Mark McCafferty

Five tips to reduce your carbon footprint during lockdown

3 min Read
Open laptop on a black leather couch with a large white cushion and blanket

Whether you’re practicing social distancing, self-isolating or in lockdown, reducing your carbon footprint is unlikely to be front of mind at the moment. The immediate priority for everyone is to keep ourselves and others safe.

But as the weeks or months roll on, and we all settle into this new, temporary normal, you may start thinking about the world’s other big challenge—climate change.

If you still want to do your bit, despite your concerns around coronavirus, then Pawprint can help. We’ve pulled together five carbon-reducing tips that you can work into your life at home.

If you made these tips part of everyday life, you could reduce your annual carbon footprint in the home by around 235 Kg CO2e, or 8%. That’s equivalent to the emissions from driving 600 miles, or from London from Inverness.

Five tips to reduce your carbon footprint during lockdown

1. Go easy on the heating and save around 60 kg CO2e annually
On average, heating a home emits 2.8 tonnes CO2e annually. For the sake of the planet (and your wallet) you don’t want it blasting all day. Could you turn down the thermostat 1C and put on a jumper? Or only heat the rooms you are using and keep in the heat by closing doors and curtains? Just a 5% reduction in usage would save around 60 kg CO2e per person per year.

2. Reduce waste and save around 70 kg CO2e annually
If there are a lot of you in the house, there’s likely to be a lot of waste. Now’s the time to save those leftovers for lunch, and do an audit of the cupboards and fridge/freezer. Challenge yourself to use everything up before it goes out of date. You’ll be doing your bit to ease the coronavirus-driven food shortages and save the planet at the same time!

Pawprint’s carbon footprint data is powered by Mike Berners-Lee’s Small World Consulting.  Mike Berners-Lee is an advisor to Pawprint and author of How bad are bananas?The carbon footprint of everything.

3. Cook smart and save around 65 Kg CO2e annually

  • Turn the oven off 10 minutes before the end—the residual heat is more than enough to finish the job. You can do the same trick with the hob by popping a lid on your pan.
  • Only preheat the oven if your recipe demands it, and if you must then only do so for a few minutes.
  • Pre-make a couple of meals at the same time and shove them all in the oven together.

4. Design your workspace around natural light and save up to 40 kg CO2e annually (on a standard bulb)
You don’t want the lights on all day, so make sure those workspaces you have created are bathed in natural light. You’ll feel healthier for it too!

5. Check if a vulnerable neighbour needs some help
OK, so this isn’t really a carbon reduction tip, but we think it’s the right thing to do. A strong community spirit is absolutely part of the Pawprint vision for a lower carbon world. Just be sure to practice proper social distancing so as not to put yourself or anyone else at risk.


Post-coronavirus, we are hopeful that the country will emerge with a new perspective on global problems. Perhaps the climate emergency won’t seem as daunting since the changes being asked of people are nowhere near as radical. At Pawprint, we believe everyone making small changes in their lives can make a difference.

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