Levels of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere have been growing non-stop since the early 1950’s. This increase has caused the earth’s average surface temperature to rise approximately 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit since the late 1800’s, with a majority of the increase coming in the last 35 years. 2016 was the warmest year on record.
Not only has the temperature increased, but the oceans are rising, glaciers are retreating, there are more extreme weather events now than ever before, the ocean is becoming more acidic – the list goes on.
We need to act now to save our planet and leave behind a legacy we can all be proud of. Here are 5 steps on how to reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Buy an electric car – Last year, the UK government announced they would be introducing a ban on all new diesel and petrol cars, with a view to every car having effectively zero emissions by 2040. By introducing this ban, the government aim to severely improve our quality of air, making our lives cleaner and helping to change our climate for the better.
Petrol and diesel cars produce huge amount of emissions which add to our ever growing air pollution. According to studies conducted by the Royal Colleges of Physicians and the Royal Colleges of Paediatrics and Child Health, up to 40,000 early deaths per year can be linked to outdoor air pollution.
Electric cars run solely on electricity, taking away all of the negative impact diesel and petrol cars have on our environment. What’s more is you can even charge your car with renewable energy if you install the right system in your home, such as solar panels or a wind turbine.
As it stands, all electric cars account for less than 1% of car sales, so as a country, we’re going to need to make a big change. Why not start now?
2. Recycle your waste – Landfill sites are not only an eyesore and a source of a bad smell, they are seriously harmful to the planet. As your rubbish sits in a landfill site, it gives out a huge amount of harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases.
The main gas? Methane. Methane traps up to 20 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide and this is a huge contributing factor to the melting ice caps and rising sea levels.
In addition, the soil in a landfill site becomes contaminated and can have an impact on the soil in surrounding areas, negatively affecting our ability to grow different plants and vegetables in those surrounding areas.
3. Reduce your water wastage – Did you know, 71% of the earth is covered in water? Did you also know that only 3% of that water is fresh water which is fit for human consumption? Furthermore, 2.5% of that is locked away in ice caps, glaciers and other places, leaving us only 0.5% of the earth’s water supply to drink and live on.
Using less water reduces the amount of water we need to process for human consumption. This in turn reduces the amount of energy required for the processing, thus helping to save our environment.
It will also mean we have more water free for recreational purposes, such as watering your garden and filling up golf courses, spas and swimming pools. By simply turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or taking slightly shorter showers, you can make a huge difference.
4. Power your home with renewable electricity – Supplies of coal, oil and other fossil fuels are running out and they are not renewable. Appliances such as gas stoves and coal fires only hurt our environment with their harmful emissions.
Using all electric appliances which you power with the help of a wind turbine, solar panel setup or other equivalent helps reduce your emissions, thus in turn reducing your carbon footprint.
You then might be wondering what you can do with all this renewable energy you generated? Well, installing electric radiators is a great place to start.
5.Buy your gas and electricity from a supplier who sells renewable energy – There are loads of energy suppliers out there, with only a small fraction of them using 100% renewable energy.
If everybody in the world switched to a supplier that generates their power from off shore wind farms or other environmentally friendly options, there would be no requirement for anything other than green energy.
This may be the easiest way to contribute to saving the planet and can be done in a matter of minutes. No big lifestyle change or big outlay of cost, just a change of energy supplier.
Here at Outfox the Market, we only provide 100% renewable electricity, generated in UK offshore wind farms.