Ideas for a greener you in 2022

Although the Council has committed to making its own operations carbon neutral by 2030, less than 1% of the borough’s emissions are within its direct control. 

Achieving a carbon neutral Reigate & Banstead by 2050 will only be possible if we all make changes to reduce our contribution to climate change.

Here are some ideas for changes you could make – maybe as a New Year’s resolution for the planet!

We’ve set out these suggestions so you can see how much of an impact each change might make on reducing your carbon footprint and we've highlighted some that are easy to do for a quick win or good for saving you money without costing a lot upfront. But remember:

  • It’s ok to start with some quick wins to get into good habits before taking up some more challenging changes.
  • Lots of people making lots of small, lower impact changes will all add up.
  • Many changes, such as taking a short shower rather than a bath, could see you saving money immediately.
  • Some high impact changes, such as insulating your home, do require financial investment. Keep an eye on the My Sustainable Home webpages for details of funding schemes you may be eligible for.

Ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Notes: *easy to do for a quick win; £good for saving you money without large upfront costs 

 

LOW IMPACT

MEDIUM IMPACT

HIGH IMPACT

Energy in the home

Draught proof your home, including blocking up any open chimneys (considering ventilation)

Change to LED light bulbs

Don't overfill the kettle  - boil only the water you need

Turn the thermostat down by 1°C and you could reduce the energy you use for heating by 10%

Get solar PV or solar thermal panels for your roof

Use smart heating controls

Take a shower instead of a bath and you could save up to £250 annually

Switch to a renewable energy tariff*

Install roof and wall insulation and you could save £350 each year

Double glaze your windows and doors

Replace your gas boiler with a heat pump (after you've insulated your home)

Transport

Practise eco driving  - for example driving at 50 mph uses less fuel than 70 mph

Car share

Walk or cycle more, particularly for short, local journeys

Switch from driving to taking public transport more often

Switch to an electric car

Fly less and fly economy class - try staycations for leisure and video conferencing for business£

Food

Buy locally grown and seasonal food*

Cook at home more instead of getting takeaways*£

Look for reduced or no packaging options when you shop*

Cut down on dairy

Eat all the food you buy so you waste less

A plant-based diet is best, but try cutting down on red meat - producing 1kg of beef emits up to 50 times more greenhouse gases than 1kg of peas

Outdoors

Avoid artificial fertilisers which have a high carbon footprint*

Keep food waste out of landfill to reduce methane – turn it into compost (or recycle as food waste) instead

Plant a tree in your garden – each tree can soak up 1 tonne C02 in its lifetime

Ditch the petrol mower - use an electric one or let your grass grow a bit to help wildlife

Stop buying peat-based compost – buy peat free or use your own*

Join or volunteer with a nature conservation organisation like Surrey Wildlife Trust, Tree Wardens Network or one of our local community tree planting groups

 

Go to the Environmental sustainability homepage for more information about what the Council is doing and the changes we can all make.