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Hacks to reduce your carbon footprint over summer

It is pretty much impossible to avoid discussions around climate change, whether a result of more record-high temperatures or the news that Glastonbury Festival has gone plastic-free for the first time.

Despite this giant leap forward for eco-kind, it was disheartening to see reports of a ‘sea of litter’ left by the public post-festival. This raises a question: moving forward, should campaigns focus more on what individuals can do to minimalise their impact on the environment before large scale changes by waste producers can really be effective?

With this in mind we have compiled some easy hacks which will reduce your carbon footprint and help you do your bit for the planet this summer.

The basics…

Don’t rely on air con and electric lights

The summer months can be warm but this doesn’t mean you should always immediately turn on your air conditioning or leave electric fans on all day long. It may seem obvious but before flicking a switch, just open the windows instead. The same can be said for electric lights. Summer brings longer days and consequently, longer periods of natural light, this means that, if possible, rooms should be lit by opening curtains instead of wasting electricity on lights

Walk or cycle instead of drive

With the weather heating up there is no excuse for driving; take a leisurely stroll or cycle instead. It’s a win-win; enjoy the weather and stay fit while saving the environment. For longer trips you can use public transport and still release fewer carbon emissions than driving your car

Do your laundry outside

As summer brings better weather, let your clothes benefit from the sun as well. Save on energy by opting to hang your washing up outside on a rack or washing line instead of using the tumble dryer. If you’re feeling particularly eco-friendly you could even try hand washing a few items to save electricity

The extra mile…

Do some planting!

Summer is a great time to re-vamp your garden. Plants photosynthesise, releasing oxygen into the atmosphere and reducing carbon dioxide. This means that planting flowers and trees in your garden can actually reduce your carbon footprint – every little helps! Don’t forget to water them with a watering can though, as hoses can use up to 170 litres of water every 10 minutes!

Eat less meat

Livestock take up a lot of land and release a lot of methane into the atmosphere. This means they can be detrimental to the environment when reared for human consumption. Although the full vegan lifestyle isn’t for everyone, simply deciding to cut down on the amount of meat you eat can reduce your carbon footprint