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How to help stop climate change: 13 tips to help fight global warming and what you can do at home – iNews

The climate emergency is currently at the forefront of the national conversation, with the COP26 summit taking place in Glasgow.

The United Nations climate conference sees some of the world’s most powerful political figures meet to try to tackle climate change, and work towards the target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

Such a goal requires significant input from those in power, but there are also smaller things you can do to help in an everyday way.

Here are a list of tips for how you can help fight global warming at home.

Reduce your plastic usage

Just small changes such as switching to bamboo toothbrushes and using a reusable water bottle rather than buying new ones can make a big difference.

You can also try to buy food products that do not come in plastic packaging, and always take your own bags when going to the supermarket.

Manufacturing plastic items adds to greenhouse gas emissions, while plastic waste is also harmful to wildlife, particularly in our seas.

Sort your recycling

You can save about 210 kgs of CO2 a year by recycling properly. This means looking carefully at packaging to see which parts are recyclable, and ensuring you place items in the correct bins.

Having visible recycling bins in your kitchen which are already separated can help a lot.

Reduce food waste

Buy fruit and vegetables loose, freeze as much as you can and buy only as much as you need to cut waste.

In the UK we throw away 17 per cent of our food uneaten – eliminating this waste alone would save 370kg a year of CO2 and save the average household around £500 a year.

Cut down on meat and dairy

Cutting out, or cutting down on, meat and dairy is another way consumers can shoulder some of the responsibility for taking action against climate change.

According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation, the meat and dairy industry accounts for roughly 14.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

That means reducing your intake of these foods is one of the biggest things you can do to help fight global warming.

Replace old appliances

A more expensive change, but swapping out your gas hob for a more planet-friendly electric induction hob and oven makes a difference.

If you can afford it consider replacing old appliances with new ones with an A+++ rating.

These changes will also save you money in the long term.

Replace your gas boiler

Another expensive change that can reap benefits in the long term.

The Government is already making moves to stamp out has boilers, and is encouraging people to replace them with heat pumps. You can get £5,000 towards a heat pump if you decide to make the switch.

Heat pumps extract heat from the environment – which they can do even at low outside temperatures. They produce around three times the energy they use, making them much more efficient than a gas boiler.

Adopt second-hand clothing

You can dramatically cut down your carbon footprint by scouring charity shops, rather than opting for fast fashion items that have often been made abroad and come with a lot of packaging.

If you want to buy new, there are plenty of eco-friendly clothing brands available, though they do tend to be more expensive.

Similarly, you can look for second-hand furniture and other items for your home rather than buying new.

Wash clothes at low temperatures

Avoid washing anything above 30ºC, and dry things on a line rather than in the tumble drier.

Higher temperatures mean more energy is needed to heat the water, and modern washing tabs are able to do their job at cooler temperatures.

Change your lightbulbs

Swapping all your energy-guzzling lightbulbs for environmentally friendly LED ones saves 100kg of CO2 a year – an easy change that makes a difference.

Cut use of aerosols

Aerosol products used in the home now emit more harmful volatile organic compound air pollution than all the vehicles in the UK, according to York University.

Switching to roll-out deodorants is an easy way to cut your carbon footprint.

Improve your insulation

Good wall insulation and double glazing will save 180kg of CO2 emissions a year in the form of reduced heating emissions.

These changes can also be expensive, but can save you money in the long term on top of helping the environment.

Switch to a renewable energy supplier

There are plenty of energy suppliers these days that only use renewable energy. Check to see if yours does, and if it does not it takes very little effort to switch.

Using electricity generated entirely from renewable, green sources such as solar, wind and hydro power would reduce the average household’s electricity carbon footprint by about 1.5 tons a year.

Install solar panels

Putting solar panels on the roof is not suitable for every property as the roof may not be able bear the weight, but the upfront cost – £4,800 on average – will eventually pay financial dividends (typically between 15 and 26 years).

Once installed, it will save between £95 and £230 a year on your electricity bills and will save the average household 1.3 to 1.6 tons of CO2 a year.

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