10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
We make no secret of the fact that we are increasingly concerned and worried about the killer effects climate change is having on us and our partners.
In light of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), we’re taking a moment to open up the conversation on climate change, and think about what we can do to reduce our carbon footprints.
As a business, we promise that the environment’s needs are at the heart of every decision we make. From how we package orders for delivery, to the materials we use in our product packaging and the ingredients we use within our product range, everything is carefully considered. The same thought goes into the crafts and fashion we source through third party suppliers, and the eco-credentials of the catalogue printers, photographers and couriers we use. See more about our commitment to the environment here.
As individuals, the lifestyle changes we make in our day to day routines can also help to care for and restore the earth. Making just one or two small changes is a huge step in the right direction. Here are some ideas of how you can reduce your carbon output today. Scroll to the bottom to calculate your own carbon footprint – you may be shocked at the results!
10 Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
- Walk, Cycle or Use Public Transport
Whether it’s swapping your car for your bicycle on your daily commute, or using public transport to get to and from your grocery shop – cutting down on the amount of times we travel individually in our cars is a great way to reduce your carbon output. If your circumstances mean there’s no alternative but to drive to your destination, why not consider a car share?
- Choose Products with Recyclable or Compostable Packaging
A large quantity of landfill is made up of waste from the food and drink industry, with unsustainable packaging being a main offender. As consumers, it’s important to consider the impact of the products we buy – including how they’re packaged.
Traidcraft’s Fairtrade and Organic chocolate comes wrapped in 100% compostable inner packaging. We encourage customers to remove the tear strip, and add the whole wrapper to their compost heap, giving back to the earth once they’re done. Businesses making small changes such as this, means consumers have more opportunity to enjoy their favourite products, without worrying about their impact on the environment. We urge other businesses to do the same.
- Reduce, Recycle and Reuse
The amount of waste we produce each year is staggering. Research suggests that the average person in the UK throws away almost 100g per day of plastic packaging alone – a significant amount of which will end in landfill, damaging the earth and in turn the nature, wildlife and humans who call it home. Each time you consume, think of the three Rs. Can you reduce your waste – is the product really necessary? If yes, can the packaging be recycled into something new, or reused for another inventive purpose?
- Invest in Sustainable Clothing
Celebrate all things slow, ethical fashion. Fortunately there is a lot more choice when it comes to sustainable fashion in recent years. Whether you invest in pre-loved, or update your wardrobe with key, sustainable pieces from environmentally-conscious brands such as Thought Clothing, you can still look fabulous while caring for the planet too. With a motto of ‘Wear Me, Love Me, Mend Me, Pass Me On’, Thought Clothing pieces will last season after season – they even use exciting, environmentally-friendly fabrics including TENCEL™, SeaCell™ and Organic cotton in their collections. See our five step guide to buying ethical and sustainable fashion if we’ve inspired you!
- Home Composting
Turn your waste into something amazing! No matter whether you have a small, large garden or non-existent outdoor space, why not start producing homemade compost and do your bit for the environment? Your healthy soil will thank you! To see exactly why home composting is so important, and your how to guide, see How to Home Compost with Traidcraft and the RHS.
- Consider your Meat Consumption
Research suggests that farmers unsustainably raising the likes of cows, pigs and chickens for the food industry generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, vans and automobiles combined. Make sure to buy your meat from a sustainable source with a transparent, ethical supply chain, locally where possible. Initiatives such as Meat Free Monday or Veganuary, in which people pledge to go vegan for a month, are great ways to reduce your meat consumption.
“Interest in veganism is at an all-time high and there’s never been a more exciting time to go vegan! While supermarkets have shelves stacked full of vegan goodies, restaurants and takeaways are always adding new vegan dishes to their menus. More and more people are starting to realise that we don’t need to eat or use animals to live happy, healthy lives. It’s perfectly possible to get all the nutrients your body needs from plant sources and taking away animals’ lives from them is cruel when we don’t have to. Some also go vegan because they are concerned with the huge impact that animal agriculture has on the environment, and others choose to follow the lifestyle to improve their health. Veganism is a great choice for all of us who care about these issues. Why not give veganism a go as part of World Vegan Month? You won’t regret it!” - The Vegan Society
- Consume Locally, and in Season Food
It’s all go in the 21st century; 24-hour supermarkets have aisles as far as you can see, stocked with fruits and vegetables from all over the world. Our favourite produce is readily available, in abundance, all of the time. The majority of fruits and vegetables are being grown somewhere in the world in every season, so eating seasonally means eating produce that’s grown now, in your country. Eating local, seasonal fruits and vegetables reduces the demand for out of season produce – minimizing the strain on resources for transportation of such goods.
- Plant Trees
We love trees. They don’t just look pretty (although, they’re certainly aesthetically pleasing!), but they’re vital for the health of our planet. They absorb carbon, offsetting harmful byproducts of fossil-fuel burning, and improve air quality by giving off oxygen, as well as providing shade, shelter and safety for birds and other species. Trees also play a key role in capturing rainwater and reducing the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides. Planting trees across the world is one of the biggest (and cheapest!) ways to fight the climate crisis, by taking carbon out of our atmosphere.
Apart from planting trees, it’s also important to support companies who are fighting for environmental justice for us. For instance, have you heard of FairPalm? The world’s first sustainable, fair trade and organic palm oil, that protects the environment while supporting smallholder growers. FairPalm farmers plant palm trees amongst other trees such as cocoa trees – allowing them to grow naturally and eliminating the need for deforestation to develop plantations.
- Choose Organic
By investing in products from small-scale farmers, who practice organic methods of farming, you are genuinely supporting heroes who are fighting climate change.
We all take soil for granted and assume it will be there forever. In fact, some scientists are warning us that soil is being eroded so fast, that we may only have between 60 and 100 harvests left before it’s gone completely.
Did you know that it takes about 2,000 years of natural weather conditions to grow just 10cm of natural soil? Climate change is destroying soil at a rapid rate. Without soil, we have no food. Consciously consuming, and choosing organic, fair trade and ethical where possible gives us the best chance of restoring the earth. Spending a bit more money to help farmers who are committed to nourishing the earth is the beginning of an extraordinary journey. It’s not too late.
- Use Renewable Energy
Utilising renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal, has a much lower environmental impact than conventional energy technologies. But it’s not just that. Renewable energy will never run out, these sources are naturally renewing and will serve future generations with clean energy.