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How to Reduce your Carbon Footprint

by James Hand | 03 February 2021

< Blog Listings

Reduce your Carbon Footprint with Giki Zero’s Bite-Sized Actions

Are you wondering how to reduce your carbon footprint, but struggling to know where to start? Giki Zero is the tool you need to understand your personal impact on the planet, and work to reduce it through bite-sized actions which add up to a significant change.

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How to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint One Step at a Time

Reducing your carbon footprint may seem like a daunting undertaking (or even an unachievable one!), but it needn’t be. Which is why we’ve organised a selection of over 120 different actions across 7 categories to help you build a personalised action plan to suit your lifestyle. One step in the right direction is the start of your pathway to a low carbon life.

Progress – iPad – Stationery

Step 1: Take Action & Help Spread The Word

Many of the ‘Action’ steps are about spreading the word and getting other people involved in the journey to discover how to reduce carbon emissions, alongside educating yourself to grow your knowledge. Whether it’s in your work or home life, your voice is one of the strongest tools you can use. Better still, all of these steps are completely free and most of them are low-effort! See all the Action steps below:

Join your work sustainability or green team
Contact a company about something you want them to change
Invite a friend to join the Race to Zero
Cut a tonne in ‘21
Contact your MP
Go on a climate change demo
Join a local sustainability team
Ask your company to join the Race to Zero
Grow your knowledge about climate change
Share Giki Zero with someone
Pledge to reach Net Zero emissions by 2030 or sooner
Take a walk in nature
Share one of the steps you’ve taken
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Step 2: Make Changes To Your Diet

The food and drink we consume makes up around a quarter of our carbon footprint. One of the most impactful steps in this category is switching to a plant-based diet, but there are plenty of actions to take you on a more gradual journey, such as reducing red meat consumption, trying plant milks and going vegetarian. Reducing food waste is also an important part of the story here. See all the Food steps below:

Share unused food
Buy sustainably sourced fish
Take a month off red meat
Try shopping at your nearest market or farm shop
Grow your own herbs
Choose seasonal fruit & veg
Try plant based milk for a week
Make the switch to organic food
No food waste for a week
Give organic vegetables a go for a month
Go red meat free
Pack a healthy snack
Swap to a plant based diet
Make an eco meal for around a £1
Buy fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate
Recycle or compost all of your food waste
Have vegetarian lunches every day for a week
Try organic fruit for a month
Cut back on cheese for a month
Buy local fruit, veg and meat
Go vegetarian
Cut back on food waste
Grow your own veggies and fruit
Eat animal products just once a day
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Step 3: Keep Your Home Eco-Friendly

Home is the largest action category on Giki Zero, covering a broad spectrum from home energy consumption, to waste, to the cleaning products you use. These actions run the gamut from super-simple (for example only boiling the water you need in the kettle) to the more hardcore (such as installing a heat pump for those with old boilers). Check out our full list of actions and find out how to reduce your carbon footprint in the home:

Fit your radiators with reflectors
Turn your thermostat down
Time your heating to perfection with a programmer and thermostats.
Always use the dishwasher eco settings
Stop using single use plastic water bottles
Turn the lights off when you don’t need them
Maintain your fridge
Recycle all cans and tins
Use lids when cooking
Switch to a reusable coffee cup
Draught proof your house
Switch to a green gas provider
Install solar panels on your roof
Recycle everything you can each week
Turn the power off to appliances when you’re not using them
Try a zero waste shop
Install a heat pump
Attempt a no landfill supermarket shop
Only boil the water you need
Get your boiler serviced
Use the microwave more
Lower the temperature when you wash clothes
Get an A rated boiler
Recycle your “on the go” packaging
Switch to renewable electricity
Take a shorter shower
Recycle plastic bags, and lots more, at the supermarket
Ditch the tumble dryer
Put a stop to junk mail
Get loft insulation
Switch to glass bottles for your milk
Try refills for cleaning products
Avoid plastic wet wipes
Turn off radiators in unused rooms
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Step 4: Shop Responsibly

Buying too much stuff has played a big role in the climate crisis, which means that reducing your purchase of new products and carefully considering any purchases you do make are key steps in how to reduce your carbon footprint. We live in a society accustomed to instant gratification and next day delivery – the challenge is to rethink these attitudes and make the best of what we already have. These are our Purchases actions:

Swap an item with a friend rather than buying a new one
Don’t buy any new clothes for 3 months
Get paper and cards from sustainable forests
Put off buying something
Change to plastic free periods
Buy an eco appliance
Switch from shower gel to soap
Buy pre-loved or antique furniture
Recycle an electrical item
Wash your hair with a bar of shampoo
Take old clothes to the charity shop
Buy second hand clothes
Choose gift wrapping that doesn’t end up in landfill
Avoid chemicals of concern in the bathroom
Buy low impact presents
Try life without next day delivery for 3 months
Avoid giving unwanted presents
Buy clothing made from organic cotton or wool
Try the “before you buy” checklist
Find cleaning products with fewer harmful chemicals
Recycle all your paper
Make your own cleaning products
Share your old baby clothes and toys
Repair your clothes
Choose sustainable palm or palm oil free products
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Step 5: Switch to Greener Services

When it comes to banking and your pension pot, put your money where your mouth is to show that you’re not happy to support fossil fuel companies. You might think that your individual efforts will have little impact – but if everyone thought that way, nothing would ever change! It’s never been easier to switch to a more responsible bank or provider, so take a step in the right direction by checking out our Services actions:

Ask your pension company to commit to becoming a Net Zero provider
Don’t invest your ISA in fossil fuel companies
Try camping
Take your pension pot away from fossil fuel companies
Choose a bank or building society that does not support fossil fuel companies
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Step 6: Choose Low-Carbon Transport

This category is straightforward: the aim is to reduce your reliance on carbon dioxide-emitting and heavily polluting modes of transport. Whether that’s swapping some car journeys for a walk or cycle or reducing how frequently you fly, most of these actions will save you money as well as reducing your carbon footprint. So it’s a win for your pocket and for the planet! See the full list of Transport steps below:

Drive more efficiently
Join a car share scheme
Try not to fly more than once in a year
Give up flying long haul
Stop going on cruises
Try to swap car journeys of less than a mile for a walk for a month
Try cycling or walking to work
Try a trip by train rather than car
Swap any trip for a bike ride
Try a local bike share scheme
Work from home two days a week or more
Go car free
Switch to an electric car
Lift share in your car
Take a break from all flying
Try home working a day a week for a month
Don’t idle your car
Bike or walk to work a few times a week
Home – iPad – Wall – Cropped Recoloured

 Step 7: Plant Trees Or Make Your Garden Even Greener

The planting of new trees and the protection of existing forests and other habitats is essential to combating climate change. Over 5 years a newly planted tree can absorb around 20 kg of carbon – just imagine how much a fully grown forest is capable of taking in! There are some great tree-planting organisations to which we encourage you to donate. There are also actions as simple as using Ecosia, a search engine using its ad revenue to plant trees. So if donating isn’t feasible for you, there are other ways to help the cause; see the full list of Trees actions to reduce your carbon footprint below:

Stop using peat compost
Protect an acre of rainforest
Reduce chemical use in your garden
Plant 60 trees every year
Try Ecosia when you’re searching the web
Plant some pollinator friendly flowers
Pick up local litter
Plant 300 trees every year

Now that we’ve given you a run down of some of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint using Giki Zero, the next step is to sign up today and start your journey!

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