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28 October 2014

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You are in: Devon > Planet Devon > Making a green resolution

2008 resolutions graphic

Making a green resolution

Reduce your carbon footprint by making a 2008 New Year resolution to do something positive to help the environment.

The clock has ticked on to another year and many people's minds have turned to making New Year's resolutions. Is 2008 the year when you make a commitment to reduce, even further, your carbon footprint?

You may already be using low energy light bulbs or recycling cans and plastics, yet there is more that can be done to limit the amount of greenhouse gases we emit during our daily lives.

With our Planet Devon campaign, BBC Devon aims to make your commitment to the campaign something that becomes a routine part of your daily life.

That may be nothing more than a vague feeling of guilt as you use another plastic bag from the supermarket, but that feeling can be turned into a positive set of decisions that lead to a greener existence.

  • Many of us choose to use cars because of their convenience and flexibility. Take a fresh look at public transport. It might be that by simply studying a bus guide you will see some journeys that can be achieved without much effort. It might just be that you gain a new habit that saves carbon and that you enjoy.
  • If you do have to drive then think about how you use fuel. You can save a significant amount of money by having a 'lighter' right foot, as well as saving on emissions. Think about turning off the engine when waiting in a queue – what else do you leave running when not in use?
  • The optimum speed for economic fuel consumption is 55 miles per hour. By doing 15 miles per hour more you are using 30 per cent more fuel. Statistically you are also safer driving at that slower speed. More gradual acceleration makes a big difference to fuel consumption. Putting the accelerator to the floor ensures you are wasting fuel and money.
  • Check your tyre pressure regularly. Under inflated tyres will increase your fuel consumption by around five per cent.
  • Take your own bags to the shops. Buy some good cloth bags and take them with you when shopping. The ubiquitous plastic bag finishes up in landfill, hanging from a tree or as a danger to animals.
  • Aim for an empty dustbin - it's not as difficult as it sounds. Look at what you bring home with your shopping. Are the fruit and vegetables wrapped in plastic or a polystyrene tray? Is that necessary? Just how much of what you bring home will finish up in the bin? Avoid unnecessary packaging.
  • Save trees and your temper by banishing junk mail. You can sign up for the Mail Preference Service online. Go to
  • You are reading this on the screen of your computer. Does your screen automatically switch off when not in use? By programming your computer you can save up to £60 per year by switching off the screen when not in use.
  • Food labelling can help you reduce your carbon footprint; but only if you read the labels and act on what they say. Fruit and vegetables can be purchased well away from their season. Try and find locally produced substitutes rather than something more exotic or out of season that has travelled hundreds of miles.
  • Switch it off! Switching off lights and appliances and forgetting standby are good habits to learn and create that conscious and regular effort to reduce emissions.

last updated: 02/01/2008 at 12:10
created: 25/10/2007

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