Climate change

What individuals can do

Our efforts as individuals to tackle climate change are every bit as important as political action for sustainability on the national and international stage.

We can each take responsibility for doing what we can to rethink our day-to-day behaviour, choices and purchasing descisions.

These tools can help you better understand the environmental impact of your day-to-day lifestyle and where you can make positive changes:

  • Use the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) calculator to measure and shrink your carbon footprint
  • Giki Zero is an online step by step guide to a lighter footprint on the planet. It will help you discover your footprint, find steps to reduce it and celebrate your successes.

Reduce your energy use and bills

The UK’s 30 million homes account for more than 21 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, with around three-quarters of this coming from our heating systems. Decarbonising domestic heating and improving the energy efficiency of homes is a major part of reaching net zero.

Get free and impartial energy saving advice from the national Government endorsed Simple Energy Advice service on 0800 444202 (freephone helpline). The Energy Savings Trust also provides information and resources to help make your home more energy efficient, reduce your carbon emissions and lower your energy bills.

Warm and Safe Wiltshire offers all residents across Swindon free and impartial energy saving advice, especially those who may be struggling with their fuel bills or keeping their homes warm. Get in touch via their freephone helpline on 0800 038 5722..

There’s often a few very easy things you can do to cut your energy use straight away, and without spending lots of money.

Here are some further energy saving resources:

Switch to a green energy tariff

Switching energy supply to a green tariff is a great way to invest in renewable energy sources and could save you money on your bills too. 

  • What is green energy? The five need-to-knows from MoneySavingExpert, which is the UK's biggest consumer website.

Leave the car at home

Active travel is all about getting you moving from A to B in ways that don’t use fossil fuels. Active travel not only improves your health and wellbeing, but helps reduce your carbon footprint and can save you money:

Invest your money responsibly

Find out where your money goes. Voice your concerns about responsible investment by writing to your bank or pension provider, and ask if you can opt out of funds investing in fossil fuels. There are also a number of ‘ethical banks’ you can investigate: 

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Reducing what you waste is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. Meanwhile many of the things we throw away haven’t always reached the end of their useful life. Sometimes items you don’t want any more can still be used by someone else.

More than 30 per cent of our clothing goes to landfill, with nearly half of us putting some clothing in the bin. All of our clothing can either be reused or recycled.

Recycling saves energy and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of CO2 a year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road.

Think about your diet and the food you buy

What we eat, and how that food is produced, affects our health and the environment. Around 26 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the agriculture sector – if it were a country, it would be the second largest emitter in the world.

If as a population we were to reduce the amount of meat we currently eat on average, we could collectively help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve our health at the same time.

  • Buying local and seasonal food supports your local economy and lowers the carbon emitted to get that food on your table
  • The NHS Eatwell Guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to achieve a healthy, balanced diet
  • Find leftover food recipes and tips for reducing the amount of food your household wastes via Love Food Hate Waste
  • Learn more about plant-based diets through BBC Food

More information, tools and resources

Upcoming events to get involved in

Join us for our free Electric Vehicle Discovery days in Swindon. Test ride a range of new and used electric vehicles and ask our experts any electric vehicle questions you might have.

The events take place on the following dates:

  • Friday, 8 October from 1.00pm to 6.00pm at the Orbital Shopping Park
  • Saturday, 23 October from 10.00am to 3.00pm at Lydiard Park

Get inspired and inspire others

Have you got any climate change success stories you want to share with your community to help inspire and motivate others?

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch at: communications@swindon.gov.uk.

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