Beth Kayser

Living a low carbon lockdown, pt 3: 6 more tips to try at home

3 min Read
Black rimmed glasses sitting on an open book on a white made bed

Week 3 of lockdown and you’re probably starting to feel a bit cooped up. Us too… later in this blog, we cite ‘drying your clothes on the line’ as a treat. Help! (Although jokes aside, is there anything more satisfying?)

To help you make it through the next week, we’ve rounded up a fresh batch of low carbon tips. Sink those teeth in!

6 more lower carbon living tips to try at home

1. Drop the temperature to 30° when washing your clothes and save around 35 kg CO2e per year; the same as driving 66 miles in terms of emissions.

Modern detergents will wash clothes just fine at 30°, especially when they don’t even leave the house. Also, only ever wash a full load.

2. Bleed your radiators and save around 43kg CO2e per year; the same as driving 81 miles in terms of emissions.

If you’ve never experienced the satisfaction of bleeding a radiator, you’re in for a treat. It’s akin to power-hosing a patio or drying your washing on the line.

Enjoyment aside, by releasing the trapped air you’ll save energy and carbon; a chore worth doing.  

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. Use salted pasta/veg water to soak your dirty dishes and save around 164 g CO2e and 156L of water per year.

Following on from last week’s tip to use unsalted water on plants, we’re keen to stop any water going to waste—even the salted stuff! Using your salted pasta or veg water to soak dishes is a small but easy step towards lower carbon living.

Shout out to Etta, who shared this tip. Thanks Etta! If anyone reading this has some ideas for carbon-reducing lockdown tips, feel free to reach out to

4. Swap beef for chicken and save around 190 kg CO2e per year; the same as diving 358 miles in terms of emissions

A challenge for all the meat lovers out there: remove beef from your diet for a year and you’ll save as much carbon as you’d emit driving from Edinburgh to Oxford! You don't have to cut out meat completely, just swap it for a lower carbon alternative like chicken.

5. Use salted pasta water as a bread starter and save around 16L of water a year (and probably a heap of bread ingredients, since there’ll be fewer dud batches).

Another pasta water tip. Who knew it was so versatile! Basically what we’ve learnt from this lockdown is that we should never throw pasta water down the drain again.

Shout out to Nigella for this tip. She recently tweeted “Quick message to all those making bread at the moment. Keep the water you’ve cooked potatoes or pasta in. It will help the bread’s texture and rise.” As a renowned hater of kitchen waste, Nigella is a Pawprint fave!

6. Read a book instead of watching TV and save around 115 kg CO2e per year; the same as driving 217 miles in terms of emissions.

Make yourself a cuppa, grab a book and curl up in a sunny spot for a few hours. It’s good to give your eyes a break from the screen, and it’s good for the planet—less energy means less carbon!

Don’t have a book? How about asking a neighbour. Sharing is so in right now.

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