Reducing your Impact on the Climate

Human activity is one of the biggest causes of climate change. We all have a responsibility to reduce our individual carbon footprint if we are to protect the planet from further environmental catastrophes. Living a more sustainable lifestyle is not only easy, it is also cheaper.
Here are some of our top tips to reduce your impact on the climate.
Your Home
Did you know that approximately 50% of the money you spend on utility bills goes on heating or cooling your home? 
o    Insulation – Ensuring that your home is correctly insulated, draught and weatherproofed will not only make your home warmer and less noisy, it will save you energy which, in turn, will save you money. 
o    Programmable thermostats – These simple and cost effective devices ensure that you only use energy when and where you need it. People spend a lot of money to heat their homes but it wastes both energy and money to heat unused spaces.
o    Lighting – You can reduce your lighting costs and energy use immediately by changing the bulbs in your home to energy efficient light bulbs. There are two main types of energy efficient light bulbs available in the UK. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
o    Electronics – Always turn appliances off when not in use. If you are going away or do not plan to use an item for a while, unplug it to prevent energy loss from electricity usage on standby.
o    Save water – Small and simple steps, such as turning off your taps when brushing your teeth or shaving, can save vast amounts of water wastage and money.
o    Solar – If solar power is an option for you, then definitely consider it. It’s a fantastic renewable source of energy.
Your Car
o    Drive more efficiently – Research has shown that carbon emissions could be significantly reduced by making a few small and simple changes to the way that we drive:
o    Accelerate slowly and smoothly
o    Respect the speed limit
o    Maintain a steady consistent speed
o    Anticipate your stops and starts
o    Maintenance - Check your car is regularly inspected and serviced correctly in order to ensure that it runs efficiently.  Regularly check and replace your air, oil and fuel gauges.  
o    Tyres – Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated.
o    Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle – New vehicles have to adhere to strict air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions standards. A lot of new vehicles are even hybrid. Should you be looking to buy a new vehicle, choose one that is kinder on the environment.
Your Day-to-Day Travel
We can all find ways to travel more efficiently. Here are our top suggestions:
o    If possible and safe why not choose to walk or cycle?
o    If your journey is a little too long, use public transport.
o    If you have to use your car for a journey, think about these energy and money saving options:  
o    Car sharing
o    Combining your journey with another journey
o    If you have to use your car to get to work, find out if it is possible to work from home on certain days.
Your Air Travel
In this global age, air travel is often necessary. However there are many ways that we can look to reduce our impact on the climate.
o    Start by asking yourself IF the trip is necessary
o    Could you conduct your meeting via Skype or video conferencing?
o    Could you take a train instead?
o    If air travel is necessary
o    Select a nonstop flight – these are less harmful on the environment than flights that require a transit.
o    On arrival, select local travel options that are less harmful to the environment (coach, train, metro)
o    Select an accommodation provider that actively seeks to reduce their carbon outputs.
o    While you are away
o    Turn all your appliances off in your home and at your workplace. A waste of energy is also a waste of money.
Your Office
We spend a great deal of our lives inside an office, so it is essential that we look at ways of reducing our carbon emissions at our workplace.
o    Ensure power management is enabled so all computers shut down automatically at the end of the day.  
o    Do not print anything unless necessary. If you do need to print, then ensure that you print on both sides of paper. This also helps to save our depleting rainforest!
o    Turn off office lights and heating when the workplace is empty.
o    Ensure recycling bins are located in each room.

Your Everyday Life
According to CarbonFund  ‘only 40% of the average American’s carbon footprint is due to their direct energy use. The other 60% is indirect’. This means that the majority of our carbon emissions are created by consumption. We need to look at ways to reduce this level of wastage.
The Three Rs: Reduce.  Reuse.  Recycle.
It is simple and easy to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
o    Buy less food – don’t get tempted by supermarket offers as these are often a false economy. The vast majority of time, the extra FREE products ends up in the bin.
o    Don’t waste food. Approximately 25% of food gets thrown away. This rubbish ends up in landfill.
o    Buy locally to avoid carbon emissions caused by transportation. 
o    Eat less meat. 
o    Recycle: the vast majority of your rubbish can be recycled easily.
o    Stop junk mail by asking direct mailers to remove your name from their databases.
It is always better to look at ways of reducing our carbon emissions. However, it is impossible to completely eliminate them. In order to become carbon neutral, we must look to carbon offsetting schemes such as Batan. Batan is a digital carbon emissions offsetting system. The batan offset is comprised of a basket of allowances and offsets from the world’s main emissions trading and carbon credit schemes. The basket composition reflects the size of each scheme and is designed to represent a global emissions reduction unit.
By purchasing and owning batans, you are supporting all of the major emission reductions schemes around the world. To purchase batan, or to find other ways to earn batan, head to www.batan.io .

What is Carbon Offsetting and Why is It Necesssary?

In order to avoid a temperature rise of more than 2C, we must reduce our global carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. This is an ambitious target, but one that can be achieved through effective carbon reduction schemes, as well as carbon offsetting.

