Keeping your carbon footprint in check this winter
The colder weather has returned in force this week, and with the temperature dropping most of us are turning to the heat sources in our home in an attempt to keep warm. Colder winters lead to increases in greenhouse gas emissions, so while we want to stay warm this season, are there more environmentally responsible ways of achieving this? Here are a few tips on keeping your carbon footprint in check this winter.
Keep your thermostat steady
As tempting as it might be to crank the heating up over the winter, if you can resist you’ll go a long way in keeping your carbon footprint in check as heating our homes is the single biggest contributing factor to carbon emissions from households. Try and keep your home temperature steady, and add a jumper if you’re starting to feel cold. Make sure you open the blinds fully during the day as the sunlight will help to heat the rooms naturally too.
Insulate your home properly
What’s the point in heating your home if it just escapes through the roof, walls or floor due to a lack of insulation? Having a properly insulated house will make heating your home so much easier and more energy efficient, and if you can maintain the temperature in your home with less energy, then you’ll also be helping to control the greenhouse gases released as a result.
Alternative heat sources
Perhaps it’s time to look at alternative renewable energy sources to heat your home, instead of relying on fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas? There have been many advancements recently in renewable energy sources, making it more affordable to install the technologies required to make use of these sources to heat your home.
Don’t necessarily drive everywhere
Just because it’s cold and wet out doesn’t mean you need to drive everywhere – you can still walk and save your petrol instead of wasting it on short journeys that you could easily do on foot. If you can’t give up the car, try and drive more efficiently – run multiple errands at once, car share where you can and follow the advice from the RAC on making the most efficient use of your fuel when driving.
Recycle more and buy recycled products
Over the winter, we tend to eat more, we socialise more, we have more waste in our homes from Christmas and entertaining. It’s important not to let our recycling efforts slip as there is more to do here. Food waste is a big area of concern, so keep an eye on this – save leftovers where you can and find new recipes to use them up instead of throwing them away. With all those Christmas parties, you’ll probably have a few extra empty wine bottles – don’t forget you can recycle these too.