February 24, 2024

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New Year’s resolutions ideas to help cut your carbon footprint

Eco-friendly New Year's resolutions

Cornwall Council is giving residents some eco-friendly ideas for New Year’s resolutions in 2023. 

Climate change is affecting us now with 2022 being the UK’s hottest year on record and more extreme weather events. 

The council is supporting Cornwall to lower its carbon footprint to help tackle global warming and has some ideas for anyone wanting to take steps to reduce their impact on the planet as well as save costs in some cases.

1. Choose greener ways to travel

Road transport plays a big role in our carbon footprint and contributes to air pollution with 14.9% of Cornwall’s emissions coming from cars.  

Look at greener ways to travel such as taking advantage of Cornwall’s cheap bus fares – an all-day travel fare is just £5. 

Combine shorter journeys with getting physically active and by walking, cycling or using an e-bike. You can now hire a Beryl bike in Falmouth and Penryn with Penzance, Newquay, Truro and St Austell coming soon.  

Consider an electric car when you next purchase or hire a car.  

For more ideas see Sustainable Transport – Cornwall Council 

2. Save energy at home 

Making some small changes to your home can keep it warmer and save on energy bills.  

With up to a quarter of Cornwall’s emissions coming from heating and powering our homes, you can improve your insulation by hanging thermal curtains and fitting foam strips in doorways to prevent draughts.  

You might also consider double glazing if you haven’t got this already. 

Community Energy Plus gives advice on heating and insulation grants, reducing your energy bills and combatting condensation, or check out our Winter Wellbeingprogramme.   

3. Cut down on waste  

Waste plays a major role in Cornwall’s emissions. 

Try to buy more locally produced or grown food with fewer carbon miles and avoid overpackaging, only buy what you need and use up leftovers to reduce food waste and costs.  

Repurpose, recycle or re-gift unwanted Christmas presents. Can you repair rather than replace or buy second-hand?  

Search ‘Love Food Hate Waste‘ for more tips.  

4. Support sustainable food

More than a fifth of Cornwall’s carbon emissions come from agriculture and meat production has a higher carbon footprint.  

If you don’t want to become a vegetarian or a vegan, can you go meat and dairy-free one day a week?  

5. Educate yourself and others on climate change

You can find out more about climate change and educate others in your community and business owners to help them try to do their bit as well.  

There are many reports on the effects of global warming produced by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  

The council’s Cornwall Climate Change Risk Assessment is the first report of its kind in the country that looks in detail at how rising sea levels and changing weather patterns can affect a region. 

6. Plant a tree for your community

Get involved in the Forest for Cornwall by planting a tree or join a community tree-planting project.  

Re-wild a part of your garden to help nature and wildlife or find a local scheme to help with improving biodiversity or carbon reduction.  

Visit the Forest for Cornwall Tree and Nature Hub to find out more. 

Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “Climate change is affecting us now and there are positive steps we can take to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our impact on the planet as well as saving us money in some cases. 

“We are working hard with our partners, businesses and other organisations to reduce our carbon emissions. We want to thank everyone who is doing their bit too to make changes in their everyday lives to help combat climate change.   

“Make 2023 the year to protect the planet and talk to us if you’re not sure what you can do to help.”  

More ideas on cutting your carbon footprint are at Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive.

Story posted on December 29, 2022