What you can do
Last Updated: 1 February 2024
We recognise that climate change can affect those in our community in different ways and often those who are most vulnerable feel the greatest impacts.
The average South Lakeland resident consumes more than 12 tonnes of CO2e per years with travel, heating and food and drink the main emitters.
Finding out what your carbon footprint is can be a good way to begin to reduce it. Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS): resident carbon calculator has been developed for Cumbrian residents and businesses.
How a resident can reduce their emissions
Below are several suggestions for steps that you can take in your own home and lifestyle that can reduce your carbon emissions and your carbon footprint.
- improve insulation and efficiency within homes can cut emissions and fuel bills. CAfS provides more advice and training
- electricity decarbonisation such as switching to a renewable energy provider, installing a heat pump or solar panels instead of an oil system
- the Cold to Cosy scheme which offers energy saving advice and equipment to make your house warmer and more comfortable
- Ambleside Action for a Future offer local residents in Ambleside a free home heat loss survey using a thermal imaging camera
- reduce the carbon intensity of driving such as by switching to an electric or hybrid vehicle. You may be eligible for a grant from the government to install a charging point at your home: GOV.UK: Plug-in grants
- prioritise active travel and only travel when necessary. For example, walking, using public transport, cycling and car share schemes where possible. More information is available from the Energy Saving Trust: Low carbon travel
- when driving is necessary, adopt an efficient driving style, which reduces fuel bills and cuts carbon emissions: Energy Saving Trust: Efficient driving
- be aware of the electric vehicle charging points across Cumbria to plan an efficient journey: Cumbria County Council: Electric vehicles and charging points (PDF 383KB / 4 pages)
- cut waste by planning meals, use up leftovers and be creative with surplus food. Then use a compost bin or wormery for any raw food waste
- familiarise yourself with what can be recycled in South Lakeland: What goes in your bins and boxes
- reduce, reuse and recycle. Start to reduce waste in the first place, reuse what you can and recycle what you don’t need. CAfS: How to reduce waste
- explore how you can repair items in your home instead of buying new. Simply Repair South Lakes holds courses and workshops
- donate any unwanted items to charity instead of throwing them away
- our biodiversity community toolkit provides information about joining a friends/volunteering group or starting one of your own
- try to make your garden more biodiverse such as by introducing a mix of native plant species, a log pile or a compost heap. Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): Planet friendly gardening tips has some great ideas
- plant a tree! If all 30 million gardeners planted a medium sized tree, over time they would store enough carbon equivalent to drive you more than 11 million times around our planet. RHS: Trees has a good guide to help you choose what is right for you
- grow your own food at home or on an allotment
- Cumbria Wildlife Trust: Help wildlife at home provides step-by-step instructions on how to install wildlife-friendly features in your garden
Did you know that the greatest emissions for a South Lakeland resident come from shopping: CAfS: Sustainable and ethical shopping guide.
How a business can reduce their emissions
We are proud to support and fund green business support initiatives. If you are a South Lakeland business owner, you may be interested in the following:
- CAfS, through our funding, are offering one-to-one support for small or medium businesses: CAfS: How to reduce your businesses carbon footprint
- Green Small Business, offer a Green Business audit which audits businesses’ environmental impact and drafts up tailored environmental policies for them. The cost of the Green Business audit is subsided for South Lakes businesses
- Future Fixers, run a purposeful business start-up programme, if you are interested in setting up your own business and want to embed sustainability from the start
Work with your Parish Council
Many communities have declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ yet are struggling to know what to do next. The Greening Campaign provides a toolkit that has been developed and used to provide structure to those next steps for town and parish councils. It is a fun, yet effective way for communities to tackle the often frightening issue of Climate Change whilst following a tested path consisting of seven stepped Phases.
We are subsiding the cost of the first phase so that there is a cost of only £25 to town and parish councils.
You can find out more from The Greening Campaign introduction video.
To get started in your area please email us, contact details below, we will answer any queries you might have and put you in touch with the Greening Campaign.