Much has been made of reducing your carbon footprint, but did you know that there are actually two types of carbon footprint? – Primary and secondary.
Your primary carbon footprint refers to actively cutting down on the energy you use and CO2 you produce through activities such as driving or doing household chores. This infographic here has some interesting facts and figures on how much energy we now use at home. However, your secondary footprint is caused through your buying habits, and here are some key ways you can reduce it…
Recycle as much as you can
A lot of people already recycle as much as they can, but there are still plenty more who don’t bother. Most, if not all, councils in the UK now provide households with bins for the different types of recycling so it really is easier than ever. You should also encourage your place of work to recycle as businesses produce a lot of waste but don’t always recycle it.
Buy local produce
There are various benefits to buying local produce. It will likely be fresher and you’ll be supporting local farmers and businesses, which is always a good thing. You’ll also be buying food that hasn’t been transported long distances, which means the CO2 produced is reduced.
Don’t buy out-of-season produce
Check as to when certain fruits and vegetables are in season and try to avoid buying produce that’s out of season as it will likely have been transported a long way to get to your supermarket shelves, perhaps even from overseas. Buying in-season produce also means it will be fresher and more likely to be free from preservatives and other unnatural things. Here are some top tips on starting your own veg patch.
Grow your own!
Whilst buying local and in-season fruit and veg is definitely a good thing, it’s even better if you grow your own! It can be quite a commitment if you intend on being totally self-sufficient (and no-one would expect you to) but even just having a small herb garden or vegetable patch can really make a difference.
Try not to buy products with too much packaging
The best case scenario is that if people don’t buy excessively-packaged products then the manufacturers will get the message and do something about it. In reality that’s unlikely but if you do stop buying these products then there will be less pollution produced from disposing of it once you’ve thrown it away.
Consider what you do in your spare time
Do you have any hobbies or favourite activities that are particularly harsh on the environment? Obviously you don’t need to become a hermit and never enjoy yourself, but activities such as go-karting will increase your secondary carbon footprint, whilst even things like eating in restaurants can also increase it.