Although we must all endeavour to live more sustainably by reducing our carbon emissions, we cannot eliminate them entirely. Carbon offsetting enables business and individuals to compensate for their unavoidable carbon output by purchasing carbon credits. These carbon credits finance projects all around the world that work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the impact that human activity has on climate change. These projects include essential reforestation, renewable energy and conservation schemes which are predominantly based in developing countries.
Some organisations and individuals aim to offset their entire carbon footprint in order to become carbon neutral. Others offset the climate impact of a specific activity, such as taking a flight or owning a car. By calculating the amount of carbon emissions the activity generates, they are able to purchase the correct amount of carbon credits to enable a carbon offsetting project to invest in a specific carbon reduction scheme. This renders the original activity carbon neutral.
Batan is one such digital carbon emissions offsetting system that addresses our increasing concern with climate change. With Batan, individuals are able to take responsibility for their own lifestyles and offset their carbon emissions by acquiring carbon credits. Guided by an expert advisory board, each batan represents one tonne of emissions credits. The average UK person’s yearly carbon footprint is estimated at eight tonnes. Obtain eight Batans and an individual will have successfully offset their carbon footprint for a whole year.
The batan offset is comprised of a basket of allowances and offsets from the world’s main emissions trading and carbon credit schemes. The basket composition reflects the size of each scheme and is designed to represent a global emissions reduction unit. By purchasing and owning batans, you are supporting all of the major emission reductions schemes around the world. To purchase batan, or to find other ways to earn batan, head to www.batan.io .

What is meant by ‘sustainable lifestyle’?

What is meant by ‘sustainable lifestyle’?

The terms ‘sustainable lifestyle’ and ‘sustainable living’ are well-known, but what do they mean exactly?

We are what we eat, we are what we do, we all have a lifestyle. However, in recent years we have been encouraged to live more ‘sustainably’.

A sustainable lifestyle requires us to make good use of the planet’s natural resources, to reduce our consumption and the demand we put on the Earth.
The primary aim of a sustainable lifestyle is to reduce our carbon footprint, so that human beings have less impact on the environment and climate change.
Reducing your carbon footprint and living a sustainable lifestyle, begins by altering the way you live - using different methods of transportation (public transport as opposed to personal motorised vehicles), lowering your energy consumption (switching the lights off when leaving a room, changing your bulbs to energy efficient ones) and paying attention to your diet (consuming less red meat).

This more sustainable way of living can turn out to be a big commitment but one that reaps huge rewards. Not only does it reduce your carbon footprint, it also reduces your bills and leaves you with more money to enjoy yourself!
By choosing to lead a sustainable lifestyle, you make a conscious effort to use as few resources as possible and to have as little impact on the environment.
Causing less damage to the planet can only be a good thing for us, for our children and for future generations.

Changing our lifestyle requires us to rethink the way that we consume. It means redefining ourselves, finding new ways to live, to work, to travel, to eat, to shop.

A sustainable lifestyle encompasses everything from the food we eat, the way we interact with others to the methods of transportation we use to get around and about. A sustainable lifestyle is also a lifestyle that demands responsibility for our waste - to limit it and dispose of it in the proper manner.


Reducing, Reusing & Recycling

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (also referred to as the 3 Rs) guide us to protect the environment by disposing of our home and work waste responsibly.
·         Reduce:
Households in the Western world generate millions, if not billions, of tonnes of waste each year. The majority of this waste could be avoided by either reducing, reusing or recycling.
By simply reducing our food waste, we not only reduce the amount we send to landfill, we also save money (every year food worth £500 for a British household, $1500 for an American household and €500 for a French and German household is simply thrown away).
Why reduce waste?
When waste is sent to landfill, it decays and releases toxic gases that pollute the atmosphere, the land, and contribute to climate change. Some waste, for example certain types of plastic, never bio-degrade.
How can you reduce your food waste?
·         First and foremost buy less food; A lot of the food we buy ends up in the bin. It is easy to be tempted by the 3 for 2 or the buy one get one free supermarket offers, but most of the time this encourages waste.
·         Second; if you over buy, then use your freezer. Most food can be frozen - vegetables, meat, even bread!
·         Third; cook everything that needs to be cooked and then freeze it. You will just need a few minutes to reheat in a microwave and it’s always nice to come home after a long day and not have to cook.
·         Fourth; and this may only apply to me, I do most of my grocery shopping online as I find that I buy less (perhaps I’m not tempted by all the promotions that I see when roaming the supermarket aisles). Needless to say, I NEVER shop when I am hungry. This always leads to buying more food than I require.

These are the best four ways to avoid waste all together - if you don’t overbuy, then you will not waste.
Every product we consume has a carbon footprint. Products require energy to be created, transported and stored. In addition, each ingredient also has a carbon footprint based on how it is cropped and harvested.

·         ‘Reuse’ is another way to reduce the amount of waste we produce.
Reuse means finding another purpose for an item you have already used. Reuse also includes repairing items that have been broken, or have fallen apart for one reason or another. We can prolong the life of many items by simply fixing them. Reusing is similar to upcycling.

