What can you do?
Everyone can make a difference.
If you’re keen to do what you can to help, here are some things you can do to reduce your carbon emissions. The first thing you can do is calculate your ecological footprint. This is the sum of all the land and resources you consume and emissions and waste you create.
Cutting carbon emissions from your home
- Consider switching your electricity supply to a company providing renewable energy, or one that is also investing in generating renewable energy.
- Improve the energy efficiency of your home through retrofit projects, such as double glazing and insulation. The Energy Savings Trust has plenty of home energy advice and Cosy Homes Oxfordshire offers retrofit surveys, advice and installation.
- Switch to energy efficient lighting.
- For more information about cutting carbon emissions from your home, take a look here
- Where possible, consider using public transport, walking or cycling. Cycle routes across the district are being improved. For the latest updates, take a look here.
- If you are buying a new vehicle consider going electric or if you don’t drive often, think about joining a car club. E-bikes are also a great way to get around.
- Use your local shops to save a car journey while supporting local businesses and helping to improve air quality.
- For more travel option information, take a look here.
- Support local farmers by buying from farmers markets – did you know South Oxfordshire District Council set up the first farmers’ market in the South East region at Thame in 1999? Find your local market here.
- Food waste accounts for around 10% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Try to reduce food waste, Replenish Oxfordshire can help you grow and cook nutritious food with zero waste.
- consuming less meat and dairy will reduce your environmental impact. The BBC has a range of vegetarian and vegan options to test out.
- Try growing your own fruit and vegetables at home or apply for an allotment through your town and parish council.
- Avoid single use items – avoid buying packaged goods or single-use items. Try reusable shopping bags, food storage containers and coffee cups instead.
- Buy better – invest in better quality products that last longer, have low-energy ratings and are sustainably sourced or manufactured. Consider buying second-hand items.
- Buy less – take a look at Share Oxford’s Library of Things for items to borrow when you need them. Attempt repairs yourself or find a local repair café.
- Use the county’s ‘Waste Wizard’ to find out if items can be repaired, reused or recycled and look here to find out what goes in which bin in the district.
- Go to Waterwise for tips on how to save water at home.
- Install a water butt in your garden and harvest rainwater for watering plants.
Getting involved locally
- If you’re interested in volunteering or setting up a group to take action on climate change, take a look at Community Action Groups (CAG).
- Apply for funding to support your community projects. See the grants available at South Oxfordshire here.
- Find out about One Planet Oxfordshire and how a community can develop a One Planet Action Plan for their neighbourhood, town or parish using the One Planet Living guide for communities.