What can I do?

Many of us would like to reduce our environmental impacts and this page has some information to help guide you.

Some advice from Sustainable Wells on how to reduce your carbon footprint. . .

Drive less – walking or cycling for short journeys, using public transport for longer journeys emits a lot less CO2 than driving alone in a car.  If you could go car-free you would save around 2 tonnes of CO2e per year and helps ease many other problems in Wells. If you need a car, switching to an electric one substantially reduces CO2 emissions and other pollution.  Try and avoid travel if it’s not really necessary – could you work from home more or video conference instead of travelling for some work meetings?

Avoid aeroplanes – flying releases large amounts of CO2, far more than other forms of transport. A single transatlantic round trip results in more emissions than the average person emits from housing and transportation in an entire year. Even a flight within Europe is 1/2 to 1 tonne of CO2 per person. 

Review your diet – Eat less meat (especially beef and lamb – ruminants release a lot of methane, a very potent greenhouse gas) and dairy foods.  If you can move to a plant based-diet that saves around 1 tonne per year.  Eat more locally sourced seasonal food, and try not to waste any of it. An added benefit here is that a lower carbon diet is often healthier and cheaper too!

Use less energy – insulate your home more if you can, turn down the heating in winter, wash clothes in cold water and dry clothes outside instead of with a tumble dryer, turn off gadgets rather than leaving them on standby, look at the energy efficiency if you are buying appliances, LED bulbs use around 80% less than old style incandescent. Some of these are quite small effects but they all add up and if everybody did them . . .  Switching to a green energy tariff encourages the development of renewables in the UK, but it doesn’t actually change the source of your electricity!

Buy less stuff – everything you buy takes energy to make, transport, display and the totals can be large. Reducing the number of things you buy and making better use can have a hugely positive effect. The emissions from “stuff” are often ignored from carbon footprint calculations but for many people are the largest source of emissions! 

Spread the word – Help other people reduce their carbon footprints. The more people that shrink their footprints the better.  Use your vote to help elect leaders with effective policies to address climate change. 

This series of articles (written for the parish magazine in Wedmore over many years) will give you some useful information. Some are a few years old so the numbers might be slightly out and some of the links may not work but the principles remain.
CO2 Levels – Jan 2006
Recycling – Feb 2006
Transport – On your bike – Mar 2006
Water – Apr 2006
Green Villages – May 2006
Green Paint – Jun 2006
Food Miles – Jul 2006
Getting Together – Sep 2006
Top Tips – Oct 2006
Solar – Nov 2006
Green Wedmore – Early Plans – Dec 2006
Green Wedmore – update and tips – Jan 2007
Green Wedmore – more updates and tips – Feb 2007
One Person’s Rubbish – Mar 2007
Hot Air? – Apr 2007
Kids Eco-Competition – May 2007
Green Campaign – Jun 2007
The Message – Jul 2007
Local Cook Book – Aug 2007
Tree Planting – Sep 2007
Re Cycle, Free Cycle, Spin Cycle – Oct 2007
Flying into Trouble – Nov 2007
So near so plastic – Dec 2007
Challenging Carbon – Feb 2008
Green Web – Mar 2008
Green Building – Apr 2008
Green Community – May 2008
Dig for England – June 2008
A village of Green fingers – Aug 2008
Renewable Energy – Sep 2008
Litter – Oct 2008
Domestic Wind – Nov 2008
Credit Crunch – Dec 2008
Pass It On Books – Jan 2009
New Year New Start – Feb 2009
Solar Pay Back – Apr 2009
Organising Events – May 2009
Planet Friendly Tourism – Jun 2009
A Little Light – Aug 2009
Insulation – Sep 2009
Green Power – Oct 2009
Carbon Offset – Nov 2009
Make do and Mend – Dec 2009
March or not? – Jan 2010
10:10 Campaign – Feb 2010
Woodland – Mar 2010
Wood and Produce – Apr 2010
Cycling – June 2010
Kids – Jul 2010