As almost every decision we make has an impact on carbon emissions we all need to make climate conscious choices throughout our daily lives. Even the slightest alterations to your lifestyle can help.
Here are some ideas about how you can reduce your environmental impact:
- Switch to renewable energy. This is the single most impactful way to reduce your carbon footprint. Many energy suppliers now offer green tariffs.
- Recycle and reduce waste. Buy fewer things and consume less. Recycle wherever possible and reuse things. Demand a low carbon option in everything you consume, from clothes to food to energy. Make a packed lunch to reduce single-use plastic packaging waste. Explore what you can recycle in Cambridgeshire on our Waste and Recycling pages.
- Change your habits in the home. Turn your thermostat down by 1ºC and layer up instead. Don't leave tech on standby - switch it off.
Many of the Cambridgeshire Districts are doing lots of work to support communities to reduce their carbon footprint. Explore your District's website to find out about more specific initiatives.
Calculating your carbon footprint
The average person had an annual carbon footprint of 5.3 tonnes CO2 in 2019.
If you’d like to see how much carbon your lifestyle emits, try filling out the survey on the Global Footprint Network website or downloading the World Wildlife Foundation's My Footprint app which also has lots of tips for reducing your carbon footprint.
You can use your carbon footprint to identify where in your life you can make the biggest carbon reductions.
Any organisation (or individual!) looking to work out a more accurate carbon footprint can find out more on our business and organisation climate pages.
Explore the links below for some ideas for how you can reduce your carbon footprint
Businesses, Organisations and Community Groups
There are a wide range of opportunities for organisations to reduce their carbon emissions. Not only can these reduce their environmental impact, but also provide a wide range of benefits, including:
- Financial savings - Identifying and quantifying CO2 emissions helps to identify excessive energy usage or other inefficiencies. Lowering GHG emissions typically goes hand in hand with increasing efficiency and cost-effectiveness in a company’s processes.
- Transparency & Brand Image - Customers, whether other companies, individuals or your community, care about who they work with. Sustainable conscience is on the rise with 54% of global consumers believing that ethical purchase decisions make a difference.
- Attracting new innovative of staff and volunteers who are increasingly looking to an organisations green credentials
- Sustainability is here to stay and is very likely to continue and grow in importance. In business terms: there is a growing market in sustainable consumer goods and services.
Grants, Funding and Incentives
There are many funding streams available to support different types of projects. Some are listed below.*
Remember to check out your local districts website for areas-specific grants.
- Support Cambridgeshire is a self-serve facility for any voluntary and community groups and Parish Councils wishing to search for funding opportunities for community projects.
- Cambridgeshire Community Foundation - Holds a variety of local funds which make grants of over £1m per annum to local voluntary groups and charities that are working in Cambridgeshire to improve the quality of life for local people, targeting those helping people who are marginalised or face disadvantage. Grants range from smaller grants of £250- £500, to larger programmes offering revenue grants of £3,000- £10,000. Capital projects may be supported up to £20,000 under the landfill tax scheme the Community Foundation manages.
- Rural Community Energy Fund is a BEIS‐funded scheme to give grants for the development costs of community owned renewable energy projects, such as solar farms and wind turbines - run by the 5 regional Local Energy Hubs. They provide grants for feasibility studies of up to £100k. For this area, the fund is administered by the Greater South East Energy Hub.
- The Woodland Trust provides free trees for schools and communities
- A £50 million Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme has been set up by the Government to encourage farmers and landowners to plant more trees and help to tackle climate change. The scheme allows the creation of new woodland in return for guaranteed payments from government every five or 10 years up until 2055/56 as those trees grow.
- The National Churches Trust aims to protect and support the built heritage of churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout the UK
- Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund is managed by ACRE on behalf of Defra with support from the ACRE Network and can be used for projects which demonstrate a positive impact on the environment.
- Thalia Community Fund provides funding for projects that maintain or improve a public park or general amenity, conserve a species or habitat or repair, maintain or restore a place of architectural importance or worship.
- Salix funding - funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides funding for energy efficiency projects across local authority estates. Over 100 energy efficiency technologies are supported, including boilers, combined heat and power, insulation, LED and lighting upgrades.
- Charity Bank is an ethical bank which lends to charities, social enterprises and other organisations where the loan is being used for a social purpose.
- Triodos Bank offer a choice of accounts and services for charities, including loans, savings, investments and a current account
- The Rural Community Buildings Loan fund provides loans of up to £20,000 for improvements to community buildings
*List correct as of February 2021