The importance of being sustainable!

When I started this blog, one of the things I was aiming to do was lead a more sustainable way of life. Not really knowing exactly what this meant, I felt it was important to do more research to understand exactly how I can achieve this!

The first hit on google was a website called YouSustain. This is a website that can help you to  calculate  CO2 emissions by taking on simple challenges such as bringing your own coffee to work for a week or using reusable bags etc. and there is a carbon footprint calculator.

Having just assessed my carbon footprint via YouSustain, I am ashamed to say this was my results:
carbon footprint
My carbon footprint for 2015 !
In my defense, I do have drive to work 70 miles away but I am working hard to find a job closer to home so that I can reduce my car usage (although this is not the only reason I want a new job!). I certainly don’t like driving that much!
They also provide a list of suggestions for reducing my carbon footprint (some of which I already do):
  • Turn it off when not in use (lights, television, DVD player, Hi Fi, computer etc. etc
  • Turn down the central heating slightly (try just 1 to 2 degrees C).
  • Turn down the water heating setting
  • Check the central heating timer setting – remember there is no point heating the house after you have left for work
  • Fill your dish washer and washing machine with a full load – this will save you water, electricity, and washing powder
  • Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need
  • Do your weekly shopping in a single trip
  • Hang out the washing to dry rather than tumble drying it
  • Don’t buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink
  • Buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing your own
  • Buy foods that are in season locally
  • Don’t buy fresh fruit and vegetables which are out of season, they may have been flown in
  • Reduce your consumption of meat
  • Try to only buy products made close to home (look out and avoid items that are made in the distant lands)
  • Buy organic produce
  • Don’t buy over packaged products
  • Think carefully about the type of activities you do in your spare time. Do any of these cause an increase in carbon emissions? e.g. Saunas, Health clubs, restaurants and pubs, go-karting etc. etc.)

I will calculate my carbon footprint at the end of 2016 and hopefully we will see a big difference!

One thing that I am very conscientious of doing at the moment, as part of being sustainable, is to support my local businesses and economy. I am making a special effort to buy seasonal fruit and veg (when I haven’t grown it myself) and I have also recently discovered my local butcher (it’s amazing what you can find when you stop going to Tesco!)
I make a special effort to go shopping in the town centre in the local shops before I head on to the supermarket for everything else that I couldn’t find. I really like the idea that my money is going into the pockets of local people rather than large global companies!
However, in terms of increasing my sustainability, I think that trying to reduce my carbon footprint is definitely a good way to start especially since my carbon footprint is so big! But I’ll keep researching and look to find more ways of increasing my sustainability.

Challenge accepted!

P.S. If anyone has any other suggestions for reducing my carbon footprint or if you do anything in particular to be as sustainable as possible please let me know!

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