How Big Is Your Carbon Footprint?
What Is a Carbon Footprint?
A Carbon Footprint is a measure for the amount of greenhouse gases 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 in tonnes of 'CO2 equivalents'. In the UK, the average person is responsible for producing 13 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Globally, the average is 5 tonnes.
How Can You Measure Your Carbon Footprint?
There are many carbon footprint calculators available on line. The quickest and easiest one to use has been developed by WWF.
The WWF calculator will give you an good estimate of your footprint, but it only asks very basic questions about your lifestyle, and so cannot be very accurate. If you would like to get a more accurate measure of your footprint, try one of the ones listed below. You will need to enter more detailed information about your lifestyle (e.g. household energy bills, size of home, car useage, mileage of foreign holidays etc), so you will need to be prepared to spend a bit more time on collecting the data.
Why Should You Measure It?
As well as giving you an overall footprint, your results will be broken down into key categories such as Transport, Food and Drink and Household Energy. This may be illustrated as a Carbon Footprint Wheel, looking something like this.
Once you can see where your emissions are coming from, you will be able to identify where you can make changes in your lifestyle to reduce your carbon footprint.
We each need to reduce our own carbon footprint, and should be aiming to halve it by 2030, and reduce it to Net Zero by 2050
How Do You Reduce It?
Once you have measured your carbon footprint you can start planning what you can do to reduce it. Whichever calculator you use will probably give you some suggestions, based on the information you have put into the calculator. Harborough Climate Action has also developed a wealth of advice and tips that will help you tackle your emissions in various aspects of your life :
There are also many websites around that can offer ideas for reducing your carbon footprint. Here are a few you might like to look at :
And don't forget - reducing your carbon footprint often means saving money at the same time
And finally, why not tell us how you got on?
As part of Harborough Big Green Week, SHC are encouraging people to measure their Carbon Footprint. It would be great if you could then share your experience with us on our social media platforms, or by sending us an email. How easy was it to measure your carbon footprint? Were you surprised at the results? What steps you will be taking to reduce your footprint? What problems do you anticipate in trying to do so?