Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: April 22, 2024

Many of us have been concerned about saving energy for many years, and understandably so. Whether it’s gas, electricity, or petrol that fuels our cars, it’s expensive and it’s taking its toll on our planet.

In recent years, we’ve been hearing more and more about the idea of carbon footprint, which is a measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community. 

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a dire warning about the state of pollution, global warming, and its effects on the planet. In this report issued on February 28, 2022, they have given humanity just 12 years to make a real effort to reduce carbon emissions and become more environmentally friendly. Any later, and Earth could undergo irreversible changes that would be catastrophic. 

European Countries Are Among the World’s Highest Carbon Emitters

The world can emit more than 2.4 million pounds of CO2 per second, and European countries are among some of the highest emitters in the world.

There are numerous changes that ordinary people can make to their daily lives to minimize their impact on the environment this Earth Day (22nd April,2024). It’s up to every person to make the necessary changes, so here are a few tips to help you make a start. Here are 10 ways to reduce your carbon footprint and waste output.



Pledge to recycle your waste and take advantage of your local recycling facilities. If your municipality does not offer the collection of recycling, find out where the nearest facility or drop-off point is. Make an effort to separate your plastic, paper, metal, and glass waste in your home. Find ways to reuse or upcycle waste items that cannot be recycled. Also, ask yourself whether you need to buy these non-recyclable products again in the future.

Rubbish Can Add to Your Carbon Footprint Too

Landfills are incredible sources of greenhouse gases and pollution. For every pound of rubbish you throw away, you’ll create one pound of greenhouse gases.



The UN estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish. Our consumption of plastic products and plastic packaging is unsustainable. Choose to use paper shopping bags, metal straws, and plastic alternatives where possible. Shop at plastic-free stores and make a concerted effort to reduce your reliance on plastic. Take part in local beach and park clean-ups. Pick up any litter you see in your daily life, especially the small waste items.

Paper Production Contributes to Carbon Emissions

The more paper you use, the more you are contributing to carbon emissions or deforestation, which is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s cars, trucks, planes, and ships put together.



Food waste that gets put in a bin often ends up in a landfill and then decomposes, producing large volumes of methane in the process. Methane is a greenhouse gas. Place organic food scraps in a compost bucket and use it to feed your garden. Try to finish your meals at restaurants and takeaways. Store food correctly in a cool, dry cupboard or the fridge. Buy only what you need; doing a weekly meal prep will help you shop for only the food you need.

Food Production Accounts for 83% of Carbon Emissions Each Year

Businesses that produce food contribute to emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane—additionally, transporting food accounts for 11% of carbon emissions.



Saving water is critical for reducing our carbon footprint. Only flush the toilet when necessary. Reduce your shower time to two minutes. Install water-saving taps in the kitchen and bathroom. Collect water from your shower or bath and reuse it to flush your toilets and wash your car.

Your Water Has a High Carbon Footprint

Water conservation is one of the keys to reducing our CO2 output and saving our planet from global warming. In the UK, we require 4,645 liters of water per person every day, resulting in 3.68 million tonnes of CO2 per year from the supply and treatment of our water.



Start using eco-friendly cleaning products such as shampoos, detergents, and dishwashing liquids. Opt for low-phosphate products as these are better for water systems, rivers, and the ocean. Many local brands and supermarkets have started to introduce eco-friendly cleaning products to the market, so they are quite easy to find.

Read on how UMA has taken initiatives towards sustainability whether it is for Packaging or Community initiatives.  



Take care of your garden, especially during the winter. Use organic waste and vegetable offcuts from your kitchen to start a compost. Use this compost to feed your plants. Compost is an amazing natural fertilizer for plants, lawns, and trees. Alternatively, you can use conventional fertilizers to keep your soil full of nutrients.



Start to plant more in your garden. Do some research on local plant species and hardy flora that do not require too much water. Start a vegetable garden and plant your tomatoes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, and beans. Grow your herbs too. These steps will save you money in the long run as you won’t have to go to the shops as often to buy vegetables and herbs.



Shop at the closest store to your house, or at a convenient supermarket on the way home. Visit your local markets on the weekend and support your local grocers and farmers. Buying at local markets is also a great way to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging.



Make an effort to minimize your electricity usage. Switch off lights when not in that room. Turn off the television when you’re not watching and unplug your cellphone charger when not in use. Turn load shedding into an advantage by using it as an opportunity for a romantic candle-lit dinner.



Most major cities offer some form of public transport system. Try to make use of these systems as much as possible. If you don’t want to use public transport, try carpooling with friends and colleagues instead.

Towards Net Zero: A Tenfold Reduction in Future Carbon Footprints

Individuals born in the 1950s emitted 350 tonnes of CO2 over their lifetime, whereas those born in the 2020s emitted only 34 tonnes. Achieving net zero emissions by 2050 could reduce future generations’ carbon footprint tenfold.

Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 


Today’s youth are actively engaging with climate science and policy, spurred by firsthand experiences of environmental challenges. They’re driving ambition for emission reductions, participating fervently in global climate forums. With their enthusiasm and determination, they’re pushing for change, advocating for effective policies, and making individual choices to lower carbon footprints. 

As we look to the future, it’s clear that younger generations will require more sustainable energy infrastructure and services. This underscores the urgency for sweeping decarbonization efforts, initiated by today’s leaders, to ensure a brighter, greener future for all.

As this Earth Day approaches, it’s crucial to reflect on our impact on the planet and take steps to reduce our carbon footprint. These 10 simple ways offer a starting point for anyone looking to make a positive change. By implementing these changes in our daily lives, we can work towards a more sustainable future for future generations. Remember, every action counts in the fight against climate change.