Quick ways to cut your emissions
Don't leave it turned on.
Turning things on and walking away can get you into trouble. Switch the lights off in rooms that are unoccupied, switch your computer monitor off in the evenings, switch appliances off at the wall and don't leave them on standby- standby lights account for up to 8% of household energy consumption.
Most rooms are overheated in winter and over-cooled in summer. Narrowing the range of the air conditioning thermostat will save you energy and be good for your health.
We have all done it. We boil the kettle, walk away, come back 5 minutes later and reboil before making that favourite cup of Java. And we do that 5 times a day! Save yourself money by buying a good thermos flask. Boil a full kettle in the morning, fill the flask and whatever you do don't double boil the kettle for one cup of tea. BY the way if you are making only one cup, then consider only putting one cup of water in the kettle. Save you time, save you money, putting climate change first!
Compost don't fertilize
Affluent households throw away one third of their food by mass (including things such as tea bags and apple cores). Composting this food can restore this organic matter to the soil thereby preventing it escaping as methane. It can also be good for your plants and reduce your dependence on nitrate fertilizers. The manufacturing of nitrate fertilizer is responsible for the release of nitrous oxide, one of the most noxious greenhouse gases around and 221 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.
Install LEDs or CFLs
Installing compact fluorescent light-bulbs (those small bulbs with the U-shaped white tubes) which are now available in all supermarkets will gut your lighting bill by 6-fold and reduce emissions by the same amount. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are even more energy efficient (up to 18 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs). For the time being they cost more up-front but pay for themselves over 3-5 years.
If you are warming your house don't leave your windows open, do seal your door to prevent drafts, consider drawing curtains and put some low-cost insulation in your ceiling (newspaper will do, if official ceiling insulation is too expensive) to prevent heat escaping through the roof.
Hang out your (clean) laundry
Tumble drying is an energy intensive, and expensive, process. Hanging your washing on the line is free and saves emissions.
Upgrade to efficiency
Next time you replace your fridge, microwave, freezer, computer, tumble dryer, washing machine ask for the most energy efficient model (all white goods should now be labeled with an energy efficiency rating). You will save yourself money on the energy bill and save the planet in the process.
Be responsible - shack-up!
The number of single person households is on the rise and one of the drivers of increasing energy demand. Get a friend - it is not so bad - and will save you overheads. If you can't get a friend why not share certain facilities such as washing machines, meals or work-space. One thing could lead to another.....and you could end up preventing global warming.
SKYPE don't fly
Agreed some things are best experienced up close and personal, but for most other events it is possible to achieve the same outcomes with conference calls and web-cams. We all need to develop our ability to use this technology more effectively in order to cut the time and money spent flying and driving to meetings and conferences.
Of course it does. Large motor vehicles emit up to 0.8 kg of CO2 for every kilometre travelled. Some SUVs push this figure up above 2 kg per kilometre. The driving experience offered by small cars have improved remarkably in the past five years and many of them allow you to travel a kilometre while emitting less than 0.3 kilograms of CO2. They are of course cheaper to purchase, maintain and run as well.
Purchase a Credible Carbon off-set
For the emissions you cannot cut back on, think about investing in a Credible Carbon registered and audited project that will allow others to enhance their standard of living while reducing emissions on your behalf. Pay your dues. It is the just, economic and responsible thing to do. Go to Credible Carbon to find out more and buy your carbon offsets.