We can all help to protect the planet and tackle the climate and nature emergencies in the New Forest.
Taking a few steps, no matter how small, can all add up to make a positive impact on the environment. Take the New Forest Climate and Nature Challenge pledge and follow these tips to reduce your carbon footprint.
I will cut waste and reduce, reuse and recycle
- Reduce, reuse and recycle. Think about what you’re buying and if you really need it. Clothing production for example has a high environmental impact.
- Repairing and reusing items can also save money and learning a new skill can be fun.
I will save energy
- Switch to a renewable energy tariff, and make sure your home has cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.
- Make your home draught-proof and use thermal lining in your curtains to stop heat escaping.
- Turn off lights when you’re not using them, make sure you don’t leave electrical items on standby and only boil enough water in your kettle as you need. It’s surprising how the savings will also add up.
I will reduce the impacts of my travel
- Leave your car at home and take more local trips by bike or on foot. Consider an electric bike or a more environmentally-friendly car. Join a PEDALL session to build up your confidence on a bike.
- Make good use of public transport and trains. There are good rail links in the Forest with four stations, and in the summer the New Forest Tour buses let you get on and off wherever you like, or switch between routes, all on the same ticket
- Join Hants Liftshare for free. By car sharing you can save money and help to reduce carbon emissions.
I will help wildlife
- Take litter home. Litter can harm the local wildlife and grazing livestock. Large bits of plastic can also break up into microplastics which find their way into our water courses and ultimately our beaches and oceans. Please carry a spare bag with you so if litter bins are full, or there isn’t one nearby, you are able to take your rubbish home with you to dispose of responsibly
- Join a local climate change group or go along to an event. Community groups aim to reduce the impact communities have on the local area through reducing fossil fuel dependency, creating less waste, increasing recycling, supporting local food, and sharing skills to build community resilience.
- Create a wildlife garden. Plant flowers which attract bees and butterflies. Build a bug hotel or drill holes in an old log. Put up bird or bat boxes. Leave a gap in your fence for wildlife such as hedgehogs to pass through. Create a pond. Compost your cuttings. Leave an area of your garden to grow wild.
I will follow the New Forest Code
- Help keep the New Forest special and protect the landscape, livestock and wildlife when you’re out and about by following the nine simple steps of our New Forest code.
- Join over 700 New Forest ambassadors who help share the code and care for the Forest through tasks such as litter picking and reporting problems.
- Why not volunteer? Over 600 National Park volunteers take part in wildlife conservation, recording archaeology and improving access to the countryside.
I will shop locally
- By shopping locally you’re not only reducing your own carbon footprint and food miles but also supporting local businesses and the economy.
- Look for the New Forest Marque which is the sign of true local produce supporting the landscape. The scheme has around 160 members ranging from food producers and crafts people to restaurants, hotels and farm shops.
I will eat seasonally and eat more plants
- Growing fruit and vegetables out of season and transporting food across the world makes a significant contribution to carbon pollution. Locally sourced food is often tastier and has more nutrients.
- Eating less meat in your weekly diet will reduce your carbon pollution while also improving your health and saving you money. When you do eat meat, consider buying from sustainable local sources – talk to your local butcher or the New Forest Marque.
If you have more tips to add to this page, please email us.
Check out your local green group for more help, advice and fun events.