Go Zero Carbon

To stop the climate from changing to a point beyond which life on Earth will struggle to survive, we must act now and make our own personal and business Climate Action Plans that can be actioned over the next five to ten years.

Under each emission category below there are actions shown that need to be taken personally or as a business for us all to go zero carbon.

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Electricity

5.5% of personal emissions

Most of these emissions come from the appliances we use and lighting. Although some will also be used for heating and hot water in some households, making them a higher percentage overall. 

Image by Nikola Johnny Mirkovic

Personal

Business

  • ‘Switch off’ when not in use

  • Switch to a renewable
    ‘green’ supply tariff

  • Buy the most efficient appliances possible​

  • Install smart systems to switch off zones not in use

  • Install solar panels

  • Switch to LED lighting

  • Switch to a renewable ‘green’ supply tariff

  • Install smart systems to switch off zones when not in use

  • Buy the most efficient equipment possible​

  • Install solar panels or wind turbines where practical

  • Create a green energy hub

Heating
18.8% of emissions

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Personal

  • Turn down thermostat (18-20°C)

  • Use zone heating​

  • Maximise building insulation

  • Install a heat pump where suitable

  • Switch to electric - self generated where possible

  • Adopt biofuels where available

Business

  • Maximise building insulation

  • Maintain temperature at 18-20°C

  • Switch to electric, linked to self generated power

  • Investigate shared heat hubs

  • Adopt alternative renewable fuels as available where no option

Travel

20.4% of emissions

This varies significantly from individual to individual, depending on the amount of car mileage and number of flights.

Image by louis magnotti

Co-wheels operate a car club in Harrogate for those who don't own a car but need one from time to time.

Personal

Business

  • Walk & cycle whenever possible

  • Use public transport where available

  • Car share or join a car club

  • Switch to an electric vehicle (EV) as quickly as practical - where needed

  • Fly less or not at all

  • Offer home working

  • Set up employee public transport incentives

  • Organise car sharing scheme

  • Switch to sustainable fuelled fleet vehicles (EV, hydrogen)

  • Fly less or not at all

Consumption

54.7% of emissions

This covers all of the goods and services we buy as consumers, from food and fashion to mobile phones and the networks that support them. 

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Personal

  • Adopt a low meat, plant based diet

  • Buy fewer goods – reuse/repair/recycle

  • Buy from local sustainable suppliers

  • Waste less and make products last longer

  • Invest sustainably with your banking and pension

Supply Chain

For businesses it is the emissions that accumulate throughout the entire supply chain that are important - from sourcing of raw materials, through supply and storage to disposal - on top of those created during production and processing

Image by Andy Li

Business

  • Switch to sustainable materials and suppliers

  • Buy local materials

  • Buy from local sustainable suppliers

  • Re-purpose equipment – reduce/reuse/recycle and compost waste

  • Look at using sustainable packaging

  • Switch to ‘green’ web hosting options

  • Use sustainable transport

Offsetting

The only way to become carbon neutral is to absorb and store those emissions we cannot eliminate but this should be no more than 10% of current emissions.

Planting Trees

There are many offsetting schemes available from the local Rotary Club's tree planting scheme to those with more of an international flavour.

Personal

  • Green up your garden

  • Plant trees and protect existing woodland and peatland​

  • Support nature preservation programmes

  • Contribute financially to approved offsetting schemes

  • Buy goods and services which include an offset surcharge in the price

Business

  • Manage available land to maximise carbon sequestration and conserve nature

  • Sponsor nature preservation programmes

  • Contribute financially to approved offsetting schemes

  • Include a carbon offset charge in pricing

See also, "Reducing carbon from energy use at home - guidance for households" published jointly with the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition. 

FOOD

WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE

Our diet can account for up to 30% of our greenhouse gas emissions