Earth Day | 10 of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Earth day was celebrated this week, which kinda got me thinking about our planet and how we can look after it.

I guess that's kinda the point of this day every year!

What is Earth Day?

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Where did it come from?

Here's a helpful timeline of events that have all contributed to where we are today.

April 22nd 1970 - Senator Gaylord Nelson was disturbed that an issue as our environment was not addressed in politics or by the media, so he created the first ever Earth Day rally where 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. 

April 22nd 1990 - A group of environmental leaders asked David Hayes to organise another big campaign. This time, Earth Day went Global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage.

April 22nd 2000 - Hayes agreed to another campaign, this time focused on global warming and a push for clean energy. With 5,000 environmental groups in a record 184 countries reaching out to hundreds of millions of people. 

Today - Earth day is a yearly event as the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. 

April 22nd 2020 - This marks the 50thanniversary of Earth Day. In honour of this milestone, Earth Day Network is launching an ambitious set of goals to shape the future of 21st century environmentalism.

What can we do to get involved?

The first thing to do is to promote understanding of important environmental issues so that more people are aware of the critical actions we need to take to protect our environment.

The second is to commit yourself to service on or around Earth Day - plant some trees, clean up a stream or help your local community garden. 

The third is to take personal responsibilities for the ways in which you and your lifestyle impact the environment and start to make the small changes in your life that will make a huge different to our planet. 

  1. Recycle
    This seems like the most obvious one and I'm hoping something you all do anyway with councils now running a recycling bin but it is also useful to be aware of recycling when out and about as not all areas have separate recycling bins in public areas yet. If possible, where a recycling option is not available, pop it in your bag until you get home.
    Some councils don't take all recyclable waste yet. If this applies to you, you can still take these items to recycle bins at supermarkets or your local recycling center (aka the tip!)
  2. Refuse
    Refuse any single use plastics when out. Say a simple 'no thank you' to straws in your drinks and opt for tap water over bottled water with a meal. You can now even take your own travel mug to Starbucks, Costa, Pret and M&S and in the process get money off your coffee! Win-win.
  3. Reuse
    Instead opt to reuse plastics in place of single use where possible. Buy a reusable metal straw, buy paper plates and cups for parties, use bamboo cutlery in place of plastic cutlery. You can even go as far as using reusable cloth sanitary towels. Cloth nappies too! Avoid buying a plastic carrier bag for 5 or 10 pence in the supermarket and take a reusable canvas bag instead.
    You can also buy clothing second hand from charity shops, ebay or similar. The list is endless on the small swaps you can make.
  4. Choose in season, local & organic food.
    Local markets & butchers are great for this. You can buy local in season produce which has been transported much less, meaning less fossil fuels for fuel and for cooling to keep foods in transit from spoiling. Organic obviously means that no nasty chemicals have ebeen released into the atmosphere for the growing of your food and it also means you get fresh, unpackaged fruit and vegetables, avoiding unnecessary plastic coverings.
  5.  Walk/ Cycle
    We've all been there, when the weather is horrible or we just can't be bothered so we jump in the car to pop to the shop which is a 5 minute walk away but opting to walk instead not only reduces CO2 emissions, it also lessens traffic congestion and the idling of engines that accompany it. If walking isn't an option there is always cycling, public transport or car sharing.
  6. Car efficiency
    If driving is absolutely essential to your way of life then getting yourself a hybrid or electric car is the most environmentally friendly option but I realise not all of us have the money to just go out and buy a new car.
    There are other ways to reduce your carbon footprint in the car you already have. One of these ways is to make sure your tires are properly inflated which can increase your fuel efficiency by 3% and ensuring your car is properly maintained can increase it by 4%. Other ways to help are: avoid unnecessary braking and accelerating, remove any extra weight from the car, use apps like waze to avoid traffic jams, use cruise control on longer journeys and use less air conditioning.
  7. Reduce water consumption
    Wash your car less, water plants only when absolutely necessary are two small ways to reduce your water consumption, thus lowering the amount of energy used to pump, treat and heat the water. Other ways which cost a little bit of money to implement are installing a drip irrigation system for plants and purchasing water efficient shower heads, faucet heads, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.
  8. Cut down on beef and dairy
    Meat and dairy is responsible for 14.5 percent of man made global greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from feed production and processing and the methane (25 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over 100 years) that beef and sheep belch out! Every day that you forgo meat and dairy, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds - that's 2,920 pounds a year! Another thing to consider if where your meat has come from. Lots of beef comes from places like Brazil where tropical forests have been cut down to make way for agricultural use and the land used for cattle to graze. Deforistation is a top contributor to carbon emissions and thus climate change.
    If you are not quite ready to become a vegan just yet, why not consider one meatless day a week for you and your family?
  9. Food waste
    Reduce your food waste by planning meals ahead of time, freezing the excess and reusing leftovers. You can compost any food waste where possible too!
  10. AppliancesLook for ENERGY STAR labels on appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers which shows the appliance is more energy efficient, wash your clothing in cold water - the enzymes in cold water detergents are designed to clean better in cold water and by doing just two loads of laundry per week in cold water instead of hot, you can save up to 500 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, turn off appliances at the plug when not in use and use fans in the summer to cool down rather than air conditioning.


  1. So many top tips! ive recenrly moved to using biodegradable nappies and wipes and feel so much better for it

  2. These are great tips, I’m actively trying to buy more sustainable food, recycle more and cut down on our family meat consumption.

  3. Such an interesting read, I had no idea it started back in 1970. Some great tips here, we do recycle as much as we can and always compost our uncooked food waste for the garden. Thank you for sharing! Lisa x

  4. Wow the meat side is insane isn't it? We all need to do so much more and this post really highlights how, I will share this on twitter

  5. The amount of plastic we use in the world is insane. In the US when I ask for a tap water they often put it in a plastic cup with a plastic lid with a plastic straw - why?! We definitely need to be cooking more fruit and veg in season too.

  6. Some really great tops here. I feel like awareness for our planet is getting more attention and its scary but good! I’m currently considering investing in a sanitary cup rather than using pads and tampons.

    Viv @

  7. We do most of these already, which is a comfort to me. Unfortunately we live in rented accommodation so we can’t change our appliances , but it’s something we’ll be looking into in the future.

  8. I am all about reusing rather than buying new. Better for the planet and more thrifty too.


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