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How to reduce your carbon footprint

Some simple actions you can take that will help keep the planet healthy for generations to come.

Bikes at canal

71% of the world's emissions are produced by 100 fossil fuel companies (opens new window) including ExxonMobil, Shell, BHP Billiton and Gazprom.

It's important to keep that in mind when thinking about your own personal contribution to the climate crisis. Individual actions, especially when they inspire collective actions, are important. They contribute proportionately to tackling climate change, they embed climate awareness and they might save you money. However, without intergovernmental action to reduce emissions from the fossil fuel industry we will not keep global warming below 1.5oC (opens new window).

Basic Principles 

When reducing your carbon footprint, the easiest way of starting out is thinking of the three 'R's: reduce, reuse, recycle. Prevention is always the best solution for reducing your emissions, therefore reduce is always the most important step, only after that should you reuse items and then recycling is the last resort.


  • Reduce - not buying new clothes
  • Reuse - repairing or altering clothes, swapping or buying clothes second hand
  • Recycle - turning clothes into cleaning rags, rag rugs and putting them in a recycling bin

Avoid anything that can only be used once like single use plastic straws and avoid items that cannot be recycled like plastic coated paper or polystyrene, you can see a comprehensive list of what can and can't be recycled in West Lothian here.