Greener BeeGreen HolidaysHow to save the planet: cut holidays, sell the car and don’t have as many children, say scientists

The researchers said advising people to change their diet, or have fewer children may seem controversial but it is crucial for the future of the planet.

Study co-author Kimberly Nicholas, of Lund University said: “We recognize these are deeply personal choices. But we can’t ignore the climate effect our lifestyle actually has.

“Personally, I’ve found it really positive to make many of these changes. It’s especially important for young people establishing lifelong patterns to be aware which choices have the biggest impact.

“We hope this information sparks discussion and empowers individuals.”

Last year Defra figures showed the amount of household waste being recycled by British families has fallen for the first time, official figures show, amid warnings that people are increasingly confused about how to clean and separate rubbish properly.

Common mistakes such as mixing cans and bones from meat in with other recycling, and attempting to save food-encrusted cardboard, are causing tonnes of waste to be rejected by recycling units.

Last year UK recycling fell by 0.6 per cent from 44.9 per cent of total household rubbish.

However campaigners said it was up to big business and governments to tackle climate change rather than leaving it up to individuals.

Friends of the Earth climate campaigner Simon Bullock said: “The biggest responsibility to meet the challenge of climate change lies with corporations and governments.

“Individual lifestyle changes do count – but the really significant changes needed to keep temperatures within limits should come from governments and industry.”

Defra said only one fifth of waste from councils now ends up in landfill.

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