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 As an Individual

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Reduce your own environmental footprint

Energy use

  • Turn off lights and appliances not int use
  • Reduce the temperature setting on your central heating by 1 degree and wear an extra layer
  • Don’t fill kettles or pans more than necessary
  • Use a lid on saucepans when possible it reduces energy use substantially
  • Use a microwave or slow cooker rather than a hob or oven
  • Use economy settings on your dishwasher and lower temperatures on yoour washing machine
  • Dry clothes on an airer or washing line rather than your tumble drier which is one of the biggest energy users.

Get an energy survey

This will cost about £50 and will provide you with a list of recommendations on what you could do to make your energy use more efficient.  Some may involve minimal expenditure, some may attract grant aid, some may not be cost effective.  These could include:

  • Increase your loft insulation
  • Install double o(or triple glazing)
  • Install energy efficient doors or at least draft excluders
  • Improve floor and/or wall insulation
  • Install radiator reflectors behind radiators

Take steps to ensure that the energy you use is sustainable

This may involve substantial investment which will result in a substantial reduction in your bills but will only be repaid over a period of about 10 years.  However it is where the biggest reductions in your carbon footprint.

  • Move to a supplier who supplies renewable energy where possible
  • install solar panels, preferably including battery storage to make best use of what you generate.  Typically in the UK you could generate about 60% of your electricity requirements 
  • Replace gas, oil or solid fuel heating systems with and air source or ground source heat pump.  Heating accounts for about two-thirds of domestic CO2 emissions in the home.

Waste and Recycling

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Every time you travel there are choices that will affect your environmental footprint.  Bigger long term decisions can also have an important impact

  • Walk or cycle rather than use the car for short trips whenever possible
  • Use public transport when possible
  • Where car use is necessary use car sharing
  • Reduce flying and / or offset the effects of flying (insert link)
  • When changing car buy an electric car if it is practical
  • When moving house attach priority to access on foot to local services 




Other Goods




  • Eat less meat and fish
  • look for options with less packaging and particularly avoid non-recyclable packaging
  • Minimise food waste – there are lots of ways to use leftovers
  • Grow your own fruit and vegetables
  • Avoid chilled goods which have been imported over long distances and therefore have a big carbon footprint


  • Use clothes until they wear out
  • Extend the life of your clothes with repairs and alterations to keep them out of landfill for as long as possible
  • Pass on unwanted clothes to charities or charity shops and buy second hand clothes when possible
  • Use natural fabrics when possible


  • Buy what you need not what you want
  • Whith white goods go for maximum energy efficiency
  • Always consider repair before replacing
  • Always consider the potential for recycling beofre buying




  • Plant pollinating plants in your garden which will attract bees and other plants vital to biodiversity
  • Have a pond in your garden which will attract amphibians, birds and other wildlife
  • If the boundaries to your garden are fences create small gaps which will allow hedgehogs to pass through
  • allow part of your garden to grow wild to encourage a greater diversity of wildlife
  • Plant trees in your garden if they won’t create problems for you and your neighbours
  • Put bird boxes or bat boxes in your garden  

      Education and Advocacy

      One of the most significant things you can do is to learn more about the environment and how you can influence it.  You can then use your understanding to influence others 



      • Find out what the main contributors to your carbon footprint are by using one of many apps which help you to do this
      • Use the many resources online which educate and inspire.  There are regular Webinars organised by ESRAG and other organisations and you can find out more  under News and events (link)
      • Offer to give talks to schools or community groups to pass on the word


          Offset Energy Use

          You can take action to remove CO2 from the atmosphere to offset your own footprint – taking care to ensure the offset is genuine


          • Use the Ecosia web browser when searching the internet.  Each search effectively removes 1kg of CO2 through tree planting in Sub-Saharan Africa to mitigate and reduce the effects of climate change
          • Contribute to one of the many charities which are trying to reduce climate change by planting trees or capturing carbon in other ways.  Many involving Rotary are featured in “Projects”