- 1. What Is A Carbon Footprint?
A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation etc.
The pie chart above shows the main elements which
The carbon footprint is a measurement of all greenhouse gases we individually produce and has units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent.
A carbon footprint is made up of the sum of two parts, the primary footprint (shown by the green slices of the pie chart) and the secondary footprint (shown as the yellow slices).
1. The primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels including domestic energy consumption and transportation (e.g. car and plane). We have direct control of these.
2. The secondary footprint is a measure of the indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use – those associated with their manufacture and eventual breakdown. To put it very simply – the more we buy the more emissions will be caused on our behalf.
3. Steps must we do to reduce carbon footprint to much
Helping you to reduce your footprint
We offer a bespoke service to help companies and public organisations reduce carbon emissions.
On these pages we offer general advice to organisations and individuals on actions that will enable carbon savings to be made. Many of which will also help save you money.
Here’s a list of simple things you can do immediately
- Turn it off when not in use (lights, television, DVD player, Hi Fi, computer etc. etc. …) Click here to find out which electrical items in your household are contribute the most to your Carbon Footprint
- Turn down the central heating slightly (try just 1 to 2 degrees C). Just 1 degree will help reduce your heating bill by about 8%.
- Turn down the water heating setting (just 2 degrees will make a significant saving)
- Check the central heating timer setting – remember there is no point heating the house after you have left for work
- Fill your dish washer and washing machine with a full load – this will save you water, electricity, and washing powder
- Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need
- Do your weekly shopping in a single trip
- Hang out the washing to dry rather than tumble drying it
The following is a list of items that may take an initial investment, but should pay for themselves over the course of 1-4 years through savings on your energy bills.
- Fit energy saving light bulbs
- Install thermostatic valves on your radiators
- Installing cavity wall installation
- By installing 180mm thick loft insulation
- Recycle your grey water
- Replace your old fridge / freezer (if it is over 15 years old), with a new one with energy efficiency rating of “A”
- Replace your old boiler with a new energy efficient condensing boiler
Travel less and travel more carbon footprint friendly.
- Car share to work, or for the kids school run
- Use the bus or a train rather than your car
- For short journeys either walk or cycle
- Try to reduce the number of flights you take
- See if your employer will allow you to work from home one day a week
- Next time you replace your car – check out diesel engines. With one of these you can even make your own Biodiesel fuel..
- When staying in a hotel – turn the lights and air-conditioning off when you leave your hotel room, and ask for your room towels to be washed every other day, rather than every day
As well as your primary carbon footprint, there is also a secondary footprint that you cause through your buying habits.
- Don’t buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink
- Buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing your own
- Buy foods that are in season locally
- Don’t buy fresh fruit and vegetables which are out of season, they may have been flown in
- Reduce your consumption of meat
- Try to only buy products made close to home (look out and avoid items that are made in the distant lands)
- Buy organic produce
- Don’t buy over packaged products
- Recycle as much as possible
- Think carefully about the type of activities you do in your spare time. Do any of these cause an increase in carbon emissions? e.g. Saunas, Health clubs, restaurants and pubs, go-karting etc