Finding alternative ways of powering our lives and reducing our energy use is at the heart of taking on climate change.

Steps you can take

Turn things off

Utilise windows and place desks in areas where the sunlight can be utilised the best - turn off the lights whenever you can especially when leaving less-used areas such as kitchens and meeting rooms.

Don't leave electrical items on standby as this wastes electricity.

Make sure to power off your laptop or PC if you won't be using it for over 20 minutes.

Reduce energy use in every day activities

Use a powermeter to find out how much electricity is being used by an appliance by plugging it into the wall.

Think of ways to use electrical items less e.g. boil your office kettle less by using a vacuum flask to store hot water or only boil what you need, only run the dishwasher when it is full, where you can - use low energy or eco modes on appliances.

When buying new IT or other equipment consider the energy efficiency rating.

Also don't plug your laptop in when you are working, use up the battery and then recharge it - this will save energy and prolong the life of your laptop battery.

Reduce your digital carbon footprint

There are lots of way you can take steps to reduce your digital carbon footprint.

  • Use a more sustainable search engine. Ecosia plants a tree every time a search is made so why not use this greener alternative.
  • Don't use search engines as a way to reach regularly used websites - add them to your favourites or start typing in the name of the website into the web browser and it will find it from previous searches which use less energy.
  • Generative AI tools have a big carbon footprint - don't just use these because they're trendy, make sure you factor in their environmental impact when assessing if they're the right fit for your organisation.
  • Download and deleting music and videos has a smaller carbon footprint than livestreaming them.
  • Have a clear out of your emails, files and folders, as the more you are storing (especially on the Cloud) the more energy you are using.

Send less emails and attach fewer files

Did you know sending an email uses 4g of carbon? Reduce your carbon impact by only sending emails that are necessary, unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists, and have a spring clean of your inbox to delete unneeded items which otherwise use energy sitting on your email server.

If you can, contact colleagues and share documents using other comms systems such as Slack/ Teams/ Google docs. If you do need to send an email make sure to include links rather than attachments as this reduces the carbon footprint.

Finally you can use alternative email providers that are more sustainable. There are loads of different providers you could use which are sustainable - have a look at the link below for suggestions.

Donate old electrical items to be refurbished

Some tech providers will do this for you when you upgrade, but if there's still some life left in your device (such as phone, laptop, computer or tablet) why not give it to a new home.

Send it to get refurbished and give it a new lease of life. There are lots of charities provide electrical (and other) recycling schemes. Do a bit of research and see what you can find before throwing things away.

Useful links:


  • How to reduce your digital carbon footprint
Download a resource

To download a resource please submit your email address. We will use your email to contact you for feedback in order to improve our resources.

Great! Check your inbox and confirm your subscription.
Check your junk folder, just in case.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Download a resource

Case Studies

Actions from the North East and Cumbria

We've put signs up to remind people to turn the lights off in the building through the eco-council.
Anne Webster
MEA House
Instead of sending email attachments, we use Teams as this has a much smaller carbon footprint.
Lisa Stephenson
50+ employees

Have you taken action?

If you're a VCSE based in the North East and you've done something about the climate crisis, please share your action with us. We'd love to share it on this website, to inspire others.

Share your action →