We need to make changes quickly to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Our lives are all very different but there’s lots of ways we can all make changes that not only help protect us from climate change but also save you money, are better for your health, and benefit our natural environments.

Get to know your carbon footprint

There are lots of websites you can use to work out your carbon footprint. WWFs Footprint Calculator shows you how you compare on a local and national level, and makes suggestions on how you can reduce yours.

Biggest impacts

Current research shows the best ways to reduce your  own carbon footprint are in six main areas. You can learn more from the Jump Campaign, and there are lots of great ideas listed on Greenmatch.

Mindful shopping

The data and message

Everything we buy has a carbon cost. Around 80% of our carbon footprint comes from making and transporting the things we buy.

We can reduce the footprint of our goods and services by:

  • Borrowing or renting
  • Buying second hand or refurbished
  • Repair rather than replace
  • Sell or donate when you’re done
  • Dispose conscientiously
  • Buy conscientiously, understand energy labels when you’re shopping, where it’s made and the manufacturers credentials
A shop window displaying clothes and toys

Local help

Portsmouth has great local ways to help support your journey in this area. You can save money, support our local businesses, and prevent waste.

We have lots of great businesses here to help including Library of Things and Repair Café, as well as pre-loved furniture shops and reclamation yards, and apps on your phone for free, discounted or second-hand goods.

Check out Switched On Portsmouth to see if you are entitled to receive free energy efficient white goods, insulation, or solar panels that will save you money.

Fresher travel

The data and message

In Portsmouth, most of our carbon emissions come from travel and transport. Cars aren’t just bad for the climate, they are also expensive, poor for our health, noise pollution, and safety too.

We can reduce the footprint from car use by:

  • Saving money and not owning a personal car. Join a car club; rent when you need to, or share trips with your friends and neighbours
  • Make time and plan to walk, cycle or wheel to your destination. Cycling and walking have been shown to directly contribute to a range of physical and mental benefits too.
  • Choosing public transport
  • If you need a car, consider less impactful options like small sizes, driving conscientiously or even electric
A man plugging in an electric car

Local help

There’s plenty on offer in Portsmouth to help you use cars a little less. Portsmouth is relatively small and flat, making it perfect for walking, cycling, wheeling, and catching ferries.

Eat green

The data and message

Did you know that food production is responsible for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions? And what you eat is generally more impactful than whether its local or not? The best impact you can make is by eating less red meat. Read more about the carbon in food here and try the BBC’s food calculator here.

It’s important not to just consider climate change though, but also consider food waste, habitats that support our food systems, and making space for nature in your home.

  • Consider growing food at home
  • Ideas for a low carbon garden can be found here
  • Chose foods with sustainability standards such as the Marine Stewardship Standard
  • Provide more habitat at home, by mowing and clearing leaves less, taking up plastic grass and paving, adding plants to your balcony or windowsill
  • Save money and be mindful of wasting food

Keeping our plants happy aren’t just useful for food, they also store carbon, improve our air, help keep us cool in heat waves, and reduce flooding when there’s heavy rain. Studies also show plants increase happiness, mental health, reduce crime, speed up recovery from illness, and increase house value.

Plants not an option in your home? You could swap your internet search engine to Ecosia who invest 100% of profits into international planting.

Tomatoes growing on an indoor plant

Local help

We’re a densely packed city and many of us don’t have outdoor space, so we must be clever with what space we have

Sustainable fashion

The data and message

Did you know the fashion industry accounts for 10% of global emissions? That’s more than the emissions from flying and shipping combined.

The impacts from carbon, wastewater pollution, unethical manufacturing, and disposal practices are great reasons to make different clothing choices. We can reduce our impact from textiles and fashion by:

  • Reducing what we buy new
  • Repair what you have
  • Share, swap and donate
  • Buy pre-loved and unique from charity shops, markets and online
A shopper looking at a rack of clothes

Local help

Portsmouth has lots of pre-loved clothing options, whether you need some help with school uniforms or you’re after a one-of-a-kind outfit:

Fly less

The data and message

Of those who can afford to fly, committing to one short-haul flight every 3 years, and one long-haul flight every eight years would make a large impact on emissions.

Take a slower route, stop off on the way, and make the travel part of the holiday. Visit the Seat 61 website for travel help.

Local help

We have great international connections in Portsmouth, with easy train links to mainland Europe and ferries direct to France, Spain, and the Channel Islands.

A ferry passing Portsmouth

Portsmouth International Port is a municipal port, meaning it is owned by Portsmouth City Council for the benefit of our city. See what they and the ship operators do to reduce the impact of sea travel here.

Got friends and family visiting Portsmouth? If they travel by train, they can access lots of rewards from South Western Railway.

Change your system

The data and message

We can also make choices that can nudge towards wider and longer-lasting changes in how we govern and how businesses operate. Consider if you can:

  • Change to a green energy supplier, meaning you move to an energy supplier that generates electricity from renewable sources like solar or wind power
  • If you have a pension, have you considered moving it to an ethical provider that doesn’t invest in fossil-fuels or environmentally damaging projects?
  • Similarly to pensions, you can move your banking to green or ethical banks that do not invest in environmentally damaging businesses or who only invest in businesses that make a positive change
  • Use energy more efficiently at home or install energy efficiency measures
  • Use your voice by writing petitions, joining peaceful protests or local community groups, writing to your local political representative, and vote for governance with plans to improve our climate
  • And remember, every job is now a green job, and we all have to look for ways to reduce our environmental impact in our work and school places.
A worker installing a solar panel

Need something lighter to start with and like gaming? Join Zooniverse and start playing games that help scientists and researchers crunch real life climate data

Local help

We have lots of local resources waiting for you use

We also have a local Net Zero Training Hub at Highbury College, where students can become trained in heat pump installation, solar panels, batteries, electric vehicles, and insulation.