The Best Ways to Cut Your Footprint Take a stand against climate change Between Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion, the climate crisis has rarely left the headlines recently and is now a bigger concern to Britons than the economy, crime and immigration. As an individual, the scale of the challenge can seem overwhelming. Change needs to be driven by bold policy both at a national and international level. But that change is also driven by individual choice, by our demands both politically and as consumers. On a day to day basis, our choices can and do make a difference. This is because our actions don’t occur in isolation. Our choices influence others, creating social pressures and ripple effects. So the big question; ‘what can I do?’ Or the better question, ‘what is really going to make a difference?’ At RYH, we’re all about maximising the impact of our positive actions. So, we were excited when we spotted this report that lays out the biggest changes that we, as individuals, can make in our day to day choices. We’ve broken it down for you in a handy mini guide here. 1) Switch to an Electric Car Can I be electric too? Why, of course. The distance that electric vehicles (EVs) can go on a single charge has increased significantly in the past few years, while costs and charge times have fallen. They have become a viable and affordable option for many, in particular for those with shorter commutes and those based in towns. It does help to have off street parking to charge overnight but increasingly it’s possible to charge when you’re out and about as charge points, especially high-speed ones, become more ubiquitous. Electric is, without a doubt, the future. Why not be ahead of the curve? Here’s a handy guide to EVs with all you need to know. If a full electric car isn’t right for you, you could consider a more fuel-efficient model. Or best of all, cut out the car altogether with a bike, trains or other public transport. 2) Fly Less No surprise here but planes are notorious gas guzzlers and the longer the flight, the thirstier they are. For trips to Europe, driving the equivalent distance in a car always leaves less of a footprint. Trains are even better. Of course, sometimes flights are unavoidable. But it’s worth keeping in mind next time you’re flicking through the travel brochure. 3) Buy Green Energy This one is more straightforward. Moving to a provider that prioritises renewables and other greener energy can be as simple as an email or a phone call. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg either, with many offering rates on a par with the most fossily of tariffs. The UK is shifting steadily towards renewables, driven by consumer demand. You can be part of this change. Some providers to consider: BulbGreen Energy NetworkGreen Energy UK 4) Eat Less Meat Several studies, including this one from 2018, have shown that cutting down on your meat consumption can have a big impact on your carbon footprint. People have already sat up and paid attention. Nearly 1/3 of Britons have cut down their meat consumption or stopped altogether, and that figure is only increasing. This doesn’t mean going all out veggie or vegan either. Flexitarianism has massively grown in popularity with nearly a fifth of the UK committed to cutting back while still enjoying the odd meaty treat. Some veg-based inspiration: (if you're buying on Amazon Smile, you'll select RYH as your charity of choice naturally!) The Modern Cook’s Year by Anna JonesMuch More Veg by Hugh Fearnley-WhittingstallPlenty by Yottam Ottolenghi 5) One Fewer Child Ok, we know this one is super tricky. Not everyone has choice when it comes to family planning and it’s a complicated issue. Having said that, in terms of footprint, having one less child will have by far and away the most impact. In fact, this should really be number one, so we wouldn’t be doing our job properly if we left it out.