1. Introducing The 30 Day Shrink: Fast, Cheap And Simple Ways To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Introduction – 30 Day Program

And so it begins.  Each day this month I’m going to make an article with an idea for reducing your carbon footprint that is fast, cheap and simple.

Carbon is the main footprint but there are others you should watch out for

Reducing your carbon footprint can be fast, cheap, and simple. This is day 1 of the 30 days shrink.  Each day for the next month, I’m going to look at a fun and easy way you can reduce your carbon footprint and maybe save a little money sometime or improve your health. We’ll look at things like cycling somewhere new, starting a red patch, improving your fuel economy, getting more plants, getting the right light bulb.

Reducing your heating bill, composting your food, and cutting your electricity bill are all ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Purposeless walking is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy the outdoors.

The typical carbon footprint for people in poorer nations is closer to one ton. For fast developing countries it might be five tons. Established European and Asian countries are closer to ten tons. Australia and Canada are more like 15. And for the U.S. it’s also 15 tons.

Countrytons CO2 / person
South Africa7.5
Source: World Bank

The average global personal carbon footprint is approximately 5 tons. In order to keep warming below 2 degrees, we need to reduce that average global number to below 2 tons per person by 2050. If you try to cut your carbon footprint from 10 tons down to 2 tons overnight, it will be time consuming, expensive, and complicated. However, this is not the smartest way to start. It is best to focus on things that are fast, cheap, and simple. Over the next 30 days, we will focus on things that fit this criteria.

1: Introducing the Shrink

2: Eat plants for a day
3: Shuffle your food
4: Start a vegetable garden
5: Build a compost heap
6: Make a seasonal meal 

7: Take a purposeless walk
8: Cycle somewhere new
9: Let someone else drive
10: Improve your fuel economy
11: Research your motor
12: Plan a flightless holiday

13: Turn off your gadgets
14: Change a light bulb
15: Seal an air leak 
16: Control your heating
17: Control your cooling
18: Research your intensity
19: Research solar power
20: Save some water

21: Declutter a room
22: Upcycle some junk
23: Choose a used product
24: Invest in good design
25: Recycle some waste

26: Pay a person
27: Buy a quality offset
28: Plant a tree that sucks
29: Plant flowers for bees 
30: Support broader change 

Further reading on carbon footprints:What is a carbon footprint?
Carbon targets for your footprint?
Calculate your carbon footprint
The 60-15 Rule of Carbon Footprints

Lindsay Wilson
+ posts

I founded Shrink That Footprint in November 2012, after a long period of research. For many years I have calculated, studied and worked with carbon footprints, and Shrink That Footprint is that interest come to life.

I have an Economics degree from UCL, have previously worked as an energy efficiency analyst at BNEF and continue to work as a strategy consultant at Maneas.  I have consulted to numerous clients in energy and finance, as well as the World Economic Forum.

When I’m not crunching carbon footprints you’ll often find me helping my two year old son tend to the tomatoes, salad and peppers growing in our upcycled greenhouse.

Leave a Comment