Last updated:

10th May 2024


How residents can help reduce their carbon emissions

Our carbon footprint

According to the latest report from the Office of National Statistics, emissions from households are the largest single contributor to UK emissions. In 2021, emissions related to consumer expenditure, primarily from heating homes and travelling were 135 million tonnes of Co2e in 2021, 26% of the total emissions of the UK. 
If everyone in the UK reduced their carbon footprint by as little as 100 kgs annually (the same as driving 180 less miles or eating 8 fewer steaks), we’d be 6.8 million tonnes of carbon lighter in the UK alone. Source from the book ‘How Bad are Banana’s – the carbon footprint of everything’, Mike Berners-Lee’.

Even though all of us are such a small part of the change that is needed, if we take action and consciously try to live a lower-carbon lifestyle, we help to create a new normal.  By finding ways to live better and with less impact we show those around us what is possible.  The following sections details more about how you can help and play your part in helping to achieve a carbon neutral borough by 2030.

*CO2e stands for carbon dioxide equivalent, a lump term to describe all the greenhouse gases under one common unit.

Find out your carbon footprint

A carbon footprint is the total of all the greenhouse gas emissions that had to take place in order for a product to be produced or for an activity to take place. For most people these products and activities tend to fall into four categories: household energy use, transport, food, and everything else, which is mostly the products we buy, from utensils to clothes to cars to TVs.

Each of these activities and products has its own footprint; a person’s carbon footprint is the combined total of the products they buy and use and the activities they undertake. There are a lot of changes you can make to lower your carbon footprint but how big or small is your individual or family footprint?

Carbon Calculator

It can be useful to find out what your carbon footprint is to work out where to start making small changes in the way you live, shop and travel. There are lots of great carbon footprint calculators available, but the WWF's carbon footprint calculator is a good place to start.

Once you know what your carbon footprint is, there are apps and tools which help track your carbon usage and can help you reduce it.

Giki is an app which enables you to scan products you're considering buying and find out it's carbon footprint. 

We encourage you to do your own research to find the best apps, websites and groups for you.

Ways to reduce your footprint

Whether at home, work, or while you travel, small changes can add up. In brief, to reduce your carbon footprint, reduce the amount of energy you use, eat fewer animal products, shop locally, travel smart and reduce your waste. Learn more about each of these methods below.

These changes cannot be achieved without your help, whether at home, work, or while you travel, small changes can add up to tackle our climate emergency.

Subscribe to our monthly Climate Emergency newsletter to keep informed on the work we are doing, events we are running and projects that are happening in the community, and information on how you can play your part.

Make a pledge to the planet

A planet pledge is a solemn promise an individual chooses and delivers over the course of the year to tackle the climate emergency.

If you're stuck for ideas, you could maybe pledge to: 

  • Shop more responsibly at local stores
  • Use active travel for journeys under a mile
  • Only heat the rooms you spend time in and save on electricity bills 
  • Freeze left over food to prevent food waste

The list is endless and there is lots of great pledges residents have shared to help inspire you. 

Share your Planet Pledge.

Share your story

Have you got any climate change success stories you want to share with our community to help inspire and motivate others?

Have you found any other resources useful that we could be sharing with others here?

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch by emailing the Climate Emergency team.

We are also interested to hear if you have installed energy efficient technology throughout your home and how you are doing your bit to help the planet by saving water, managing your waste and recycling, using active transport, buying or using reusable items and wearing sustainable fashion.

Become a Climate Ambassador for education settings

If you have a great knowledge of climate change, biodiversity or sustainability why not become a volunteer Climate Ambassador for schools. Young children have a lot of questions; they want to learn so much more about the world around us. If you want to go into schools and colleges to give talks, if you want to help education settings learn more about places they can find great resources, or you want to help the places and people in our education system become greener and more sustainable please sign up to the scheme.

For more information on the scheme and how to become a volunteer Climate Ambassador visit the Climate Ambassadors site.

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