Simple Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Shutterstock / petrmalinak © carbon footprint

According to research by Money Expert, 41% of British people say COVID-19 and lockdown restrictions have made them more conscious about their carbon footprint.

To find out exactly what people in this country are talking about when it comes to sustainable living, Flogas, a UK supplier of off-grid gas who offset their annual carbon emissions, has analysed Twitter hashtags to find the most used terms relating to sustainability. 


The latest available statistics show that the UK generates 221 million tonnes of waste annually, which shows that there’s still plenty that can be done when it comes to recycling efforts.

In the same Money Expert research study, 63% of people said they intended to recycle more waste over the Christmas period.

Don’t currently recycle? Or want to find more ways to play your part? Here are some simple ways to live more sustainably when it comes to producing less waste:

  • Recycle at supermarkets. We’ve all spent more time at the grocery checkouts during lockdowns. Take leftover carrier bags back to big supermarkets and they can be recycled.
  • Buy reusable. Opt for reusable water bottles instead of plastic bottles.
  • Support local milk supply. Try to find a local business that re-uses glass instead of plastic bottles. There are plenty around, and they need your help in a difficult time!


There are several simple changes you can introduce at home to save water, including:

  • Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth – According to Ofwat, the UK water regulator, a running tap uses up to nine litres of water a minute.
  • If possible, take a shower instead of a bath – Ofwat also states that a five-minute shower uses approximately 40 litres of water. This around half the amount of a standard bath.
  • Fill a jug of water and put it in the fridge – This means you won’t need to wait for the tap to run icy cold before you fill a glass.


Carpooling, or car-sharing as it’s more commonly known in the UK, has grown in popularity over the years, partly thanks to the Carpool Karaoke segment on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and “Peter Kay’s Car Share”.

In 2019, Liftshare, the UK’s biggest car share community, suggested that people could reduce their carbon footprint by 10% over the course of a year if they shared regular car journeys.

We may be some way off car sharing becoming safe again, but when it is, it’s important that it continues.


Planting seeds in the garden can help reduce your carbon footprint – more so when you’re growing fruit or vegetables.

Having a food supply in the surroundings of your own home can cut transport miles from getting humble spuds and carrots from supplier to plate.

According to Gardener’s World, there are 27 million gardens in the UK. A mature tree absorbs carbon dioxide at a rate of 48 pounds a year. If each garden had one tree it would be a substantial reduction in carbon emissions.


Between 2011 and 2019, 386 million hectares of forest were lost globally. From reading newspapers to wrapping presents, paper is produced and subsequently wasted daily.

Despite the fact we’re going through a time where more businesses are going digital, paper is still used every day, especially for packaging.

Going completely paperless is no easy task, given the nature of paper’s practicalities. However, there are many ways to reduce waste:

  • Recycle the paper you use
  • Use digital communication channels at work – emails rather than letters!
  • Buy products from businesses who use recyclable paper packaging

For more lifestyle hints and tips from “The People’s Friend”, click here.

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Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.