Whether you drive or cycle to work, live off takeaways or support your local farmers’ market, compost your waste or ignore recycling, these lifestyle choices will influence the size of your individual footprint.
By knowing the size of your footprint, you can make informed choices about what you can do to reduce it. So before reading further, spend five minutes calculating your own footprint through the footprint calculator.
You can contribute to reducing Scotland’s footprint in some of the following ways:
Buying locally-grown produce or even growing your own vegetables will make your footprint smaller. Choosing food produced in Scotland or the UK rather than imported produce will also decrease your footprint.
Eating more fruit and vegetables and less meat could reduce your food footprint by up to 40%. Purchasing all your produce from local producers could reduce your footprint by about 4%.
Keeping the central heating in your home on a high temperature every day will influence the size of your footprint. Leaving lights and appliances on standby mode will also increase your footprint. Small steps such as using energy-saving light bulbs or turning the lights off when you leave a room will make a difference.
Turning down your thermostat by only 1 degree C could reduce your footprint by about 10%.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from transport are the fastest growing contributor to climate change. Today 58 per cent of our car trips are under five miles and 25 per cent are less than two miles. (Source: National Travel Survey) Substituting a short car journey with walking or a cycle ride will reduce your footprint. Cutting back on air travel will also have a huge impact, because aircraft consume large amounts of fossil fuels and create greenhouse gases.
Choosing one long-haul flight less per year could reduce your footprint by 24%. Walking or cycling for short journeys could reduce your footprint by about 4%.
You can save energy at work by turning off monitors, lights, printers & copiers after hours. Printing documents double-sided and low quality saves on paper and printer cartidges. Take a mug to the coffee shop or trolley instead of using disposable cups.