There are many steps that you as an individual can take to reduce your footprint. Here are some tips!
As an individual, you can help meet international goals by voting for parties with concrete, realistic plans for reducing emissions, and by reducing your footprint, both by consuming less and by demanding climate-friendly solutions and products.
While we wait for the world to transition to renewable fuel sources and undergo massive electrification, we can reduce our footprint by practicing more sustainable behavior. If you’re living like the average Norwegian today and start doing absolutely everything possible (within reason) to lower your footprint, you can cut down on your CO2e emissions by about 50%. This isn’t realistic for most people though - we envision that in a scenario where a majority of the population immediately start to switch to more sustainable behavior in a manageable fashion (for eg. driving your car less instead of not using it at all, or reducing your meat consumption as opposed to turning vegan), the average individual footprint would probably drop from 11 tonnes of CO2e to 8 tonnes of CO2e.
There are many climate-friendly actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint; those with the largest impact are:
Goods and services
In general, it is better to buy services, such as cinema or theater tickets or pay someone to repair your items, than buying goods. This is because goods require energy and materials to produce, which in turn leads to greenhouse gas emissions.
Buying used goods can also help reduce your footprint. By buying used, you prevent the production of a new product, at the same time as you extend the life of goods in circulation.
If you are going to buy something new, it is wise to think about quality rather than quantity. Look for alternatives that last a long time and are repairable, and think of all purchases as long-term investments.
Another significant part of most people's footprints is transportation. Here it is important to get your feet wet and walk or cycle as far as possible, take public transport and reduce the number of flights per year.
Food and drink
Food is another major category of emissions. Here the most important steps you can take are to reduce food waste by not buying more than you can eat, and eating a more plant-based diet. Plants are less energy- and area intensive in production.
The last important part of many people's footprints is energy. You can reduce energy consumption through large and small measures: re-insulate the house or install a heat pump, turn down the indoor temperature a degree or two, reduce the heated area in your house or shower shorter.
It might feel daunting to try to influence the emissions from the public sector, but there are some things you can do with large potential impact. Vote for parties with concrete, realistic plans for reducing emissions, both on a local and national level! In an affluent country it is especially important to support initiatives and regulation that drive the transition to more sustainable consumption.
Head over to our overview of Ducky Challenge activity calculations for a comprehensive list with source documents and research.