5 Small Steps To Lower Your Carbon Footprint 

When it comes to fighting the good fight against climate change, we can all do our bit. The good news is that you don’t need to hug any trees to make a start (I mean, you can if you want to…). From eco-friendly tote bags to reusable bottles, when it comes to going green, it really is the small things that make the biggest difference. So, we’ve compiled a list of little steps you can take to do your bit – but first, we must understand what a carbon footprint actually is and why it’s so important to reduce it.

What is a carbon footprint?

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that are released into the Earth’s atmosphere as a result of your day-to-day actions. This includes lots of things, such as how you choose to travel, what food you eat and whether you recycle or not. With this in mind, it’s clear that reducing greenhouse gas emissions starts at home.

How do you calculate your carbon footprint?

Calculating your carbon footprint is super easy – there are tonnes of free online resources that do the maths so you don’t have to. Our favourite digital calculator is this one because it’s super user-friendly and easy to navigate. Whether you score highly or not, it’s worth considering the simple changes you can make to reduce your footprint and lend the planet a helping hand.

Why you need to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions

Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, trap heat inside the atmosphere – if we add too many of these gases to the atmosphere, scientists warn that the results will be catastrophic, i.e., global warming and climate change. Human activity helps decrease or increase those risks, which is why it’s so important for us be more mindful when it comes to sustainable, eco-friendly living. A lot of the power is in our hands!

5 ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Now that we know the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, how do we go about it? Well, the good news is you don’t have to activate huge changes to begin with. Tiny tweaks here and there lead to big results. So, here are our top five small steps that you can take to lower your greenhouse gas emissions.  

Say no to fast fashion


I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point – placing a large order from a cheap fast fashion outlet and having it delivered to your door the very next day. So, what’s the problem? Well, after trying on the outfits and realising they’re not quite right, it’s pretty common for us to send the items back without a second thought. This isn’t ideal for the environment – just think of the number of emissions caused by that transportation alone. Besides, cheap and low-quality clothing creates a culture of disposability, leading to 300,000 tonnes of clothes being shipped off to the landfill each year in the UK.


There are many ways to opt out of fast fashion, with buying second hand being the most accessible alternative. Using your local charity shop or sites like eBay and Depop helps extend the lifespan of a piece of clothing and lowers your carbon footprint as a result. Another option is to simply buy less – make a mindful purchase that won’t need replacing or discarding after a few wears. Better yet, doing some research and buying clothes made from natural materials, like linen, means you’ll be investing in long-lasting products that can be easily repaired. Remember, it’s all about quality over quantity.

Get on your bike & ride!


It’s no secret that driving a petrol or diesel car is damaging to the environment. They release CO2 into the atmosphere, contribute to air pollution and damage ecosystems through the extraction of petrol products. In an era of electric cars and Boris bikes, it certainly seems that the world is constantly seeking low carbon alternatives.


The truth is that, for many of us, the thought of abandoning our beloved vehicle is unthinkable, especially if your Monday to Friday consists of long commutes. However, when it comes to making a small change, why not opt for a good old-fashioned bicycle? Even if you just use the bike to nip to the shops – swapping your car for short distance trips does a world of good for your health, planet and your pocket.

Try meat-free Mondays


In 2018, scientists found that dodging meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Here’s how:

  • Deforestation: trees destroyed and burnt for cattle farming.
  • Biodiversity loss: with the loss of their natural environments, many species are under threat of extinction.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions: caused by fertiliser use, destruction of forests and farming.


We understand that completely ditching meat might be frightening to some, which is why we’d suggest implementing a meat-free Monday into your meal plan. There are plenty of tasty vegetarian/vegan alternatives in supermarkets and trying them out can be fun for the whole family. Thousands of free recipes online mean you can get experimental with your cooking, from veggie chilli con carne to a spicy chickpea curry. Who knows? You might just love it and start opting for meat-free Tuesdays, meat-free Wednesdays and so on…

Ditch the single-use plastic


Single-use plastic is anything from plastic shopping bags to straws – basically, anything plastic that you throw away after use. If you saw David Attenborough’s devastating Blue Planet II, you’ll know exactly why this material is a big no-no for the environment. Globally, we produce 300 million tons of plastic every year and 91% of it isn’t recycled. Instead, it ends up in landfills or the ocean, which isn’t ideal considering that it doesn’t break down properly. Microplastics are incredibly dangerous to wildlife, causing a myriad of health problems and even death. Equally worrying, these microplastics can contaminate water sources, meaning that it’s not just animals facing the threat of plastic pollution.  


It’s super simple – start by swapping plastic bags for a reusable one. On your next shopping trip, save 10p and help the planet by stuffing a couple of canvas totes in your backpack – how easy is that? Great for saving pennies whilst dodging plastic. Buy a funky metal reusable straw, reduce how many takeaways you order (containers are often made of single-use plastic unfortunately!) and replace your plastic Tupperware with sturdy glass alternatives. These straightforward swaps work wonders for the planet and might even save you some money as a result. 

Sell your old stuff online


Science has proved that recycling offers a myriad of benefits, including saving trees, creating less new plastic and conserving natural resources. Yep, there really is a lot to be said for this simple practice. Other than just using your recycling bin, why not sell your belongings online? This way, you’ll be helping Mother Nature whilst making some quick cash – win-win!

To learn more about the advantages of recycling, read our latest article here.


Whether you have old clothes, battered instruments or scratched furniture, finding an online trade-in service that swaps goods for cash has never been easier. When it comes to selling your tech, books, DVDs and CDs (remember those?), you can’t go wrong with Zapper. First, dust off your old clutter and hop onto Zapper to get an instant valuation on your goods. After that, it’s just a matter of sending us your second-hand stuff – once we’ve received it, the money will be in your account in no time. It’s also worth noting that Zapper has a recycling feature that can be switched on or off. If you switch it on, Zapper guarantees that your old stuff won’t be sent to the landfill, for extra peace of mind.

Try eco-friendly trading with Zapper

There you have it. Why not make one of these small steps today and start trading with Zapper? Head over to our homepage now to get a quote in a matter of seconds. The process is speedy and completely hassle-free, plus you’ll be doing the environment a big favour. Besides, Zapper cares about the planet which is why we’ll recycle your old stuff if we can’t flog it. So, for eco-conscious trading you can rely on, download the app or visit our homepage now.

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