My children have forced me into learning a little about what all of this is about. Their school has an ongoing project and have a permanent ECO group which works to raise awareness and get children into the mindset of what it is all about and how we can all contribute to making it work.
Our eco footprints give a reflection on how much energy we use as a nation. Officially, it is an estimate of the land and sea area needed to give us the energy we need to use in our lives, which includes the water, transport, food and materials we use up.
Don’t confuse your ecological footprint with your carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases we use.
In the UK, we use far more than is sustainable. If everyone on earth lived in the same way that we do, then we would need more than 3 or 4 planets as a minimum to keep us going for the future.
The top tips to reducing your environmental footprint (as well as keeping down your bills) are:
- Recycle, recycle, recycle. Recycling plants seem to spring up everywhere. Use them where you can.
- Turn things off and don’t leave them in standby modes, ie TV’s, computers, cookers, chargers etc.
- Turn down central heating and water settings as even one or two degrees will make a difference long-term.
- Insulate your loft, walls and hot water tank. We keep hearing this, but how man of us have done it.
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs where you can. I have some, but sadly, my mother cannot see in the dim light they produce. I am led to believe that the normal bulbs we grew up with will not be available soon so the choice may be taken away from us.
- Travel where you can, by bus or train instead of car. Car share if it is possible, and try to walk or cycle for short distances.
- Use trains or ferries where you can, but this is beginning to be difficult as the flight is often much cheaper.
- Choose energy-efficient appliances where you have to replace your old ones.
- Buy your meat, fruit and vegetable locally when you can.
- Fill machines to full before switching on, ie full dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer modes. I still have to convince my mother that this is a good idea as she seems to have the idea that leaving ANY washing overnight is a bad thing to do.
So, that’s about it in a nutshell. If you are over 30, you might only have seen the adverts on TV trying to get us to reduce our footprints, but not REALLY know what it is all about.
If I have missed any good ones, feel free to add them in a comment. Comment anyway, you know we bloggers love them, and commentluv give you a lovely linkie back to you.