Hillingdon Friends of the Earth

10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint



1. Reduce or eliminate plastic from your shopping. Buy loose fruit and veg, drink tap water (filtered if you wish) not bottled water, use soap bars not bottled body-wash, use paper bags, re-use plastic bags. 


2. Buy clothes made of biodegradable materials: cotton, linen and wool. Don’t buy clothes of man-made polyester and acrylic from fossil fuels. Every time polyester fleece is washed it can release up to 25,000 microplastic fibres into the water supply.


3. Reduce or eliminate flying. Consider the train for European travel.


4. Walk, cycle or take the bus, rather than drive especially for short journeys of less than 5 miles. Transport makes up 27% of average individual carbon footprint. If you have to drive, stick to the speed limit, shift up early to a higher gear, accelerate and decelerate gently, keep your tyre pressures right.  


5. Reduce or eliminate meat and dairy (milk, cheese, eggs) from your diet. Shift to a plant-based diet. Food makes up 1/3 of our carbon footprint. Manage your food shopping and cooking to reduce food waste


6. Have a sustainable Christmas: reduce wrapping paper, short-term and unwanted gifts, food waste – but do enjoy yourself!


7. Buy locally-grown, seasonal food. Strawberries grown in a hothouse out of season, or flown in from South Africa have seven times the footprint of summer-time local strawberries.


8. Recycle as much as you can, especially plastic. Buy recycled products to create a circular economy. But it’s better to reduce plastic purchasing overall.


9. Be a conscious consumer. Do I really need it? Where does it come from? Can I buy better quality so it lasts longer? 


10. Campaign for net-zero policies. Join Hillingdon FOE, lobby your MP for action at the upcoming COP26 Climate conference, join a protest, promote sustainability at work.



Sources: Mike Berners-Lee How Bad are Bananas?