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Cut your carbon footprint

Take action

Everything we do has an impact and leaves a footprint. We know that the ‘human footprint’ on our Wild Planet is damaging nature and causing species the world over to disappear.

If we all tried to leave a smaller footprint we’d be in a much better place. Thankfully there are steps that we can all take to help.

Easy, everyday actions

Here are some simple ways that you can take your first steps into cutting your carbon footprint as part of your everyday life:

  • Turn out the lights: If you’re not in the room, you don’t need the light on. Turn things off-off: an appliance on standby is still using energy – turn them off-off. This includes your phone charger!
  • Recycle: Cardboard, milk cartons, glass bottles, Tetra Paks, foil – the list of waste items that can be sent for recycling grows longer each year. Sort it before you bin it!
  • Chill out: Check your thermostat. 18°C is generally considered to be a comfortable room temperature and knocking just a single degree off your heating can make a huge difference (around £75 per year for a typical household).
  • Come prepared: Buy a reusable water bottler and hot drink cup. As well as helping to reduce litter and plastic pollution, you’ll also be saving the huge amount of energy and resources it takes to make and distribute the single-use versions.
  • Look ahead: Try to cut down on food waste by planning your week’s meals and using everything up. Consider using leftovers for lunch the next day.
  • Scrape your plates: Most councils now collect food waste so you can easily make sure your food waste gets disposed of correctly and not sent to landfill.

Helpful habits

Now that you’ve mastered the basics of carbon-cutting, here are some helpful habits that you can start to build into your life to create a lasting impact:

  • Change your lightbulbs: Replace your bulbs with LEDs. They’ve come down a lot in price recently and will last far longer than old-style incandescent bulbs.
  • Take a cool wash: Wash your clothes at 30°C. For general washing, they’ll come up just as clean.
  • Line dry: Tumble driers are the hidden energy eaters in many homes. Use a washing line or airer to dry your clothes instead.
  • Conscientious consumer: Everything we buy comes from somewhere. Try and think about the impact your purchases have in the place that they come from. Switching to products made from sustainable palm oil, or buying Fairtrade coffee, are two easy ways to begin.
  • Switch it up: Speak to your energy supplier about where your electricity comes from. Most suppliers have a green tariff that means your needs are met through renewable sources rather than fossil fuels..
  • Make it meat-free: Livestock production is the single biggest cause of global habitat loss, with clearance for animals and animal-feed production far exceeding clearance for any other purpose. By reducing your meat and dairy intake by as little as one day a week, you can make a huge difference. Plus, there are more and more meat-free options to try every day!
  • Choose quality over quantity: The fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment, with massive amounts of energy and water needed to make each item of clothing. Take advantage of vintage fashion by shopping in second-hand shops, and make sure that if you do buy new, you buy things that last.

Big changes

Commit to cutting carbon permanently, with big actions that can create big results:

  • Buy more efficient appliances: If you need to buy new white goods, have a look at the ones with an A+ rating as they’ll likely save you money in the long run.
  • Insulate your loft: Houses lose heat through their roof, so adding loft insulation can make a massive difference to your bills and energy usage.
  • Walk or cycle more: You’ll not only be helping the planet and your health, but both walking and cycling can give your mood a boost.
  • Plant a tree: Our trees and forests are the lungs of the planet. If you have a garden, plant a tree. If you can’t plant a tree, make sure that the trees you use are from well managed sources. Look for wood and paper with the FSC logo to be sure.

What are we doing?

In 2017, we stopped selling single-use plastic bottles in our zoos. We’re working with suppliers to use biodegradable alternatives elsewhere and to source products made from recycled plastic. We are actively involved in organising local beach cleans alongside partner organisations with the same aims as ourselves. Underpinning all of this, is a drive to raise awareness among our guests and encouraging people to think about what they buy, and how they dispose of it once they’re done with it.