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How can I reduce my carbon footprint?

Climate change is a big issue, and the subject is finally getting the attention it deserves. Research shows that we have around 10 years to dramatically change our lifestyles, which is a really scary thought. But there is time, and there are lots of little changes we can make to our day to day lives which reduce our carbon footprints and add up to a big difference.

Plant a tree! 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.

You can join us on one of our volunteer days to plant a tree, or you can support our Lancashire Woodland Connect campaign and help us to buy and plant a tree for you. Even planting trees in your garden helps- every tree makes a difference!

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 farms.

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!

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance- please read

Please note that, following Government guidelines and the fact UK Chief Medical Officers have now raised the Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk to the UK from moderate to high, Ribble Rivers Trust are taking precautions, and making changes to our day to day operations.

Some Ribble Rivers Trust staff are now working from home. If you wish to speak to a specific member of staff and you know their mobile phone number or email address please contact them in this way. Otherwise please contact us in the usual way.

Volunteer event cancellations

Dear volunteers,

It is with regret that we announce that we are postponing all volunteer activity with Ribble Rivers Trust. We know there are many benefits to volunteering, including the positive boost to mental and physical health, the chance to meet others and contribute positively to your local area. However, given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the most recent Government advice – asking everybody in the UK to stay at home and only go out for essentials such as food and medicine – we feel that continuing to include volunteers in the limited work we are able to do now would put people at unnecessary risk and be irresponsible. We all want to improve and protect our environment and rivers, but to do that we need to stay healthy and this must be our priority for the time being. We will continue to keep you up to date with the work we are able to do and will organise new volunteer days as soon as we possibly can. Please stay connected with us over the coming weeks and keep yourselves safe and well.

Refer to gov.uk/coronavirus for up to date information and guidance.

We will come through this and our environment and rivers will still need you, let’s make sure we’re all ready for it when the time comes.

Yours faithfully,

Jack Spees.