So 2008 has finally arrived and while we all have personal resolutions for the coming year, it would be good to consider some green resolutions to do our own little part in the green revolution for the sake of the environment.
Most of these may be familiar to us since we have all been versed on the proper green practices. But making a note and perhaps considering them among the things we plan to do this year wouldn’t hurt. They are all for our own good anyway.
1. Set yourself an annual target to reduce your carbon emissions and monitor your progress
Footprint calculators such as wwf.org.uk/calculator can help you do this. Small actions can make a difference – for instance if everyone in the UK installed one, energy-saving light bulb we would save enough CO2 to fill the Albert Hall nearly 1,200 times!
2. Install loft insulation This is one of the most significant actions we can take in our homes – if your loft isn’t insulated, up to a third of your household heat will escape. If everyone that could, fitted loft insulation to their home we’d save over 3 million tonnes of CO2 – that’s enough to fill nearly 17 million double decker buses.
3. Reduce your car use Over a quarter of all car journeys made in the UK are less than two miles. Its estimated that road transport makes up around 21% of total man-made CO2 emissions in the UK.
4. Buy more seasonal food Air freighting fresh produce has more than trebled in the past 20 years and although we could meet over 70% of our eating needs from food grown in the UK, we import more than half of the food we consume. Seasonal produce also requires less oil and gas to heat greenhouses, water and pesticides.
5. Give help to others through groups or clubs All over the country, groups and clubs are forming to help us share skills, resources, and help motivate one another. These groups can range from Freecycle to car share clubs.
6. Fly less Think about the other options to flying within Europe – trains, ferries and Eurostar. By taking one return flight to New York you’ll release as much CO2 as you would driving an average car for a year, and one person’s return flight to Australia will emit the equivalent amount of CO2 as it takes to run an average UK home for two years or a fridge for 128 years!
7. Use your kerbside recycling collection Recent research shows up to 40% of a regular household shopping basket can be recycled. You can reduce your waste by avoiding excess packaging and buying products that will last.
8. Campaign against climate change In the UK the Climate Change Bill, which will set the UK on a legally binding path to reduce emissions, is one of the most important pieces of legislation ever to go before the UK Parliament. However, as it stands, the latest scientific research says it is not strong enough. Organisations like WWF need your support in calling for stronger, effective climate change legislation.
9. Purchase energy efficient appliances Instead of looking at the price tag, look for its energy efficiency label. An energy efficient washing machine uses a third less energy than an old, inefficient model, saving us money and water.
10. Home compost On average every person in England now produces seven times their own weight in waste a year. Kitchen scraps, such as vegetable peelings, apple cores, egg shells and most garden waste biodegrades in a compost bin into a rich fertiliser which can be used in gardens or allotments.
Source: Natural Choices