Super simple solutions to help reduce your carbon footprint

Super simple solutions to help reduce your carbon footprint

Over 7 billion people inhabit planet Earth, as well as countless different species’ of animals, insects and plants. As time has gone on, the rapidly increasing climate has become a very real threat to the world that we live in – warmer oceans and increasing droughts affect wildlife and the growth of crops, which in turn impacts the resources that are available to us. In honour of World Earth Day on the 22nd of April, we have looked into some of the main contributors to global warming and found some super simple solutions to help reduce our carbon footprints.

 

Deforestation

Forests cover 30% of the earth’s land. They are a vital part of our ecosystem as they help to absorb Carbon Dioxide, produce more Oxygen and also home over 70% of the world’s plant and animal life. The current rate of deforestation equals the loss of 20 American football fields every minute, and if this rate continues then all of the world’s forests will be gone in 100 years.

 

Landfill

The average person generates nearly 2 kilograms of rubbish every day – similar to the weight of one adult rabbit. This may not seem like much, but when put into perspective this equates to 365 rabbits per person per year! The majority of man-made waste is transferred to landfills, where it then breaks down and releases harmful chemicals into the soil and water. Not only this, but as the waste deteriorates it also produces Methane, a type of greenhouse gas which contributes to the accelerated rate of global warming. There are over 1,500 landfill sites in the UK alone, and it is estimated that around 45% of the waste that we send to these landfills could be recycled.

 

Use of Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels - such as coal, oil and gas - account for around 90% of the world’s energy. It is estimated that 21.3 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide are released per year due to the burning of fossil fuels. This can negatively impact our health due to the fact that Carbon Dioxide is toxic in high concentrations, and it is also detrimental to the planet as Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas and therefore aids climate change. In recent times, the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power has become ever-more popular, but fossil fuels are still the number one source of energy in most countries. As of 2015, the equivalent of just over 200 million tonnes of oil is used in energy per year in the UK alone, and around 54% of this is wasted.

 

Go Paperless

Swapping from paper-based to digital bank and bill statements is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Not only will you be helping the planet but you will also cut down on excess clutter and shredding!

 

Recycle

By recycling items such as tin cans, plastic bottles and glass jars you will help to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill. Try keeping a recycling box in your kitchen for easy disposal!

 

Monitor Energy Use

Keeping an eye on your energy use will not only conserve the environment but your pockets too! Switch off lights that don’t need to be on, make sure you turn off your electrical goods if you’re not using them and put on a jumper if it’s chilly instead of cranking the heat!

 

Infographic References

"11 Facts About Recycling | Dosomething.Org | Volunteer For Social Change". 

Dosomething.org. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. Available at:

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-recycling

 

"54% Of Energy Used In Supply Of UK Electricity Wasted". 

The Manufacturers' Organisation. N.p., 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. Available at:

https://www.eef.org.uk/about-eef/media-news-and-insights/media-releases/2015/oct/54-of-energy-used-in-supply-of-uk-electricity-wasted

 

ONS Digital. "Effects Of Climate Change | Threats | WWF". World Wildlife Fund. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. Available at:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/effects-of-climate-change

 

ONS Digital. "UK Energy: How Much, What Type And Where From? | Visual.ONS". Visual.ons.gov.uk. N.p., 2016. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. Available at:

http://visual.ons.gov.uk/uk-energy-how-much-what-type-and-where-from/

 

Soft Schools. "Fossil Fuel Facts". Softschools.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. Available at: http://www.softschools.com/facts/energy/fossil_fuel_facts/407/

 

"Why Are Landfills Bad?". Reference. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. Available at: https://www.reference.com/science/landfills-bad-36d93554a3c6d9a3"Why Recycle? | Recycle Now". 

Recyclenow.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. Available at: https://www.recyclenow.com/recycling-knowledge/why-recycle?gclid=Cj0KEQjwxPbHBRCdxJLF3qen3dYBEiQAMRyxS1OSa6lWmhUVmmQB4trMxCkT86O8MLWPe5CW132EgC8aAm5T8P8HAQ