I'm happy to spend a bit more time or money
- Team up and get buy-in
Check out whether there is already a local climate action group in your area/community. If not, why not set one up?
- Use existing events/initiatives
Existing national awareness days like ‘cycle to work day’ are a great opportunity to try out new ideas with others and get more support.
- Appliances and IT
Ensure new purchases are energy efficient models. All appliances have an energy label, ranked A-G, with A being the most efficient. Some appliances may use an older scale where A+++ is the most efficient.
Unless you have to, try to repair old appliances before replacing them, as manufacturing new products uses energy. This prevents waste and emissions. New ‘Right to Repair’ rules in the UK should make this easier and more affordable to do, than it has been for some time.
- Encourage your landlord to improve your building
Landlords are bound by legal requirements to ensure that their rental properties meet certain Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) to rent them out.
At the moment this is an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E or better. If you rent a property that doesn’t meet these standards, you can report it by completing a Housing Standards Enquiry form.
The government is also considering the need for this to improve to a ‘C’ rating by 2030.
There may be grants available to landlords to help with improvements to rental properties, whether private or social landlords.
- Public transport
Avoiding additional journeys by using public transport that is running anyway is a vital way to cut emissions, and create demand for additional provision.
Use public transport more often where possible, particularly for travelling into the town centre. Although there is an associated cost, this could well be offset by avoiding parking charges.
Basingstoke train station is well connected to other local destinations, locally, regionally and nationally. Basingstoke also has coach services, such as National Express, to destinations further afield.
- Fly less
Flying emits the most CO2 per mile travelled and emissions from aircraft are particularly damaging due to the fact they are emitted at altitude.
Zero emission air travel may become a reality in the future but at the moment this is still some time away from being readily available. Therefore the only current solution is to avoid flying.
This may be hard for some but avoiding unnecessary air travel will make a huge difference in keeping your carbon footprint low.
For holidays, there are still a huge range of destinations in the UK or further afield that are reachable by train or ferry. In fact, there are now travel agencies dedicated to flight-free holidays, such as Byway. In Europe there is also a resurgence in sleeper trains, some of them luxury, which offer an alternative.
For those that have to fly for work, this may be harder.However video-conferencing has vastly reduced the need for business travel, avoiding unnecessary travel time to conduct business.
Lifestyle, consumption and waste
Do your best to follow the waste hierarchy - Reduce, reuse, recycle.
As set out above, the best action from a carbon and environmental point of view is to use/consume/buy less and even avoid buying where possible.
Next in line is reusing/repairing items. This could be anything from coffee cups and packaging, to nappies!
Recycling is a positive step, but won’t reduce your impact or emissions as much as the steps above. Find out what you can put in your recycling bin.
Plastics tend to be one of the most challenging things for us to avoid in our society but there are simple swaps you can make to reduce using plastics, such as choosing products without unnecessary packaging or buying a reusable water bottle and refilling it for free at one of the many local locations. Find out where you refill for free.
You can also find out where local ‘refill’/zero waste shops are in the borough on the Zero Waste Network.
Plastics aren’t entirely bad – they are light, reducing emissions from transport and keep foods fresh for longer, preventing food waste
The natural environment
- Tree-planting (or other plants), where appropriate
When plants and trees grow they absorb carbon and lock this up within their ‘biomass’ – their roots, trunks, stems etc.
So why not plant something low-maintenance and appropriate in your garden? Fruit trees can be a nice option and you get to enjoy their produce too!
It is important that you choose the right tree for the right place. The Woodland Trust have lots of advice on planting and maintaining trees.
Additionally, local or national organisations may be looking to arrange tree-planting days that you could volunteer for.
If you don’t have a garden yourself, you could consider window boxes or even small herb plants in pots. These all help and herbs are great to reduce your shopping list too.
If you have space composting is a great way to use up your unavoidable food and garden waste, such as peelings and cuttings.
Hampshire County Council has a wealth of information on composting, including on alternatives if you don’t have lots of space.
If you buy compost, ensure it is peat-free. Peat is a hugely important habitat for storing carbon, among other things, so it’s vital we protect it.
- Low maintenance and low impact planting
You may wish to consider low-maintenance vegetation options for the garden. Not only will this reduce the need for maintenance, which will have an associated carbon footprint, but it may also be more resilient to future climate change, such as reduced watering needs.
Reducing your use of mains water can also help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Collecting rain water in butts or a rain water harvesting system can reduce your need for the tap or hosepipe and is also better for plants due to the absence of chemicals.
We'd love to hear from you
Do you have any other ideas that are currently missing from our toolkits? Or do you have any suggestions on how to make our toolkits easier to use? Perhaps you have some ideas on tackling climate change?
If so, get in touch using the details below:
Climate Change team
If you have an enquiry about climate change or sustainability, send a message to the Climate Change Team