Everyone knows that by now, there are many ways to help the planet. That could be by making changes to the way we live, how we choose to commute or replacing items with more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Your government is probably encouraging you to walk and cycle instead of driving your car. Big brands are also striving for the change (or the green image) with actions such as changing plastic straws to paper alternatives – McDonalds, Starbucks led the action with many others quickly following.
You probably remember the phase of choosing bamboo toothbrushes over plastic ones – which is another small switch with a big impact.
You also might remember the controversial action supermarkets took to stop giving away plastic bags for free, which we now have to pay for because as we all know, if anything is free, we will take it – whether we need it or not. Those were massive actions and steps in a good direction, towards the positive change our planet needs us to make.
Although there are small changes that allow us to help the planet – and by small I mean those advertised on the tv, walking and cycling, switching your tv off etc; but have you thought about how your house is powered?
Powering your house causes more CO2 emissions than all the small changes above combined.
So where does the energy for your house come from?
Interested to know more? Then keep on reading earthling…
What is Renewable Energy?
Essentially, it’s using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, low-impact hydroelectric, and certain eligible biomass sources to power up your home. It means using the resources that are already there, provided by mother nature.
An Easy, Quick and Relatively Cheap Way to Cut Your Carbon Footprint
We all pay bills (ugh, I know) but hey, it’s the law of life and the way things go, we just gotta suck it up and do it – after all, we are getting electricity (which means WiFi and Netflix), water and gas. As you’re already paying for bills, wouldn’t it be great if you could do something good for the planet?
Substantially cutting your carbon footprint all without making drastic changes to your lifestyle or even possibly saving you more money all in one easy step!
Switching from one energy provider to another is hassle-free nowadays and it’s a great way of saving some cash too if you find a cheaper provider.
Just think about it – you want to go green and help the planet, what better way than to use green energy?
You’re already paying for bills anyway, you’ll just be paying a company that cares about the planet.
By switching to a renewable energy provider, you’re cutting your family’s carbon emissions (so not just your own!) and you are going green with very little effort or without making drastic changes to your lifestyle.
Unlike for example going plastic-free – that is a challenge we admit it, but with dedication, research and right tools, it’s doable. Although it takes time, we appreciate that it is a big change and is time-consuming in our busy lives.
Switching to a green energy provider is also a great option for those who can’t install solar panels because you might live in a flat or it’s something way out of your budget that you wouldn’t even consider (which is cool). Switching to a green energy provider is kinda like having solar panels – the energy running through your home could come from the sun, depending on your provider.
How Much Gas and Electricity Does an Average House Use?
The reason why it’s important to know how your house is powered, is because of the numbers and our consumption. The average home in the UK produces 3.1 tonnes of CO2 on average every year through electricity and gas.
Of course the number might be higher or smaller depending on the size of your home, for example our flat is powered only by electricity so this number would be lower for us as electricity has smaller CO2 emissions impact than gas.
That’s just your carbon footprint from your home.
What about when you’re out and about? Do you fly often? Do you drive often? There are many questions we could ask…
According to WHO, the global average carbon footprint per person, is 4 tonnes of CO2. This takes into account all countries – each country’s average energy use varies drastically. For example, an average CO2 emission for an American citizen is 20 tonnes per year, which is much higher than any other country.
Why Do We Need to Think About Our Energy Use?
We’ve all been taught about carbon footprint at school. We all know it’s bad because of the way we choose to live in the 21st century, and we all know we must play our part to cut it down as much as possible. In fact, WHO want all of the planet citizens to reduce their carbon emissions, to just 2 tonnes per year.
That’s doable, right?
We wanted to see how far off we were from that target and see whether we need to take further steps to live more sustainably.
To measure our carbon emissions per year, we used Bulb’s calculator which considers the amount of miles you drive, how many times you get on the plane and jet off on holiday, how often you take public transport and even whether you eat meat and how often.
It turns out, Ben’s carbon footprint is 5.6 tonnes and mine was merely 3.2 tonnes – which means we are both lower than a UK’s average of 13 tonnes of CO2. To see what our results look like, you can see from the pictures below:
As you can see, we still have a lot of work to do, despite eating plant-based and not driving our car that much, there is still room for us to cut our CO2 down.
This means more action, bring it on!
It’s real. Climate change is so real and we must all take action as Greta Thunberg would tell you. We are running out of time, our planet is burning up and we must do everything in our power to fix that.
With the resources available these days, you only have to google “How to cut down your carbon footprint” and billions of results pop up, telling you exactly what to do to help the planet. Just something as easy switching your energy provider can make a huge difference and it might not necessarily be one of the top recommendations.
