What is this page about?
I wanted to create a page on my website to share things I am doing to minimise my impact on our planet. I have been making quite a few changes in recent years, step by step, to accomplish this. I have a long way to go and I don’t think it’s ever something I will ‘complete’ however I am actively wanting to reduce my impact and help others make changes themselves as well. I hope you find this information useful.
My Carbon Footprint
7.0 tonnes annually
I have done quite a few different quizzes online to calculate my carbon footprint and get an idea of how much I need to do to offset this annually. The latest one I have completed is the WWF Carbon Footprint Calculator. I periodically re-take this test so I’m keeping myself in check and to calculate any lifestyle changes or updates to the way I travel for example.
I use different tech products to manage my website, work remotely and run my business. I have a full Apple ecosystem for this, using iPhone and Mac products, iCloud services and other accessories around the house. At the time of writing this (July 2021) Apple are a carbon neutral company running all of their stores, offices and data centres on 100% renewable energy. They have ambitious plans for the future of the company including adopting carbon neutrality to their entire supply chain and all of their products by 2030. I look forward to seeing what other changes Apple make in the coming years. You can find out more about Apple’s environmental stats here: Apple’s Environment webpage.
Funding Trees via Treeapp
418 trees funded
Something I do to offset my carbon footprint is funding the planting of trees globally with Treeapp. I am actually an ambassador for Treeapp as well and help to share this on my social media accounts. You can download the app for free and fund a tree a day by simply watching brief ads from eco-conscious companies. It’s also a great way to find products that are kind to our planet.
Funding Trees via Ecosia
56 trees funded
There are many ways to fund tree planting globally, another that I use is for my web searches via Ecosia. You can simply download their app or change your settings on your phone or computer. To do this you just switch your default search engine to Ecosia with a few simple clicks, pop in your email address to track your progress and hey-presto, you’re funding trees! Ecosia uses revenue from web searches to fund the trees (approx. 45 searches = 1 tree) so there is no cost to you, plus they take your privacy really seriously and publish monthly reports for ultimate transparency of their expenses.
Total Trees Funded
474 trees funded
Between Treeapp and Ecosia I have funded the planting of the number of trees above. This number has accumulated since 25th November 2020. It takes approximately 130 trees to offset my carbon footprint annually. My goal is to not only be carbon negative, but to offset my entire life’s worth of carbon emissions (and more) at the rate I am progressing with funding trees.
May 2018 onwards
One of the biggest changes I have made to reduce my carbon footprint is switching to a vegan diet back in May 2018. I actually made this transition overnight after a trip to the USA I had taken. I had been thinking about it for a while but I hadn’t planned switching in advance, I just took the leap! I am glad I did it this way as I think a gradual transition would have been harder for me. I have never felt better since the switch and I actually lost two stone (28lbs) that first summer alone without restricting what I was eating as long as it was vegan (and trust me when I say I tried every comfort food available including chocolates, biscuits, cakes, sweets, meat and dairy alternatives amongst others).
Finances & Investments
Green & Ethical funds
If you have read some of my blog posts and information on the purchase of my first house, you’ll see that I used a Stocks and Shares Lifetime ISA to save for my deposit. As I was so new to investing, I wasn’t as conscious of where my money was being used and which industries were being used. Thankfully my Lifetime ISA provider AJ Bell / You Invest has a range of funds available and I have moved my money into one of their ethical/green funds. The Lifetime ISA is dual purpose, for a first-time home + for retirement. I plan on funding it as much as I can until I’m 50 (to withdraw when I’m 60). My workplace pension has also been invested into an ethical fund to ensure my money is being used for good, promoting development of green technologies and earth-friendly projects and companies worldwide. My personal and business current accounts are with Starling Bank who do not fund any fossil fuel industries and are one of the market leaders in responsible finance. You can check how green your bank is with Bank Green.
My website is another consideration I have to factor in with my environmental impact. I currently use WordPress (their parent company is Automattic) to host my website, using servers dotted around the world for you to access this content. I have reached out to them to find out more about their sustainability statistics and they provided a couple of links. I have added these here for you to have a read: Sustainability and Toward zero: Reducing and offsetting our data centre power emissions.
Energy Usage / Supplier
So Energy 100% Renewable Electricity
My energy at home is provided by So Energy at the moment who offer 100% renewable electricity. If you want to read more about So Energy and their credentials click here. At the moment they do not offset their gas though which is something I am looking to do when I move into the property later this year upon the completion of renovation. At the moment the gas at the property isn’t connected so I know there is zero usage, however I do want to make sure it’s offset as soon as possible. Two suppliers I am looking into at the moment are Green Energy UK (GEUK) and Good Energy. I will update this page as soon as any switch has been made. All of the work I do is powered by this energy as I work from home as well.
*UPDATE* As of September 2021 there has been an energy market crisis in the UK. The wholesale prices which energy companies pay are at unprecedented highs and 20 energy companies have failed since September 2021. Many customers are on energy price fixes, or if they have come to an end are on a ‘standard variable tariff’. In the UK there is also an energy price cap which restricts how much firms can charge for gas and electricity per unit used which is the cheapest available deal right now. This is in place until April 2022 when it will be reviewed and will rise again however as energy firms are paying more for gas and electricity than they can sell it for the market is terrible right now. Due to this I am not changing energy supplier as planned. I am staying with So Energy on their variable tariff and will see how things are come April time. To read more on this click here for Money Saving Expert’s write-up.
Last Updated: Sunday 16th January 2022.