What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint?

A carpet of bluebells (Endymion nonscriptus) in beech (Fagus sylvatica) woodland, Micheldever Woods, Hampshire, England, UK - Guy Edwardes/2020VISION

Every time we take a flight, we can offset the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) that the flight creates but have you ever thought about offsetting your household’s carbon footprint?

Your household 

Hopefully you have already changed your household’s energy supplier to one which comes from 100% renewable sources. This will have drastically reduced your carbon footprint, in one fell swoop. But of course, there are so many activities which we can’t avoid doing, which still cause us to produce far more carbon than the world can handle.  

I work for the wildlife conservation charity, Kent Wildlife Trust, but I have no choice but to drive to work. I live in a village, so we have to drive to the children’s activities and to the shops. I may buy a lot of second-hand clothes, but my kids are growing so fast, I sometimes just have to buy them new clothes! The food we eat, our toiletries, fridge freezers, the water we drink, all cost carbon.  

There are a number of carbon calculators available on the internet so do have a look to get an idea. Excitingly, Kent Wildlife Trust is well placed as part of its push towards finding natural solutions to the climate and nature emergency to offer legitimate options for people looking to offset their carbon, so do keep an eye on our website in the next month. 

So what is a natural solution? 

A natural solution in the future will be supporting an organisation like Kent Wildlife Trust, according to how much carbon you’ve emitted from say your household energy, car use or a flight you’ve taken. We would take this money and invest it into a project which will reduce or keep captured the amount of CO2e which is released into the atmosphere.  

There are also many global projects including providing households in developing countries with fuel-efficient wood-burning stoves to replace their open fires, replanting mangrove forests and supporting community windfarms, but our idea is to keep this much closer to home and contribute directly to the climate and nature crisis happening on our doorstep. 

Supporting your local wildlife charity 

Kent Wildlife Trust’s carbon off-setting scheme will allow businesses and individuals to contribute directly to the protection and restoration of habitats which act as carbon stores. These include woodlands, fenlands and intertidal habitats such as saltmarsh, providing the opportunity to not only off-set carbon, but to realise your company's corporate social responsibility but also support biodiversity across the county 

Through this approach you as an individual or the business you work for can invest in an organisation which directly battles climate change and loss of biodiversity; those which lobby governments to make the really big changes, rewild degraded wild spaces,  regenerate peat bogs or manage the wildlife reserves which protect so much of the –resilience of our habitats and species. This approach, taking local actions will have a global impact, provide an ethical, transparent alternative to anonymous carbon offsetting calculators, providing traceable impacts on sites within Kent, sites which your family, friends, colleagues and customers can visit and enjoy.  

Kent Wildlife Trust works tirelessly to protect and enhance the amazing habitats in our local area. Kent Wildlife Trust is working to create a Wilder Kent as part of a Wilder Britain and is pushing for 30% of the land in Kent to be actively managed for the benefit of wildlife. Using evidence of the changes the climate crisis is causing in our local wildlife populations, Kent Wildlife Trust is able to lobby local and national government to make the significant positive changes we need them to make.  

Through ambitious government policy, innovative local work programmes and individual actions and donations, together we can halt global heating and bring our planet back to life.