How you can reduce your carbon emissions

We want to create a sustainable Barnsley to protect our borough for future generations. A big part of this is reducing carbon emissions to help limit the effects of climate change.

We need everyone’s help to reduce our carbon emissions. In the UK 40% of CO2 emissions are caused by individuals, mostly from energy used in the home and travel. That’s why, we’re encouraging everyone in the borough to reduce their carbon emissions.

Check your impact on the environment

You can take a look at the simple tips below to help you to reduce your carbon emissions.  You can also check how much carbon you use at World Wildlife Fund

How you can get involved


  • Supermarket produce can travel thousands of miles to get to you, so shop local and seasonally. Barnsley Markets are a great place to start.
  • Reduce the amount of food you throw away – only buying the food you need and store fruit in the fridge to make it last longer. Check Love Food Hate Waste for ideas on how to make the most of the food you buy.
  • Reduce the amount of meat and dairy you eat. There are plenty of plant-based dishes to try at Market Kitchen.
  • Grow your own veg. If you don’t have a garden, consider an allotment or search LiveWell Barnsley to see if there is a community garden in your area.


There are lots of things you can do in your garden to look after the environment and wildlife.

In the community

  • Get your friends and family involved with being more climate friendly.
  • Set up a group to suggest ways to make your school, college or workplace more eco-friendly.
  • Get involved in a litter pick or community clean-up day. Check your area council’s Facebook page to find out what’s going on in your area.
  • Volunteer – check the opportunities available locally with Barnsley CVS.

If you’re involved in a community group and want to set up an environmental project, check South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau. They may be able to help with funding.

Reduce your energy use

14% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from heating, lighting and running appliances in our homes. Reducing the amount of energy you use should also save you money on your bills.

  • Insulate your home and make sure your heating system is efficient. This will reduce the amount of energy you use; make your home warmer and save you money. Find out more about making your home warmer and cheaper to run.
  • Use your heating controls – set your heating controls to heat your home around your schedule. Heat your home to 18-21 degrees and set the timer around your daily routines.
  • Consider a smart thermostat – which lets you turn your heating on and off using your smart phone. Some of these devices do this automatically. They know when someone is at home based on the location of smartphones belonging to everyone in the house. So if you have to go out unexpectedly, you don’t have to heat an empty home.
  • Make sure you switch off appliances when not in use, use energy-saving light bulbs and turn the lights off when you leave a room. Use a washing line to dry your clothes on sunny days, rather than using a tumble dryer.
  • If possible, buy energy efficient appliances.
  • Switch your energy supplier to a green energy supplier. Find out more about how to switch and get help to make your home warmer and cheaper to run

Reduce your waste

The average Barnsley household in the UK produces almost a tonne of rubbish per year.  There is a lot we can do to reduce the amount we throw away and reduce carbon emissions.

  • Choose good quality products which will last a long time when you can. Clothing made from cotton tends to be better quality and is easier to recycle.
  • If possible, repair old or broken items. Borrow items from friends and neighbours or consider buying second hand.
  • Use your local library - you can borrow books, e-books and digital magazines for free from Barnsley’s libraries.
  • Replace disposable, single-use items such as coffee cups, baby wipes, razors, cling film and nappies with reusable and waste-free alternatives.
  • Take unwanted, good quality furniture, clothes and electrical items to charity shops.
  • Check the recycling information printed on many products and recycle as much as you can.
  • Check what you can recycle in your bins and make the most of recycling. You can also recycle a lot of items at your local household waste recycling centre. To see what else you can recycle and where, visit Recycle Now website.
  • Reduce fly-tipping by using a licensed waste removal company and together we can tackle fly-tipping
  • For more information on waste and recycling in Barnsley, visit the Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham Waste Partnership website.

Save water

A lot of energy is used to make water safe to drink; pipe it to our homes, heat it and dispose of it afterwards. Climate change may mean higher temperatures and more droughts. Maintaining our water supplies, using water wisely and protecting it from pollution is very important.

  • Don’t leave taps running.
  • Fix any leaks.
  • Take a short shower instead of a bath.
  • Only boil as much water as you need in the kettle.
  • Use dishwashers and washing machines on full loads and use the eco setting.
  • Avoid using hosepipes.
  • Get a water butt to collect rainwater to water plants or wash your car.

Take a look at Yorkshire Water’s tips to reduce the amount of water you waste.


Transport in the Sheffield City Region makes up 37% of carbon emissions. The majority of trips in England are made by car, even for journeys of between one and two miles. So if you're able to walk or cycle, you can easily reduce your emissions and get healthy at the same time.

How businesses can reduce their emissions

As part of our journey to net zero carbon we’re encouraging businesses in Barnsley to be more eco-friendly. Consider how you can reduce your impact on the environment and lower your carbon emissions.

You can check your business’s carbon footprint using an online calculator. The government also offers guidance on measuring your business’s carbon footprint.

Every business and its impact on the environment is different. There is plenty of tailored advice for businesses in specific industries, but a couple of ideas to get you started could be:

  • Choose renewable generated electricity or consider installing solar panels.
  • Make sure your heating and lighting are as efficient as they can be – swap to LED light bulbs and use your heating controls.
  • Influence your supply chains by asking for more sustainable options. Consider if you can source supplies more locally.
  • Minimise waste and reuse or recycle as much as possible.
  • Consider whether you can reduce commuting and business travel by using conference call software or making trips by active travel.
  • Consider setting up a cycle to work scheme for employees.

Find out about The Barnsley Business Village. They can support businesses based in the Barnsley area who have high-impact potential for contributing to the UK’s Net Zero carbon emission targets.

Funding and grants

There are lots of funding and grants available for businesses, charities, and voluntary organisations across the borough.

Visit our environmental project funding and grants page to see some of the upcoming opportunities that may be relevant to you and your contacts.

Got an idea or suggestion?

We always welcome ideas on reducing our own and the borough’s impact on the environment. Get in touch with us by filling in our contact form and we’ll get back to you.