What you can do as a resident
There are lots of things we do to help reduce our impact on the environment. If you would like to know what your individual impact is just use the carbon footprint calculator. Check out some helpful ways of reducing this below.
Lobby and help to spread the word
- To ensure greenhouse emissions decrease fast enough we are going to need greater, and more urgent, engagement with society. Talking about it encourages others to think about it and hopefully spread the message further.
- Talk to your friends, family, work places, write to your MP and join local organisations and take action in your local community.
In your home
- Switch to a renewable energy supplier.
- Have a look at this article by the Energy Saving Trust which suggests some good suppliers.
- Turn the thermostat down - reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% and save you around £50 per year. Add an extra layer; wearing a jumper as wrapping up warm can help to reduce the need to turn up the heating too!
- Insulate your home. Houses that aren't well insulated need to use more energy to keep warm. Not only does this cost you more money, it also creates a much larger carbon footprint - especially if you aren't on a renewable tariff.
- Warm East Sussex is a council supported scheme offering a range of free and subsidised energy saving measures that can help you save energy and money.
- Warmer Sussex offers advice about how to make your home carbon neutral.
- Switch off your lights and appliance when not in use. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs and aim for A+++ energy related appliances - these will help to reduce your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
Food and food waste
- A third of our food grown and prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork. Producing uneaten food wastes a whole host of resources - seeds, water, energy, land, fertiliser, hours of labour, financial capital, and generates greenhouse gases at every stage and is responsible for roughly 8% of global greenhouse emissions.
- To help avoid food waste don't over buy, be aware of use by dates when you purchase fresh food, plan your meals in advance, batch cook, freeze any leftovers.
- Check where your food is from - buy local and in season when possible, this helps to reduce food miles.
- Meat and dairy production is responsible for 14% of global climate-changing emissions - if we eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and followed the recommendations of the Government's Eatwell Guide, then according to Carbon Trust analysis, we'd each have a much lower environmental impact than the current average UK diet does and be healthier!
- Look at HUBBUB for useful tips and cooking on a budget and useful information about food and the environment.
Shopping and Recycling
- Everything we buy has a carbon footprint - created form the fossil fuels and energy that have been have been used to extract virgin materials, manufacture and transport every item. Making new things from recycled materials requires fewer new materials and less energy - recycling household, commercial, and industrial waste can help to cut emissions by removing the need to use new materials. A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems.
- We all need to consume and shop less - clothes, electronics, household items - and when we do, try to buy second-hand, find products that have considered their environmental impact (such as those that use recycled materials or materials from sustainable sources) and pay a bit more if you are able to for items of a higher quality that will last longer.
- You can find lots of bargains in local second hand and charity shops, which support a good cause whilst avoiding fast-fashion. There are also a variety of online marketplaces where you can buy second hand things or collect free items - check out "Hastings Freegle Don't Throw it Away, Give it Away!" and "Hastings Give and Takery" on Facebook for example.
- Donate your unwanted items that can be used by someone else and recycle your waste as much as you can check out the council's webpage for more information about recycling at home.
- Some food and garden waste can be made into compost. There are many benefits of using compost including improving soil quality to grow healthy plants, reducing the need to use fertiliser and pesticides, improving water quality and protecting the environment as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- If you have garden you can compost your kitchen and garden waste in a home composter, or alternatively, use the kerbside garden waste recycling collection services or take your garden waste to the Household Recycling Centres where will be composted and made into compost.
- For useful tips on home composting see here see the East Sussex website - 'composting at home' or the RHS website.
- 68% of all car journeys taken across the UK are under 5 miles (and 23% are under 1 mile) and transport is one of the largest contributors to Hastings' carbon footprint. If we all just had just one car free day every week, we could save on petrol bills and around 300 kilograms of CO2 emissions as well.
- Walk and cycle more
- Cycling is fun, fast and free. Check out the following websites to plan your route.
- Plan your trip using public transport.
- Fly less, especially long-haul flights.
- Think about hiring a car when you need one or joining a car-share club rather than owning a car check out Hastings' local car share club with co-wheels.
- Greening up your driving habits can also reduce your carbon footprint and save fuel. For example, regularly check your tyre pressure, driving at 50 mph uses 25% less fuel than 70 mph.
Get more fuel-saving tips from the Environmental Transport Association.
Take action as a community
- Share what you are doing with our friend, neighbours and family.
- Join a local action group, and come together with other people to develop practical, local solutions and to make Hastings more climate-friendly, for example check out Transition Town Hastings.
- Share your ideas.
What you can do as a resident