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What you can do to help the environment

We can all do more to protect the natural world which together can make a big difference. To create a brighter future for our planet why not to do your bit including: 

  • reduce your carbon footprint
  • healthy eating for a healthy planet
  • reduce your energy demand
  • reduce reuse recycle

Reduce your carbon footprint

Everyone should think about reducing their carbon emissions, also known as your carbon footprint. To help you achieve this and save money on your bills you could:

  • turn off lights and electrical appliances when not needed
  • insulate your home to ensure energy is not wasted
  • reduce your thermostat and make sure you understand your heating controls
  • walk or cycle for short journeys where possible
  • plan your meals to avoid food waste and consider home composting
  • think about repairing items rather than buying new
  • reduce the amount of waste you throw away

Healthy eating for a healthy planet

By changing what we eat, just a little bit, can make a positive difference to ourselves and nature. The food we eat - growing, producing and importing it - has a massive impact not just on our health but also on the health of our planet. Food is responsible for 30% of the UK's carbon emissions but five simple steps can make a difference:

  • eat more natural and seasonal food like fruit and vegetables
  • waste less food - 40% of food planted worldwide is wasted
  • eat less meat, or eat locally produced meat
  • eat less processed food - it can use up more resources to produce and often has high levels of sugar, fat and salt
  • buy food that meets a credible certified standard - like MSC for fish or RSPCA Freedom Foods for meat and eggs

Reduce your energy demand

It can be easy to change the way we use energy by making little changes in the way we do everyday things. Making our homes more energy efficient is a good start.

And we can clean up the energy supply by using more renewable energy such as wind, solar and wave power. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • buy energy efficient electrical appliances - look out for the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo. 
  • switch things off when you are not using them
  • make heating and hot water a priority in saving energy
  • insulate your house - cavity wall insulation, draft excluders, double glazing, thick curtains and loft insulation all stop heat escaping and reduce heating bills
  • wash your clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 degrees
  • switch to energy saving light bulbs 
  • Home Energy Scotland can provide a range of advice, including how thermal camera surveys might help improve energy efficiency

Reduce, reuse, recycle 

  • reduce the amount of water we waste – huge amounts of energy are required to process and transport water
  • reduce the amount of new goods you buy or consider buying second hand and always repair items where possible
  • donate or sell goods when you are finished with them rather than disposing of them
  • use your recycle bins for plastic, paper, card, metals and glass – targets to increase recycling rates are increasing each year
  • UK recycling saves more than 18 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.

For more information see the WWF website or the Home Energy Scotland website which offers free impartial advice and support.

Climate change - time is running out