The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, will be held in Glasgow, between 31 October and 12 November 2021.
This is the first such conference to take place in the UK, and will bring nations together from across the planet to evaluate progress made towards reducing carbon emissions, and to discuss next steps.
Norwich City Council is very happy to support COP26. The climate emergency is one of paramount importance and urgency, and only a truly collaborative, global approach can produce the results necessary to ensure the planet remains liveable for future generations.
Within that, of course, we all have our part to play – and it’s our responsibility to make sure Norwich serves as an example of best practice across the nation and the world.
Our operational emissions have dropped 70% since a 2008 baseline, while citywide emissions have fallen by 52.9% since 2005. These are achievements we can all be very proud of: but it’s not enough.
That’s why we have launched an independent climate commission, to discuss what further improvements can be made and how these can be communicated more widely.
We all need to work together to reduce our carbon emissions – here are some ways that you can make a personal difference:
26 ways to offset or reduce your environmental impact
1. Get out and about – Here in Norwich, we’re proud to have one of the highest walk-to-work ratio of any major city in the United Kingdom. We’re also in the top five for cycle-to-work! Avoid traffic, don’t stress about parking spaces and keep fit!
2. Get a car buddy! – The acclaimed LiftShare is headquartered in the city, offering opportunities for cheap, social and eco-friendly personal travel.
3. Join the club - We have one of the best car clubs in the country – if you’re not a regular driver, why not join the Car Club and enjoy all the benefits of driving without the commitments?
4. Electric feel - We actively encourage the use of electric or hybrid vehicles within Norwich. In fact, we provide electric charging points in Rose Lane and Earlham Park. All electric charging points can be found on the Zap-Map website.
5. Offset your air miles – With no viable alternative to some long-distance flights, it’s tough to give up air travel. However, with aviation contributing around 2% of the world’s carbon emissions, offsetting your journeys is an effective way of negating their impact.
6. Half the World Away – Cutting down on your personal long-haul journeys is important, but also consider your usage of goods that have travelled hundreds or thousands of miles to reach you. You can find out more on the Eat the Seasons website.
7. Solar of the Century – Solar energy is totally renewable, making it an environmentally-friendly option to consumers. Our Solar Together scheme is designed to bring the cost of installing solar panels down, removing barriers to installing them.
8. Join a renewable energy provider - We are working with Britain’s fastest-growing energy provider Octopus Energy to deliver Roar Power. We offer our citizens more choice, and an opportunity to save money and the planet at the same time.
Waste and Recycling
10. Plastic beach – If you absolutely need to use a plastic bag for your shopping, certain shops in the city have special points where these can be recycled. These can be found on RecycleNow.
11. Recycle - We have dedicated collection times and bins for certain types of waste or recycling, such as general waste, garden waste and food. We will also collect small electricals, batteries, and textiles, as well as cooking oil and certain lards and fats - so everybody can be a recycling hero! More info on our recycling pages.
12. Swap your shirts and skirts – If you’ve fallen out of love with an item of clothing, don’t just dump it. If selling your pieces online isn’t for you, items in good condition could be taken to a swap shop such as New-U, while other textiles can be collected by our recycling teams. More about textile collections.
13. Clean up – Join a #trashtribe and take part in clean-ups to remove harmful materials dumped in natural areas.
14. Meat Free Days – It takes 100,000 litres of water to create 33 kilograms of wheat… or one kilogram of beef. If giving up meat seven days a week isn’t for you, maybe Meat Free Mondays would be?
15. Buy locally-produced food - This limits the greenhouse gasses produced during transit, and usually cuts down on excess packaging as well. We’re very proud that our fabulous Norwich Market is so supportive of local traders and the local economy.
16. Grow your own! – Aside from the financial and physical advantages of growing your own fruit and veg, it’s also great for the environment. They remove emissions as they grow, and means you can avoid using pesticides which harm biodiversity. Find out about our allotments.
17. Hedgehog Highway – Hedgehogs travel up to a mile a night in search of food or mating opportunities. A 13 cm by 13 cm hole at the bottom of your fence or wall would prove large enough to offer them passage, while being small enough to keep next door’s pets out!
18. A Bug’s Life – Protecting wildlife in our gardens is crucial in enhancing biodiversity. Use your spare wood, straw and grass to create a bug hotel to keep your garden critters safe and warm.
19. Oh, Bee Hive – Pollinators are animals that move pollen from male to female structures, allowing them to reproduce. Bees are a prominent pollinator, with groups such as Bee Saviour Behaviour creating a lot of buzz about how to help them!
20. Let your garden ‘go wild’ – Or at least some of it! Letting the grass grow in certain sections of your garden will encourage biodiversity and save emissions that would have been produced through lawn mowing.
21. Shower, not bath – The average bath comprises 36 gallons of water, whereas most showers use just 5 gallons per minute. However, a water-saving shower head will mean release just two gallons per 60 seconds, meaning even a nine-minute shower would save half the energy of the average bath.
22. Light up, light up - Make sure you’re using energy-saving bulbs in your home. The most common type is a CFL, which uses 60-80% less energy than a traditional bulb. To really illuminate a more-eco friendly path consider LED bulbs – which use 90% less energy than a traditional bulb!
23. Measure your footprint – There are numerous online resources, such as this one from the WWF, that will calculate your carbon footprint and illustrate how it compares with the national and worldwide average. It might make you think…
24. Wrap battle – In many instances conventional wrapping paper cannot be recycled, and will only be used once. Recyclable wrapping paper is available, but why not consider other methods of gift-wrapping such as using magazine cut-outs, paper bags or tin foil?
25. Plant trees on your land – Trees absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, meaning it is removed from our atmosphere and not contributing to global warming.
26. Share awareness of environmental schemes with others – It’s vital that people know how they can make a difference – please let them know how!