Top 10 carbon-cutting tips revealed by UK scientists
Louise Greenwood

One of the few cheering scenes to come out of the Covid-19 outbreak has been the emergence of clear blue skies over some of the world's most polluted cities.

Scientists estimate that the drop in energy consumption during the pandemic could cut carbon emissions by eight per cent this year, the largest single annual drop on record.

Others caution the world is still on course to miss the Paris Accord target of holding global temperature rises to under 1.5 degrees Celsius over the next 30 years.

The majority of greenhouse gases are caused by individual and household activity. Now researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK have mapped out the top 10 ways for people to cut their carbon footprint.

Transporting the future

1. Cars remain the biggest single source of Co2 emissions and giving up four wheels can reduce your output by a staggering 2.04 tons per person a year. 

2. Switching to an electric car can also reduce your Co2 count, by 1.95 tons. 

3. Cutting air travel. It's been estimated a single long-haul flight can produce more Co2 emissions than the average person creates in a year. Cancelling one journey saves you 1.68 tons of Co2. 

4. Taking the bus. Increased use of public transport can save the average person 0.98 tons of Co2 emissions over the course of a single year. 

Cars remain the biggest single source of Co2 emissions. /VCG

Cars remain the biggest single source of Co2 emissions. /VCG


Energy options

5. Switching your energy supplier to one that offers greener "matching" or carbon offsetting deals can save you 1.6 tons of Co2 per year. 

6. Upgrading your home to include wall cavity and loft insulation can save the average person 0.89 tons of Co2 per year in lost fuel. 

7. Heat pumps have been described as the most energy-efficient heating option on the market, creating up to 4 kilowatts of heat for every 1 kilowatt of electricity, saving the user 0.79 tons of Co2 per year.

8. Increasingly fashionable renewable options such as wood stoves and underfloor solar heating can reduce Co2 by 0.64 tons every year. 

Eating your way to a greener planet

9. Going meat-free may be a controversial choice, but going vegan is estimated to save you 0.8 tons a year in Co2. 

10. Greener cooking appliances such as convection ovens and microwaves can also reduce Co2 output from the kitchen, by 0.65 tons per chef per year.