The UK government have committed to a crackdown on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That may seem like a long time away, but nothing good happens overnight and government-backed changes will start to creep into our daily lives. This means the climate will be at less of a risk, and healthcare costs could benefit from a reduction in emission-based illnesses. It also provides everyone with the opportunity to leave the world a better place for the next generation!
Although the target was set in 2008, it was re-confirmed earlier in 2019 and restrictions or recommendations are going to become apparent. Special attention is going to be paid to the household carbon footprint as the committee on climate change claimed each UK home produced 8.1 tonnes of CO2 every year (2014).
We think – why wait? These tips could help you get ahead of the curve and futureproof your home, your family and prepare for the predicted government changes. They could also have a positive impact on your energy bills and help you save money in the long run and protect your future!
Make Small Changes To Your Diet
One of the simplest ways to reduce your household carbon emission is to introduce more meat-free meals into you and your family’s diet. Reports show that a vegan diet can reduce carbon impact by 20%. Beef and lamb produce particularly high levels of methane, which is contributing to global warming and our overall household carbon footprint. To go vegan three days a week could reduce 0.5 tonnes of emissions per year, whilst being a vegetarian almost all week would achieve the same reduction. Reports also highlight that changing to a vegan diet could save more than £21 per month on their supermarket shops!
Many people will find a totally vegan diet too much of a transition, but the government is likely to start encouraging us to consider the environment when we do our weekly shop. This can also include cutting down on pre-packaged, processed foods and ready meals.
Change How You Treat Your Clothes
Fast-fashion and fashion consumerism is currently contributing to global CO2 commissions more than almost every other industry in the world. The garment industry is actually the second biggest contributor to pollution, directly after the oil industry.
Committing to wear clothes for longer could have a massive impact on your household carbon footprint as well as the potential to improve your bank balance. For example, on average, an item of clothing we currently wear less than five times and keep for 35 days produces over 400% more carbon emissions than an item we wear 50 times and keep for a year. Start practicing responsible retail therapy and invest in capsule-style garments that are going to survive the test of time.
Levi Jeans, for example, can be re-dyed when the colour starts to fade, prolonging their lifetime. The techniques used to produce the cotton are also extremely sustainable and you could donate your jeans when you are finished for Levi to recycle and “re-do” the product. The brand is synonymous with quality and an investment in these products could help you futureproof your household carbon footprint.
Other ways to improve your household carbon footprint when it comes to clothing;
- Stop using your washing machine – it damages your clothes, too!
- If a garment is beyond saving – repurpose it! Make a quilt or simply use it for rags for projects and DIY.
- Go to swap meets or donate your clothing when you are done – this helps prolong the lifetime of your clothing and you might even get something in return!
Choose Your Furniture Carefully
Upcycling furniture is a fun way activity and also helps to prolong the lifetime of goods, ultimately reducing the supply and demand cycle that is fuelling an increase in carbon footprint. You can get the family involved and make this an activity that teaches children to practise no-waste behaviour.
Try to source local furniture that has already been ‘pre-loved’. This means you would cut down on the fuel and energy used to transport the item, too. You can customise items to your own taste or find professional services that allow you to minimise the wastage in your home.
Re-Think Purchasing A New Car
Electric cars are sustainable and will certainly be the future of family or personal transport. They do produce less greenhouse gasses and purchasing an electric car could be an investment in your future and could help you cut down on fuel costs, but there are other considerations you should take into account:
- Reduce Your Miles – Reducing your annual mileage from 15,000 (the nation’s average) to 10,000 per year would reduce personal CO2 by 15% per year. This could save you the upfront cost of a brand new car and reduce your monthly spend on fuel.
- The Manufacturing Process – The process to make a brand-new electric car actually produces 8.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This is less than the production of a petrol car, which produces 5.6 tonnes of CO2. This is almost double what a normal petrol car will use in a year. So, in theory, if you can hold onto your current car for two years, you could offset the effects of buying a new, electric car. This could also provide you with the time required to responsibly save for a new car and futureproof your purchase.
- Consider How Electricity Is Generated – Although it is factually cheaper to power your car on electricity, the benefit is currently disputed in terms of its effect on reducing carbon footprint in the UK. We currently depend on fossil fuels power points to provide our electricity. This means powering your electric car does still depend on fossil fuels and produces green house gas emissions. The government’s commitment to building renewable fuel sources could suggest you hold off on purchasing your new electric car until the energy they consume is more sustainable, too.
If your car has reached the natural end of its lifetime, the responsible thing to do could be to purchase a new, hybrid or electric alternative. This investment could save you money but is a large up-front commitment. These tips could help you practice responsible, ethical spending, but if you do find yourself in a predicament where your existing vehicle has broken down and need a quick repair, Wizzcash are able to provide in financial emergencies. You can find out more about our lending procedures for vital emergencies and our lending criteria, today.