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Combating carbon: how to reduce your carbon footprint

Since Ribble Rivers Trust revealed that we are lucky enough to be working with Brew Dog as part of their plan to make their business carbon negative we have had some awesome feedback, and many of you have been in touch to ask how you can reduce your own carbon footprint.

The first step to reducing your carbon footprint is to get an idea of what your carbon footprint is. At the beginning of 2020 our team calculated our personal carbon footprints (as well as our office carbon footprint) so that we could look at being as carbon friendly as possible. The online calculators we used included: footprint.wwf.org.uk and carbonfootprint.com/calculator.

Once you’ve calculated your footprint you can then look at the areas where you need to make changes. Some changes will be easier to make than others, but even if you start small, it will make a difference!

Peat is a really important habitat, locking up and holding huge amounts of carbon

As you’ll find out everyone has a carbon footprint, but if you’d like to go carbon neutral you can then offset your carbon with activities such as tree planting and peat restoration. Trees are the not-so-secret weapon in the fight against climate change. For years we’ve been shouting about the benefits of trees, but in terms of climate change it’s their ability to store carbon which is important. Trees take in carbon dioxide (CO2) and transform it into oxygen (O2), and carbon (C). But they only release the oxygen, storing the carbon and locking it away out of our atmosphere.

 

Our Lancashire Woodland Connect project will be planting over half a million trees across Lancashire over the next 10 years, you can support this project by buying a tree here, or become a supporter and help to support all our work. You can join us on one of our volunteer days to plant trees, and even planting trees in your garden helps- every tree makes a difference!

Other ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Shop local How far did last night’s tea travel before it arrived on your plate? This isn’t something we think about, but it is really important as some of our food has an enormous carbon footprint. A really simple way to help is to buy fruit and vegetables that have been grown in the UK and are in season.

This goes for meat and dairy too. These foods naturally have a higher carbon footprint, but by buying British meat and dairy we can ensure that the carbon footprint is lower. Plus, the animal welfare standards may be higher, and it supports local farmers and businesses.

Shop smart Many towns and cities have eco-friendly refill shops where you take old containers, jars, and bottles and refill them with stables like rice and pasta as well as toiletries and cleaning products. Products are often ethically sourced, with a lower carbon footprint, without plastic wrapping. Markets and greengrocers are another great option for low carbon, plastic free shopping. These foodie specialists know exactly where their products came from and can help you shop for the freshest in season foods.

It’s not just food though, everything has a carbon footprint, from sandals to sofas, coats to curtains. The simplest way to avoid this is to say no to fast fashion, instead invest in products from eco-conscious suppliers that will serve you well for years and try shopping at charity shops.

Stop single use This is a subject that has, quite rightly, been given a lot of coverage. Refilling bottles, carrying reusable mugs and straws, and packing up lunch are all great ways to cut single use plastic. Wherever possible try and avoid single use items, even if they aren’t plastic.

Can the car Many journeys we take in the car could be done on foot, bike, or public transport. This might not be a step everyone can take, but if you can ditch the car, you’ll find that your body and the planet will thank you! Air travel is by far the worst form of transport in terms of pollution, so avoid flying and take a staycation instead! If you must travel abroad then ferries and trains are much more environmentally friendly.

Turn off the lights This simple step can make a big difference, by turning off the lights when you leave a room and switching appliances off at the wall switch you can save the planet and your money. When you do replace appliances try and go for the most energy efficient product you can find. It’s also worth shopping around for energy providers that offer green tariffs, some companies source their power from 100% renewable energy!