Going green has been the top of the agenda for our government, various private and public organizations, and individuals. With COP26 recently taking place in Scotland, new goals and targets have been set out for us to hopefully be able to further reduce our global carbon footprint to prevent climate change from worsening.
How bad is global warming right now?
Although we hear it being discussed all the time, global warming can be an elusive concept for many. It begs the question, just how bad is global warming right now? According to NASA, the impact of climate change can already be observed in the effects it has on our environment. Not only have glaciers shrunk, but sea levels also continue to rise and living organisms from plants to animals have started to change and shift.
We can expect this to impact us in ways that make living much more difficult, the loss of sea ice would undoubtedly cause the acceleration of sea levels to rise, and longer, more intense heat waves as well, eventually leading to parts of the world being uninhabitable.
How have we responded?
With the vast amount of information out there, many people have responded in their own ways, adapting to their everyday lifestyle. Viessmann’s recent research showcases which of the UK’s citizens are the greenest in various comparable and tangible areas of our everyday lives.
They crowned a winner in areas like the greenest citizen and most eco-friendly commuters, shoppers, restaurant-goers, council, and homeowners.
The world map below provides an overview of the results:
The UK’s greenest citizens and tips on how to go green
Commuting for the environment
Many of us have to travel by car to work. However, with the new era of hybrid working, it may be worth considering commuting by public transport, bike, or even by foot. These are not only more eco-friendly ways to commute to work, but it also allows you to have a bit more time to do other things. For example, reading or catching up on your favorite TV show.
To learn from the very best, Bristol is home to the most sustainable commuters, with one in seven (14.15%) workers in the city getting to and from work by foot, and 6.08% commuting by bike. Edinburgh follows closely in second place, with the highest proportion (16.34%) of workers commuting by foot and 4.3% commuting by bike. And in the third position, we have Southampton, with 12.56% walking or running to and from work, and 3.8% cycling.
When we are shopping for goods, it is important to consider the alternatives. Ask yourself if you really need the item. If you do, consider more sustainable brands, second-hand shops, like Vinted, or charity shops in your local area. Consumption is a huge contribution to the degradation of our environment. It certainly takes more than one person’s habits to make a change.
Bristol, again, leads the way in housing the most eco-friendly shoppers in the UK. The city has 16 zero-waste or plastic-free shops per 1,00,000 people and an average of 3,207 online monthly searches for ‘charity shops near me. With Edinburgh snatching second place, having 11 zero-waste or plastic-free stores per 1,000,00 population and 3,048 average monthly search volume for charity shops.
Become an eco-friendly restaurant-goer
An integral part of our lifestyle is our diet choices. Reducing the consumption of dairy and red meat can help make a difference. You can do this by simply adding a few more vegan and vegetarian meals to your weekly meal plan.
According to Viessmann’s research, Huddersfield has the highest number of vegan and vegetarian dining options. 809 restaurants offer vegan options per 1,000,000 people, suggesting there is a greater demand for these options.
Edinburgh follows closely behind with 808 restaurants per 1,000,000, and Bradford takes third place with 672.
Have a green home
There are many things we can implement within our own homes in order to be more sustainable. We can start by ensuring that our homes have proper insulation to prevent energy loss. We can also apply various technologies to reduce emissions like solar panels and heat pumps.
Nottingham homeowners win this race with 4.6% of its domestic properties having installed solar panels, Newcastle follows closely with 3.7% and Bournemouth in third place with 3.46% of homeowners harnessing solar energy.
The most eco-friendly council
People’s power is no doubt important. The policies of local authorities can have a major effect on how environmentally friendly a location is. To rank councils’ performance on climate change, Viessmann looked at their target years for achieving zero carbon and whether or not a Clean Air Zone is proposed or in place.
Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Portsmouth, and Sheffield. Those are the eight councils that are performing equally well. Their goal is to achieve zero carbon and Clean Air Zones by 2030.
The overall greenest citizens
With 3 titles under their belt, Bristol was crowned to house the UK’s greenest citizen. The city ranks first for eco-friendly commuters and shoppers. Additionally, the city joined first with seven other UK councils.