Keeping your carbon footprint low this summer
You probably have heard the term ‘carbon footprint’ crop up a few times before, but in case you’re new to our blog, its official definition is “the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community”. But why is it important? Obviously you want the amount of greenhouse gases released to be a lower amount, and during the summer when most of us travel, it’s important to try and offset the increases in other ways for a more socially responsible way of living. Here’s a few ideas on keeping your carbon footprint lower this summer.
Understanding why your carbon footprint gets higher during the summer
The main reason for the increase in carbon emissions per individual in the summer is our desire for far flung exotic holiday destinations. The increased travel by plane during the warmer months significantly adds to the carbon emissions during the summer and even though advancements in design to tackle these large emissions from aircraft are ongoing, there still haven’t been as many advancements as other forms of transport, for example electric cars.
What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint this summer?
Here’s our best tips for keeping your carbon footprint lower this summer:
- Consider your summer holiday destination. If you stay closer to home, you travel less and therefore keep your carbon emissions lower
- If you can’t bear the thought of giving up your foreign summer holiday, try this – instead of two week-long holidays a year, go for one fortnight holiday – which makes two flights instead of four. Also try to fly direct instead of having any stops as your plane uses more fuel during take off and landing.
- Keep an eye on your heating at home – turning your thermostat right down or even off will ensure that you’re not heating your home unnecessarily during the warmer months and contributing to greenhouse gases in the process.
- Make considered choices when grocery shopping. Air travel isn’t just for people – your supermarket shop contains foods that have been flown in from across the world, and this also contributes to your carbon footprint. Try purchasing locally grown food where you can, which has travelled less and is also supporting local farmers.
- Don’t let your recycling efforts slip. In the good weather we tend to spend more time outdoors and away from home on picnics, where we’re more inclined to use disposable plates and cutlery. These might be convenient, but they’re disastrous for the planet, so just take your normal cutlery and bring it home to wash.
- Try and leave your car at home more during the nicer weather. Could you walk to the corner shop for milk instead of driving? What about cycling to work instead of sitting in traffic?
Have you got any other ideas for keeping your carbon footprint lo this summer? We’d love to hear them. Whatever you have planned this summer, we hope it’s a great one.