Are you trying to reduce your carbon footprint, without quite knowing exactly how to go about it? Well you’ve got great intentions, this article will provide you with the insight you’ll need to make changes to your lifestyle and home in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
We all affect the environment in different ways, whether that driving, heating our homes or even flying. With lots of different aspects of your life to think about, it can often be quite overwhelming to try and think about all the different changes you could make, and exactly how to implement them.
First of All what Exactly is Meant by the Term Carbon?
When people talk about carbon emissions and carbon footprints, they are usually describing carbon dioxide (C02) emissions. These are released into the air when we burn carbon-based fuels, and unfortunately almost all fuels are carbon-based. For example; petroleum, diesel, gas, oil and coal in our homes. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, it traps the suns heat and keeps the earth warm. However, too much C02 in the air leads to climate change, also known as global warming. There are other gases in the atmosphere, such as methane, also contribute to negative climate change. It is important that all of us are taking charge of reducing our own emissions, together we can stop climate change and protect the ozone layer.
Your individual carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere because of the electricity and fuels that we burn. It mostly depends on:
- How much energy you use to heat your home
- The types of electronics and appliances you use in your home
- The kind of transport that you use daily
- How often you use an aeroplane
Knowing your carbon footprint will help you to understand the impact you are having on the environment, and more importantly all the different ways you can reduce your impact. In 2010 the UK alone produce 496 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Believe it or not, nearly 30% comes directly from household energy used and burnt into the atmosphere. Energy used in the home accounts for around 3.2 tonnes per househo9ld, and that’s without any transport being included. If we can make UK households more energy efficient and reduce transport energy consumption, we can all make big reductions in the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions.
You can use the carbon calculator online at Gov UK to estimate your carbon footprint, all you have to do is enter your daily details about the appliances in your home and daily travel arrangements. The calculator estimates how many tonnes of carbon dioxide you produce each year on average.
Now the most important part…how you can reduce it. Take a look at our top tips:
- Insulate your home properly – if you insulate your home properly then you could save up to 50% of heat that otherwise would have been lost through the roof or walls. Icynene spray foam insulation can get into all of the small areas that the traditional glasswool insulation just can’t reach. Perhaps you should think about your work space, commercial insulation will make a large difference to your bills, especially if you own your commercial building.
- Buy energy efficient appliances – luckily, this is getting easier and easier to do with most stores on the market selling energy efficient appliances, they will use less electricity and product event less C02 emissions.
- Switch off electronics at the wall when not in use – this tip often gets forgotten about, how many time do we leave our charger plugged in? Well now id the time to stop, reduce your electricity bill, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Try to walk, cycle or use public transport to get to and from work in the week – I know this is easier said than done, especially when you are in a mad rush in the mornings, but if you really try you’ll find a way. Most companies offer the cycle to work scheme, and if they don’t, then ask!
- Why not holiday closer to home? You’ll not only save on the aeroplane fuel but you may even be able to take the dog too!