It also makes us wonder, whether it’s possible to go completely carbon neutral. Zero carbon emissions.
To go fully carbon neutral, we would have to live completely natural – no gas, electricity, fossil fuels, light etc. Possibly in a tent and off the lands’ fruits. That just isn’t feasible in this society.
Many of us need access to electricity, fuel for our car, our phone to make important phone calls, your oven to cook or your kettle to make those morning coffees or afternoon teas.
It would be extremely hard to live carbon emissions-free, but we know there are communities out there that live off the land and in a natural way.
It comes down to using mother nature’s resources as much as possible. If you can grow your own veg, install solar panels, work from home reducing your commute/travelling trips, you’d be doing a lot to help make that happen. The only problem is that for some people if not most, this just isn’t feasible.
We all need jobs and most of us will need to drive or take public transport to get there. If you live in a flat, you can forget about growing your own veg or installing solar panels.
You can order veggie boxes from Riverford for example to support a local business and eat locally sourced and organic produce. We talk about how veggie subscription boxes reduce your carbon emissions in this article here.
Quickest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Some of the most effective ways (+ most popular ways) to cut your carbon emissions, in no particular order are:
- Eat less meat or go fully plant-based
- Drive less
- Waste less – only buy what you need and reuse what you can, for example glass jars are great containers once you finish your jam! Always use your leftover food e.g. rice – try our leftover curried rice recipe for a quick lunch solution
- Switch off plugs that aren’t in use
- Switch to energy efficient/led light bulbs
- Recycle as much as possible
- Buy second-hand clothing
- Always carry your own shopping bag
- Always carry your stainless steel water bottle
- Sign climate change petitions
While reading this list, you were probably aware of most if not all of then. This is just a gentle reminder in case you overlooked any of those.
The one that isn’t on the list and one we’ve been talking about in this blog post, is of course switching to a renewable/green energy provider.
As soon as we learnt that we can reduce our carbon emissions by simply switching to a green energy provider, we were all for it. As we don’t buy meat, this would further reduce our CO2, and it was a simple and quick solution.
When we first switched (which took about 3 minutes) it felt like we didn’t really do anything, apart from paying a different provider for our bills.
Honestly? It makes us feel less guilty for using the electricity. If we leave the TV on by mistake without watching it (it happens to the best of us no matter how hard we try to be green, right?), as soon as we find that damn remote and we switch it off, we don’t feel as guilty as we used to, being with our previous energy provider.
We are not saying of course that it’s safe to leave all your utilities switched on because it’s powered by renewable energy sources, but we are emphasising that any energy use, any forgotten light switch or an oven turned on, is having less effect on our environment and that’s a positive thing to be happy about.
If you can minimise your energy use, that’s even better.
Our point is, it’s great to have the knowledge that our energy use and lifestyle is not contributing negatively to the environment.
Bulb are currently supplying energy in the UK, Spain, France and Texas. Their energy comes from various renewable energy sites across the UK and include solar panels, wind farms and other renewable energy generators. For example, they use power from one of Scotland’s family farms where they use local vegetable cuttings, beet, rye and farm waste to create biomethane, which is put directly into the grid. How cool is that?!
Bulb electricity comes from wind, solar and hydro generators, while their gas is 100% carbon neutral. If that wasn’t a good enough reason to give them your money, they also offset their emissions from gas by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world.
With Bulb, on average, you can cut your carbon emissions by 3.4 tonnes – that’s roughly the same weight of an orca whale… Instead of letting 1,689 trees to absorb those 3.4 tonnes of CO2, you can do your part for the planet and switch to Bulb – click here using our affiliate link.
If you’re really dedicated to cutting down your carbon and reducing your energy consumption, Bulb’s guide is rather useful! It’s full of tips to further save on energy (that could mean lower bills, so it might be worth a read if you’re pinching those pennies!).
For convenience and quick access, you can download and keep track of your bills via the Bulb app which is pretty neat.
In Our Humble Conclusion
Why Change Your Energy Provider?
With very little hassle and little effort, you could be reducing your carbon emissions drastically. It’s so simple, it will take you 7 minutes (or less) to change and it will have a massive impact on your carbon emissions footprint.
Just think, if everyone in the UK and the world switched their energy provider, we would all be doing the planet a world of good. Although this wouldn’t save ALL of our problems, it would be a quick and easy step towards the right direction.
We would be very grateful if you were willing to please share the love and our blog ?