What is a Carbon Footprint?
A Carbon Footprint is a measure for the amount of Greenhouse Gas being emitted by a particular entity - this could be a household, or a product, or a business, or even a country. It is usually measured on tonnes of 'CO2 equivalents'.
For an individual or household, a Carbon Footrprint is calculated by considering the various aspects of their way of life that will be generating emissions, (such as Transport, Household Energy and Shopping), and assigning an estimated level of emissions to each aspect. There will also be an element of emissions relating to a household's estimated use of services provided on their behalf by government (e.g. road and rail infrastructure, health and education services). The results of the assessment are often illustrated in the form of a Carbon Footprint Wheel.
How do I know what my Carbon Footprint Is?
There are many Carbon Footprint Calculators available on the internet, some of them relatively quick and simple to use, but others requiring you to do a certain amount of 'homework' before you can complete them (e.g. annual mileage travelled in your car, annual amounts of gas and electricity used). Obviously the more actual data you are asked to input, the more accurate the outcome will be.
A quick and simple Carbon Footprint Calculator you might like to try to star with has been developed by the WWF-UK
Others to try if you are prepared to spend a bit more time on collecting the date are :
A few Key Facts about Carbon Footprints
In the UK, the average person is responsible for producing 13 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year
Globally, the average is 5 tonnes
Everyone needs to reduce their carbon footprint significantly by 2030 if we are going to meet the target of reaching Net Zero by 2050
This is what a Carbon Footprint for a UK person might look like
25% of our greenhouse gas emissions relate to food and drink
25% relate to transport
17% relate to household energy
16% relate to shopping and services
17% relate to public services and other
Click on any of the SEGMENT buttons to find ways of adapting your lifestyle so that you are heading toward Net Zero.
Our 'typical' wheel is based on data put together by Small World Consulting and Pawprint
More detailed information about carbon footprints can be found on the following sites