What you can do to improve your environment
Actions you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your environment.
Everyone needs to act if we are to reach net zero carbon. You can find out your impact on the environment by using an online carbon footprint calculator.
Visit the Carbon Footprint calculator website or explore the WWF Environmental Footprint calculator to find where you can reduce your emissions.
In your home
For information on ways to save energy in your home, visit our energy efficiency advice pages.
SES Water have some useful resources. Find out more about the free SES water saving pack and their GetWaterFit platform which includes:
- their GetWaterFit calculator
- free devices to help save water, such as:
- eco shower heads
- shower timers
- water-saving devices for toilets
- tap aerators
Some other ways that you can save both water and money include:
- taking short showers instead of baths
- fitting a water-efficient shower head to reduce hot water use while keeping the power
- turning the tap off while brushing your teeth
- filling your washing machine before running it - half a load doesn’t use half the water
- using a water butt to collect rainwater for watering your garden and avoid using lawn sprinklers
We provide free water bottle refills at participating locations across the borough, with Successful Sutton and local businesses. Download the refill app to find your nearest refill point.
Food and lifestyle
You can reduce the environmental footprint of your food and lifestyle in many ways, including:
- plan each meal and write a shopping list to avoid buying more than you need
- grow your own food using:
- your garden
- an allotment
- indoor pots for foods like tomatoes
- eat everything you buy and freeze what you don’t use
- donate unwanted items to a local food bank
- put unwanted leftovers in your food waste caddy
- create a garden compost heap, mixing it with garden waste
- use reusable food containers instead of single-use plastics and environmentally friendly alternatives to cling film
- reduce (eliminate if you can) the amount of meat, dairy and eggs you eat
- in the summer, make the most of salads and other raw vegetables - less cooking, less energy
- purchase seasonal fruit and vegetables
Find your local farmers market on the Ecolocal website and buy local organic produce at Sutton Community Farm - visit their website for more information.
One of the most effective ways to reduce your emissions is by changing how you travel.
You can hire a Brompton folding bicycle from behind You can hire a Brompton folding bicycle, explore how to hire them from behind Sutton Station. You can also hire a dockless Forest e-bike, visit our web pages to find out more.
Park your bike at one of our 100 bike parking spaces across the borough.
Low emission car travel
There are many ways that you can reduce the emissions from your car travel, including:
- choose a hybrid, electric or low-emission vehicle
- install a home charging point
- visit Zap Map to find your nearest electric vehicle charging point
- join a car club to reduce your car use
- drive smoothly, ensuring car tyres are fully pumped and oxygen sensors are working
- if you can, avoid flying (travel by ferry or coach), when unavoidable, pay a little extra to carbon offset your journey
Make your local area a little greener by enhancing or protecting nature in your own garden or the surrounding area.
- garden for wildlife using native plants
- dig a pond and leave wild areas like long grass and wood piles
- garden using organic, natural pest-control measures
- plant bee-friendly flowers
- put up bird or bat boxes
- cut a hole in your fence for hedgehogs and encourage your neighbours to do the same
- choose peat-free compost
There are many volunteering opportunities which can help to protect and enhance the borough’s biodiversity and wildlife. Find out more on our Environmental Volunteering pages.
If you don't have a garden, you can also:
- plant a tree, even in a pot - there are trees suitable for small gardens and balconies
- join a tree planting event near you
- keep your garden green, avoid decking, artificial lawn, or paving
- leave space for rainwater to soak in, to protect yourself and neighbours from flash flooding
- if you have paved your garden, use the RHS tips to green your grey front garden
- visit the Sutton Ecology Centre in Carshalton, who host biodiversity-themed activities for children and adults throughout the year.
Contact us if there is a patch of public land you’d like to transform for wildlife and we’ll try to help you with permissions.
Reduce waste and increase recycling
Visit our Recycling and Waste Minimisation pages for more information on how to reduce what you use and what to do with your left over waste.