Making greener choices

Climate change can't be solved by one action alone. But together, we can make small changes to the way we live that can make a big difference. This includes the products we buy, how we power our homes, and the methods we choose for travel. 

Below we've included some suggestions on how you can make greener choices in your everyday life. Even small contributions can lead to big change. 

At home

There are lots of choices you can make to get your home to produce less waste, and run more energy efficiently.  

Small choices

  • switch to a green energy provider
  • switch to energy efficient appliances and light bulbs
  • turn off lights and plug sockets when not in use
  • recycle as much as you can
  • compost your food waste you do make and use it to grow your own food
  • reduce your food waste by planning for meals and buying only what you need
  • switch out single use plastic items for things that last, or are made of sustainable materials, such as bamboo, cloth, metal, or wax.
  • purchase carefully - if you have to buy, try to buy used or second hand, or ask if you really need it
  • visit a refill or reuse store  
  • clothing and fashion items:
    • buy vintage or second-hand clothes
    • try to buy natural over synthetic materials - clothing fibers can get into the water supply through washing and contribute to pollution
    • donate or reuse old clothes for projects
    • if you need to buy new, look for companies with fairtrade or sustainable practices and certifications

Big choices

  • insulate your home 
  • buy solar panels to power your home 
  • buy or lease an electric car 
  • renovate with sustainable materials, such as cork, wool, paper, and lime

In the garden

  • avoid excessive trimming and pruning and let grass and hedges grow
  • don't use herbicides, pesticides, or weed killer
  • encourage wildlife with bug hotels, birdfeeders, and ponds
  • plant more flowers for bees and other pollinators

Businesses

Leadership

  • make a plan for energy management - draft policy and guidelines so that everyone knows your targets and initiatives
  • set an example - use your position to encourage change in other partner or community businesses but setting up networks, conferences, or groups
  • develop work from home policies and options to reduce employee travel into the office
  • invest in the development of green technology and innovations

In the office

  • set up workplace recycling areas and water bottle fill stations
  • swap out plastic catering supplies for renewable or compostable materials
  • repair and reuse office furniture, hardware, or machinery instead of buying new, or convert to new made of sustainable materials or with energy efficiency
  • switch from paper usage to cloud computing or a remote data management system 
  • use electric vehicles for your fleet, or install GPS to track fuel usage and distance, so you can make efficiency changes

Community and travel

  • set a mile rule - commit to walking or cycling to anything within a certain radius of your home
  • if you have to go further - use a ride share or public transport
  • keep your car in good shape and use it wisely
    • get it serviced regularly and keep the tires topped up
    • use fuel efficiency measures - cruise control on long trips, and using the gas and brakes reasonably
  • shop locally or get food delivery from local businesses
  • fly less - see if you can get somewhere by alternative means - such as car, train, or boat - or choose a staycation

Planning and buildings

To find out more information about how you can introduce green energy measures into building and planning, see our climate change page in the Planning section. 

Volunteer or join a community group

There are a number of community groups in North Somerset which work together to reduce carbon emissions and promote green change in their local area.

Resources

To find out more about your carbon footprint, and things you can do to shrink it, we suggest the following websites and resources.