Climate Changes: The 4 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint - even on a budget

  • Watch: Alex Beresford presents Climate Changes on ITV News.

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing us as a species.

Human activity over the past 200 years has left us standing on the brink of an environmental disaster - but it is not too late to make a change.

Weather presenter Alex Beresford has been finding out about the small, positive ways we can minimise our impact on the environment as part of a new series on ITV News.

As part of the series Alex met Jo, who works for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and she shared her top tips on how we can all make a difference.

4 ways you can reduce your carbon footprint

You can reduce your carbon footprint through switching to clean energy sources, changing the way you travel, and reducing your consumption by recycling and reusing everything.

Here’s a detailed look at what that means…

1. Reduce your energy use and switch to renewable energy

Choosing energy-efficient appliances is a good way of reducing energy use.

As energy is primarily generated by the burning of fossil fuels, one of the most important things to do is to reduce energy consumption and to switch to renewable energy sources.

If it is possible, you can switch your home energy supply to a green energy plan or change to a 100% renewable energy provider.

Reduce energy consumption by properly insulating your home with appropriate heat trapping or cooling materials that will reduce the amount of energy needed to warm or cool your home.

“Draft-proofing your windows and doors is good,” Jo explained. “And in the winter, turning down your thermostat by one degree does actually cut 10% off bills.

"It does get cold in the winter so it can be hard but something to think about anyway.

“And electricity-wise, it’s a good idea to turn off appliances on stand-by and making sure you turn off lights.”

2. Change the way you travel

More people are being urged to consider cycling to work.

Cycle or walk whenever possible, or use an electric bike or scooter.

Use public transport (bus, tram, train) instead of a private car.

If you have no choice but to use a car, think about ride-sharing instead of travelling individually.

If you are buying a new or second hand car, opt for more environmentally friendly electric vehicles if you can.

Restrict your flights substantially and opt for direct flights whenever possible.

Jo said: “Top tips from us in terms of how to cut emissions from transport, the first is journeys under five miles.

“Even under two miles - 60% of those are taken by car at the moment in the UK.

“So, really just increasing the amount you walk and cycle for those really short journeys. And for longer journeys, if it’s possible, taking public transport.

“And if you are driving, making sure your tyres are pumped up, you’re driving smoothly and efficiently. There’s little small ways you can cut emissions by the way you drive.

“If you’re flying, the key thing to say is we should all be flying a bit less.”

3. Change what you eat

Sustainably eating more fruit and vegetables - and not wasting food - is recommended. Credit: PA

One of the best things you can do for our planet is to substantially increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet with a larger proportion and a wide variety of plant-based foods, only buying meat and fish from sustainable sources, and not wasting food, all help to protect the planet.

4. Change how much you buy and who you buy from

Reduce your consumption overall.

Choose recycled products and remember to recycle things you no longer need.

Support companies who have strong sustainable values and practices.

“The main thing is use less if you can, and use things you can refill - so glass bottles, for example,” Jo added.

“I suppose that is the main tip - try to use less.”