You’re probably wondering what your New Year’s resolutions could be, having stuffed yourself, like I have, over Christmas. Maybe go to the gym more? Go on a diet? Give up smoking?
If you fancy doing something to change the world instead, here are ten ideas (not in any particular order):
1. Use less gas – for the average person in the UK, gas heating and cooking produces 1.9 tonnes of CO2 – more than anything else they do. The Energy Saving Trust has a free online home energy check that suggests what you can do and how to save £250 a year. The main things are insulating your home and replacing old boilers.
2. Write to your MP. Got an opinion on what the Government should do to help the environment? Don’t tell your family and friends, tell your MP. With this link, it’s very fast. Get it off your chest.
3. Fly less. For the average person in the UK, flying to Australia and back once will increase your total carbon footprint by 50% for that year. So have a think: Can you do short haul instead of long? Can you get the train? Can you teleconference instead? If not, can you offset your flights?
4. Get some efficient lightbulbs. What with traditional bulbs being phased out, there has been huge investment in improving the speed, brightness and colour temperature of fluorescent and LED bulbs in the last few years.
6. Switch to a green energy supplier like Ecotricity or Good Energy. Prices vary a lot – maybe you could SAVE money?
7. Challenge whether everything you buy needs to be brand new. Instead, buy some stuff from eBay or Amazon Marketplace or a charity shop. An energy-efficient new fridge or boiler, though, is probably a good thing.
9. Eat food that’s in season. Don’t know what’s in season? Check out Eat Seasonably.
10. Don’t keep buying bottled water. Think ahead a little and re-fill a bottle at home from the tap before you leave. 1,500,000 barrels of oil are used every year to make plastic water bottles, and that’s not counting transportation.