energy. As well, putting on a jumper before reaching for the thermostat makes a big difference. Turning down the temperature just 1 degree can save over 300kg of CO2 per year!
- Set your hot water temperature and timer smartly. As well, insulating a hot water tank can save over 500kg of CO2 per year (and more than £100 on energy bills)!
- Run dishwashers and washing machines only when they’re full. This reduces the number of times they run and uses energy more efficiently. On top of that, hang clothes to try; drying in a machine uses 4 times more energy than washing. In the summer months alone line drying will save 65kg of CO2.
- Plant some trees. Trees take carbon out of the air, and cities like London can use all the trees they can get. Trees for Cities holds many volunteer planting events.
- Check out our Getting around page for sustainable travel tips.
Here are a few resources to help you learn more and implement change.
Energy Saving Trust, Green Energy, Harvard Sustainability, DECC