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Cutting carbon

How lockdown made us more conscious of our impact on the planet

An illustration of a happy Bulb member enjoying some bird song out their window

Lots of people changed their habits during lockdown, mostly because they had to. But spending more time at home also made people more eco-conscious. At Bulb, we did some research to understand this better and found that many are keen to keep it green as things get back to normal.

During lockdown, data from our members’ energy usage showed us that lots of people were doing things a little differently. We wanted to dig a little deeper, so we asked 2,000 people across the UK what habits they’ve picked up in lockdown, why, and whether they’re planning to carry these on when things start getting back to 'normal'.

Lockdown helped lots of us to live more sustainably

The last few months provided a chance for people to step back and re-evaluate some of their habits and priorities. We found out that 37% of people in the UK say they’ve lived more sustainably during lockdown. These changes included buying fewer clothes, walking more and buying local groceries. Other shifts included being more mindful of energy use at home and recycling more.

We also asked people what it was that made them more eco-conscious. Seeing the impact being in lockdown had on the environment played a big part. 35% said they were more aware and appreciative of nature, thanks to hearing the birds sing. A quarter were inspired by seeing air pollution go down in cities.

This helpful person put together a video with the sounds of 31 birds common to Oxford for people to listen out for during lockdown.

Being more sustainable brought benefits close to home too. 37% of people said it helped to save money, showing that being green can help lower your bills as well as your footprint.

Keeping green habits as we get back to normal

Frustratingly, carbon emissions are starting to rebound as countries come out of lockdown. But the good news is that the same percentage of people who said they lived more sustainably during lockdown said that they’ve resolved to carry this on.

We’ve got a chance now to reflect and reset so that we take the positive habits - like living more sustainably - into the ‘new normal’. For those looking to do that, we put together some tips to help you make greener choices at home. See which you can stick to as lockdown restrictions ease.

And if you want to understand more about your carbon footprint, and how you can do more to lower your impact on the planet, try out our Carbon Calculator. It helps you to work out your carbon footprint and offset it by funding carbon reduction projects around the world.