Items that can be reused or upcycled:
·         Keep jam jars and use them to store new items: pencils, creams, oils, sugar, coffee and more.
·         Use the back of envelopes to take down notes and write messages

When an item finally does reach the end of its life and needs to be disposed of, Recycling is the way to make sure that all the materials used to produce it are used again.

·         Recycling is a great deal easier than it was few years ago.
In the UK, councils distribute recycling bags and small containers for composting food waste that are then collected. Special recycling containers (to collect plastic, glass, clothes and metal cans can be found on many streets).
Everything we recycle is given a second chance to be used for something else we need.



Paris Climate Change Talks – A Small Step in the Right Direction

Paris Climate Change Talks – A Small Step in the Right Direction

As the Paris climate change conference draws nearer, could we be suffering from climate conference fatigue? The 2009 climate talks which took place in Copenhagen were, at the time, greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm and feted as having created significant global climate goals and initiatives. These objectives quickly proved unworkable and over-ambitious.

Sadly, many feel that this sense of disappointment has overshadowed the Paris climate change agenda and that the objectives being set do not go far enough.
If we are to tackle climate change, we must act now and act fast. Many leading economists claim that a quick way to solve the problem would be to increase the cost of carbon. By doing this, they argue that the world economy would simply adapt to this increase and find other, more renewable and cleaner, sources of energy.

The real problem lies in how to achieve a workable global environmental and climate policy that all countries find ‘fair’. This task is not made any easier by the fact that there is a very noticeable socio-economic divide: Poorer countries produce only a small share of emissions, yet suffer a great deal more from the adverse effects of climate change than their wealthier neighbours.

If Paris COP is to be a success, then we need to set true directives and goals. The sake of our planet and of our lives depends on it. 

How Does Your Carbon Footprint Contribute Towards Climate Change?

How Does Your Carbon Footprint Contribute Towards Climate Change?
Greenhouse gases are gases in the atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.  Although greenhouse gases do occur naturally, human activity has had a significant impact on greenhouse emissions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. An individual’s carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gases that each person is responsible for creating.

Global warming and fossil fuels

The vast majority (around 75%) of greenhouse gas emissions attributable to human activity comes from burning fossil fuels (primarily coal, oil and gas). We burn fossil fuels — non-renewable energy sources — when we travel, heat our homes and use electricity.
Scientists have made a direct link between greenhouse gas production and climate change. Greenhouse gases are responsible for the rising temperature of the Earth’s surface. This subsequent global warming has a profound effect on our ecosystem -  on our weather, our food production and biodiversity. For this reason, it is imperative that we understand the impact of our individual carbon footprint and that we take positive steps to reduce and even offset our individual emissions.

Climate change and recycling

Whilst it is always better to look at ways of reducing our energy consumption in the first place, it is just as important to recycle and reuse. Recycling and reusing reduces the amount of energy emitted in the process of creating new items and also decreases the amount that is sent to landfill.

Reducing your carbon footprint

There are various ways in which individuals can reduce their carbon footprint and their effect on climate change.
Firstly, individuals can opt to live more ‘sustainably’ – to reduce the amount of electricity and power they consume, to use public transportation, to eat less red meat, to waste less and recycle more.

Secondly, various companies such as Batan Ltd enable you to buy credits that offset your carbon usage. A batan, carbon credit, is an amount that is invested in worldwide environmental projects aimed at carbon-offsetting. http://s2stp.info/  http://batan.io/

Tips to reduce your carbon footprint in the kitchen

Tips to reduce your carbon footprint in the kitchen


Whether you are looking to save money or adopt a more sustainable lifestyle, ‘eco-friendly cooking’ is both easy and delicious.

Kate Heyhoe, founding editor of GlobalGourmet.com and NewGreenBasics.com, is something of a seasoned professional when it comes to learning how to cook greener. Her recently released bookCooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen has some helpful tips and advice for those wishing to live greener.

10 Easy eco-tips for a green kitchen 
According to Heyhoe,howyou cook is just as important aswhatyou cook if you want to achieve a more sustainable way of living.

1.      Eat more plant-based meals. 
2.      Cook with less fuel and water. 
3.      Let foods thaw in the refrigerator as opposed to using a microwave. 
4.      Use sustainable bamboo chopping boards or those made of recycled materials. 
5.      Use grains that require the least amount of cooking time (quinoa, couscous or bulgur wheat are all delicious alternatives). 
6.      Cook with noodles that soften with soaking (i.e. bean thread noodles and rice sticks). 
7.      Use propane or electric grills to reduce emissions and avoid the toxins released from charcoal and lighter fluid. 
8.      Cook with a convection oven (it cooks food faster and reduces greenhouse gases). 
9.      Choose lentils for a vegetarian-friendly source of protein because they cook quicker and don't need to be soaked in water overnight. 
10.  Cook with organic foods. 

Energy-saving and eco-friendly recipes 
Eco-friendly food does not have to lack taste or be expensive to cook. Even if you adopt a greener way of cooking or a meat-free diet just a few days of the week, you will be reducing your overall energy consumption. This in turn can help you to offset your carbon footprint. Small steps, such as these, can make a big global impact. 

http://s2stp.info/  
http://batan.io/

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