|19-04-2008, 08:54 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2008
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How to reduce your carbon footprint – Some Simple Steps.
As a family we have started looking at our carbon footprint far more seriously. However, first of all I would like to explain what is meant by carbon footprint and carbon offset as many seem to be asking me this question. These definitions may sound a little dull but so is the offside rule!
“Carbon footprint is the measure of the amount of carbon dioxide or CO2 emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels in carrying out a process or making a product. The increase on CO2 in our atmosphere has a negative impact on global climate.”
“Carbon offset is the act of reducing or avoiding CO2 emissions in one place in order to "offset" CO2 emissions occurring elsewhere. Because CO2 mixes well in the atmosphere, it doesn’t matter where that mitigation occurs.”
I hope that’s clear!
So what can you do as a family to try and reduce your carbon impact?
Below I have listed some simple, easy and cost effective steps that our family have implemented over the last three months.
The first thing we did was to change our car insurance to a carbon neutral provider meaning your insurer will invest in a scheme to offset the CO2 emissions your car makes during the year. We decided to go with ibuyeco.co.uk who were as competitive as our previous policy and provided a very good and clear service. Our CO2 saving each year will be approx 2,000Kg’s.
To be honest I was getting fed with all the price rises which were being passed on to us over the last few years by large organisations. Therefore we decided to move our electricity to Good-Energy.co.uk. They are committed to using 100% renewable energy. Our saving each year will be approx 8,000Kg’s of CO2.
Now this was easy and something we were already doing. However to keep things tidy and in order we purchased a set of three recycling bags (glass/metal, Paper/card and Plastic) from ethicalsuperstore.com. The bags click together, are labelled and easy to keep clean. We were astounded by how much plastic we got through each week and how much less rubbish we were putting in our wheely bin. Also we felt it important for our children to understand what we were doing and make recycling second nature to them.
I now take the train to London, walk/ride to work and walk/ride to school. This approach saves you money, keeps you fit and reduces ever further your CO2 emissions. The hardest part is to convince my wife that buying a bike is a nice birthday present!
This is the quickest and most simple of my recommendations. Although my wife likes the whole house cosy and warm, if you turn your thermostat down by 1 degree you can reduce your bills and carbon usage buy 10%. Trust me, you will not even notice the temperature change in the house, my wife hasn’t yet!
Another tip includes turning your thermostat down when you go out for the evening, or away for a weekend.
Day to Day Tips
• Only wash full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. Not difficult for us being a family of 5.
• Set your washing machine at 30 instead of 40 degrees.
• Turn off appliances at the mains – leaving them on standby wastes electricity.
• Cut down on cooking time by using lids on your pans.
• Don’t overfill the kettle when making a cuppa.
• Turn lights off and radiators down in rooms which are not being used.
I hope that you find these steps simple, useful and easy to implement. It is really important that we all work together in reducing are carbon footprint. I have listed below some useful sites which you make wish to look at and use.
http://www.moreeco.com - carbon offset shopping
http://www.thecarbonaccount.com - measure you ongoing carbon usage
http://www.climatecare.org - carbon calculator
MoreEco - Earn Cashback on ALL your Eco Shopping
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