Some surprisingly small changes that will make a big difference to your carbon impact to mark World Environment Day 2024.

Click for trees

Switch your browser. It is easy. Ecosia is a not-for-profit search engine that has planted over 206 million trees to date, with high monitoring requirements for all projects. Germany’s first B-Corps allocates 100% of profits to fighting climate change and environmental injustice; with 80% dedicated to tree planting projects and the other 20% invested in renewable energy, regenerative agriculture and grassroots activism.

Ecosia is a steward-owned company, meaning shares can’t be sold at a profit or owned by people outside of the company and no profits can be taken out of the company.

The search engine is powered by the Our Google and Bing algorithm, so whilst your results might not be as numerous as Google, they will likely be good enough to get you where you want to go. And you don’t need to worry about privacy, Ecosia is more privacy conscious than Google. You easily switch through an add on in Google Chrome and Safari for iOS 14. Other browsers that include an option to search with Ecosia include Adblock Browser, Maxthon, and Brave, or just simply download the browser.

Another green hack is to book your trains with Trainhugger. Also a B-Corps, Trainhugger contribute approximately a quarter of revenue to restoring the UK’s natural world, aiming to double UK woodland cover from 13% to 26% by 2025. Working in partnership with the Royal Forestry Society, they promise to plant a tree for every booking.

Like other major platforms, they support split-ticketing to save your budget and have a clean and fast interface, however, Trainhugger charges a flat booking fee of £1.50, of which £0.50 will go towards tree planting, which can make it more expensive than other platforms. For example, Trainline’s fees, based on your chosen journey, the ticket price, and when you’re booking, will currently vary between a minimum of 59p and a maximum of £2.79.

Garden game changers

Ditch the rhododendrons for the foxgloves, lily of the valley and hellebores!

Plant native species to support biodiversity. Plants, animals and insects depend on each other, but most insects will not eat non-native plants, so replace them and you’ll literally be feeding an ecosystem.

Native species will be far more resilient and require less resources, being well-adapted to the local climate, soil and other environmental conditions – using less water, no pesticides and be more resistant to local diseases.

What’s more, many native plants have deep root systems that help to improve soil structure, prevent erosion, and promote water infiltration, adding organic matter to improve your soil quality.

And while we are on gardens, if you have to water your garden during hot spells, do it in the evening to minimise evaporation and make the most of your water!

Keep the planet in mind when queueing for your sandwich

All food needs to be grown and processed, transported, distributed, prepared, consumed, and sometimes disposed of and every step of that journey creates CO2. We know you have heard it all before, but about a third of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions is linked to food. You don’t need to go vegan, but what you eat is much more important to your footprint than how far that food has travelled or how much packaging it has.

Transport and packaging typically account for only a small fraction of foods’ greenhouse gas emission, and although single use plastic is clearly to be avoided when possible, when it comes to CO2 the production of the food is key, with red meat and shellfish the biggest offenders.

So, if you are trying to choose between that bean burrito or a prawn mayo wrap, putting the planet into the mix will make all the difference.

Make your money matter 

Switch your pension to a fund that supports the planet. The UK has £3 trillion in pensions, some of which is invested in companies driving deforestation and funding fossil fuels. For every £10 you put in your pension, £2 is linked to deforestation. Check out Make My Money Matter, an organisation founded to help you green your money which has ranked the top 20 UK pension providers on their climate plans.

Tweak the heat 

Two easy wins: make sure you turn the heating OFF in the summer, rather than just turning the thermostat down, or your central heating system’s pump will remain running, consuming energy. To avoid this, choose the ‘hot water only’ setting.

While you are at it, switch off all appliances, rather than leaving them on standby. Any why not, in the winter, turn that thermostat down by a degree and grab a nice knit to cosy up with.

Making sure your fridges at home and in the office are at the recommended temperatures, rather than too cold, will also reduce your energy consumption every second of every day. The greenest energy is the energy that we don’t use!