You may have attempted to avoid the news stories, but no matter how fast you scroll on your newsfeed, there’s no escaping it: climate change is happening.
A product of man’s industrial activities, such as burning fossil fuels for energy, cutting down trees for housing, and countless car journeys have caused carbon emissions to sky-rocket and suffocate our planet.
It’s a concerning time, but it is not all doom and gloom. All it takes to do your part for the planet is to make a few minor changes to your day-to-day.
Continue reading, below, for ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint at home.
Traffic is more than just tedious on a Monday morning - it is truly damaging to the environment.
You might not know it but, if you drive to work, your car could be emitting around 4.6 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Now, multiply that by all those other commuters caught in your traffic jam, and the millions of people who drive to work every day, and you can see that there is a significant carbon footprint to contend with.
To stem the tide, consider walking or cycling to the office every day (if it’s close by, of course). Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint, it will also give you a reason to finally unbox the pedometer you got last Christmas.
If you live further away from work, on the other hand, familiarise yourself with public transport timetables. Whether you get the bus, train, or tram, any way to get more cars off the road is a win for Mother Earth.
There’s nothing quite like battling your way through winter conditions outside to return to the warm embrace of your home’s central heating.
But no matter how inviting a warm home might be, it’s not worth the crippling carbon emissions that come as a result. In fact, figures show that 2.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide is released every year from people just heating their homes. As our winters become more freezing, too, emissions are only going to get worse.
To reduce your central heating carbon footprint – and to save yourself £££ on those gas bills – the most fool-proof method is also the simplest: turn your heating down a notch. Just a few degrees could be a major game-changer – and if this means investing in a few comfortable throws, you’ll get to up your interior style game at the same time.
Elsewhere, make sure your home is properly insulated. This means checking heat is trapped in double-glazed windows, wall cavities are lined with fibreglass and hardwood floors are neatly decorated with rugs. Just these small changes will keep your home lovely and toasty without adding any extra degrees to your thermostat.
Whether it’s past its heyday or you just fancy redecorating, we typically think nothing of shifting our old furniture off to the tip.
But our disregard is catching up with us. Today, 22 million pieces of furniture are thrown out every year in the UK alone – and they are cluttering our landfill sites. The problem with this, of course, is that sofas don’t decompose overnight. They take decades, sometimes centuries to break down and, with that, a wave of dangerous methane (a gas which is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide) is released into the atmosphere.
So, what should you do with your old sofa if turfing it off to the tip isn’t sustainable? That’s easy – just get your old furniture reupholstered. At Plumbs, we fix fabrics and tighten frames so that potential cast-offs are given new looks which are worthy of a showroom.
Now you know what it takes to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s time to put these small steps to use. To get started, speak to one of our Plumbs consultants to see how you can reupholster your furniture today.
Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.