September is Let’s go Net Zero month, where we take inspiration from Zero Emissions Day to reduce our climate impact and opt for sustainable lifestyles
Zero emissions day takes place on the 21 of September and is an opportunity to highlight the importance of reducing our greenhouse emissions and reach net zero to restore and protect our planet, reducing the effects of climate change. Although this day has passed, it is still important to consider your current habits and lifestyle and think of ways that you can become more sustainable and reduce your personal emissions.
What does Net Zero Mean? It refers to reaching a point where the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced is equal to the amount removed from the atmosphere, creating a balance between emissions and the removal of carbon dioxide.
How can you take part?
It is easy to make an impact and reduce your emissions, there are small things you can do as well as big things, but any action makes a difference. It is important that we all make changes to reduce our emissions to help reach our targets, but it could also save you money in the long run.
Choose sustainable travel. This is an option that is becoming even more accessible with the introduction to better public transport services, carpooling systems, cycling, and walking paths, and more. The energy savings trust claims “Every mile you travel without your petrol or diesel car saves enough carbon dioxide to fill 10 balloons.”
Invest in energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is the way to go, it is little and inexpensive actions that add up to reduce your overall emissions and energy bills costs. Switch to energy-efficient appliances and LED lights, A traditional halogen bulb typically lasts around 2,000 hours for average daily use whereas a LED with the same usage lasts 10,000 hours or more. If the average UK household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £40 a year on bills. Set thermostats wisely, insulate your home, and unplug devices when not in use. We have a whole other article on energy efficiency.
Consider renewable energy. Renewable energy can be a big cost to begin with but with the right investments can save you hundreds over time. Solar panels, wind turbines, and heat pumps, are proven to be the most effective in homes. However, these aren’t always an option for some, so simply searching and finding a green energy supplier is just as effective, and you get lower costs.
Think about your food emissions. Incorporate more plant-based foods into your diet. Food production generates significant emissions, so opting for local, seasonal, and organic choices can help. We covered this in a previous article on sustainable food.
Why is this important?
Reducing our emissions is important so we can reach our targets. Did you know that as a council, we have targets to reach net zero by 2030. It is a huge mountain to climb, but step by step we are reducing our emissions and reaching our targets. Our efforts have resulted in over 58% decrease in emissions since 2009.
The broader county-wide goal is to reach zero emissions by 2045. Again, this is a huge challenge but with increased collaboration with our local businesses and residents we are seeing the steady decline in carbon emissions.
Overall, the United Kingdom has a goal of net zero by 2050. But to reach these targets and make these carbon reductions we need to work together, and we all have a part to play whether it is as an individual or organisation.