Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Carbon Footprint

A Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

Tips to Reduce Your Primary Footprint

1. Holidays

Don't go by air

2. Electricity

Sign up to renewable energy

3. Gas

Try using solar water heating - this can reduce your gas bill by up to 70% over a year.

4. Travelling around

Use public transport as much as possible. Find out about your local bus services and then use it.

5. Car Share

Sign up to a car share scheme to reduce your travel footprint.

Tips to Reduce Your Secondary Footprint

When you buy goods - consider where they have been made and the materials and processes used to make them. Items that have high emissions in the manufacture or delivery should be avoided when ever possible. Things such as:-

1. Bottled water

Tap water is safe to drink in most European and North American countries, yet people still insist on buying bottled water. If the bottle is labelled as being from volcanic springs - you can bet that it has probably been imported from some distance. Imagine the carbon footprint of the flight / shipping of the water! And that's before adding in the emissions due to making the bottle and / or recycling it.

2. Food and drink from far distances

When you go to the supermarket, look at the label to identify which country the food is from. There is no need to buy New Zealand apples in the UK in the autumn - but people do!

Think twice about buying a bottle of wine from the other side of the world - you may be able to find much more local wine, which will have travelled far fewer miles.

Better still try growing your own fruit and vegetables in your own garden. Planting an apple tree will not only provide you with lots of fruit, with zero carbon footprint, but the tree itself with breathe in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere - making these fruit effectively carbon negative!

3. Meat eating

Reduce your consumption of meat, especially red meat.

4. Clothes from far off lands

Check the clothes labels before you buy. If they come from more than 1000 miles away, keep looking!

5. High packaged items

Avoid goods and services that have unnecessary packaging! Need we say more?

1 comment:

MadsaboutU said...

Yes, the more people who do whatever they can to help earth the better. The smallest things count. It wouldn't make sense to do what's impossible for your lifestyle.