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What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint?

Orton Longueville Parish Council has shared its Climate Change Action Plan, hoping to encourage other parish councils to explore what is suitable for them.
Peterborough City Council declared a climate emergency last year - Orton Parish Council is encouraging residents to do their bit (Photo: Pexels)

In a statement, Orton Longueville Parish Council wrote: "Though many parish councils have already declared a climate emergency, the vast majority have not. Where a parish council has made a declaration often modelled on the wording used by local authorities, this may be less suitable for a parish council where the levers of influence plus focus of action is different."

The plan in Orton Longueville places climate change action as a standing monthly agenda with a focus on quick win projects that will reduce carbon footprints short-term, as well as larger scale projects that could see more local energy generation, electric charging points, cycle lanes and green area improvements.

Residents in Orton Longueville (and all over Peterborough) are being advised, through the parish council Climate Action Plan, to:

  • Eat less red meat - or stop eating it altogether: Beef cattle consume 11 times more water and produce five times more emissions than poultry.
  • Unplug all electrical devices when not charging: Electronics suck energy whenever they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. Leave your electronics unplugged if possible.
  • Drive less: During lockdown there was a reduction in carbon emissions because people weren't using their cars as much. The Peterborough Local Authority is trying to increase walkability and cycling safety to encourage this city-wide.
  • Buy less fast-fashion: Repurposing old clothing, choosing locally produced garments, buying vintage or participating in clothing swaps are all better for the environment that purchasing from major clothing retailers.
  • Consider planting a garden: Planting some greens is a quick and easy easy way to absorb some carbon. Window-boxes included, if space is limited.
  • Buy local and organic: Sticking to foods that are grown locally helps reduce the carbon footprint created by shipping foods from outside the neighbourhood, city or country.
  • Line-dry laundry: One dryer load uses five times more electricity than the washing machine. When weather permits, drying clothes outdoors reduces energy use - and saves money!

The statement from the parish council continues: "Orton Longueville Parish Councillors firmly believe that our individual actions and choices can make a real difference and everyone needs to share the responsibility to do whatever they can to address climate change – no matter how big or small. Anyone can make these simple changes – they are easy to implement, have immediate effect in reducing our individual carbon footprint."