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. This comes as global carbon emissions dropped by an estimated 2.4 billion metric tonnes, thanks in large to the pandemic.
To find out exactly what people in this country are talking about when it comes to sustainability, Flogas, a UK supplier of off-grid gas that offsets their annual carbon emissions, has analyzed Twitter hashtags to find the most used terms relating to sustainability. The terms – tweeted between September and October – also have a social sentiment score of 1.0. This means that the conversation is very positive.
Based on the analysis, #recycle was used 500 times and has a sentiment score of 0.7. 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 research study, 63% of people said they intended to recycle more waste over the Christmas period. If you want to play your part, here are some simple ways to producing less waste:
- Recycle at supermarkets – We’ve all spent more time at the grocery checkouts during lockdowns. So 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 – According to Google’s Year in Search 2020, ‘milk delivery’ was the fourth-highest ‘delivery’ search term. Find one local to you that re-uses glass instead of plastic bottles. You’ll be helping a local business out too.
They’re just three easy ways to recycle more, but there are so many other ways too.
- Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth – According to Ofwat, the UK water regulator, a running tap uses up to nine liters of water a minute.
- If possible, take a shower instead of a bath – Ofwat also states that a five-minute shower uses approximately 40 liters of water. This is around half the amount of a standard bath.
- Fill a jug with 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. It has grown in popularity over the years. This is partly thanks to the Carpool Karaoke segment on The Late Late Show with James Corden and Peter Kay’s Car Share.
#Carpool was the third hashtag to be tweeted 500 times. Despite the fact car sharing has been put on hold during the pandemic, it’s still an important talking point.
It’s a topic that’s on the agenda for the Committee on Climate Change as part of their Smarter Choices programs. Smarter Choices focuses on reducing car trips through encouraging car sharing and remote working.
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. Interior plant maintenance is very important as well.
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.
Yes, we’re going through a time when more businesses are going digital. However, 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 that use recyclable paper packaging
That completes the list of the top ways you can live sustainably in the current climate. The conversation will continue via social media, so keep an eye on Twitter and other channels.