How to calculate and reduce your carbon footprint
Carbon - we’re all responsible for it. From the food we eat to the way we travel, every one of us leaves a carbon footprint trailing in our wake.
How to calculate your carbon footprint
Working out the emissions associated with every aspect of our lives is difficult, but government figures suggest the average UK person is responsible for 5.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year.* If you include other factors such as overseas flights and UK consumption of imports, plus the impact of other greenhouse gases, this figure may effectively double.
You can use Carbon Independent’s calculator to give you an indication of the impact of your diet, journeys and household energy. And Eco Passenger compares the energy consumption, CO2 emissions and other environmental impacts of planes, cars and trains.
How to reduce your carbon footprint
We’re all responsible for emissions, but there are things we can all do to reduce our carbon footprint too. Some key areas to think about are:
- Energy - Becoming more energy efficient will help to reduce your footprint. Limit waste and consider switching to a supplier that provides renewable energy.
- Food – Consider what you eat and where it comes from. Studies show that meat and dairy are the most environmentally damaging food types. Food produced in the UK is generally less carbon intensive than imported products.
- Retail – From fashion to furniture, everything we buy generates emissions. The easiest way to reduce your emissions is to simply buy less. When you do buy, choose second-hand items or purchase from sustainable retailers.
- Travel - Walking, cycling and public transport are all better alternatives to driving. Flying is carbon-intensive, so limiting the number of flights can really help reduce your footprint.
Credit: David Woodfall / naturepl.com
The power of trees
You can help fight climate change further by harnessing the power of trees. Each year an estimated 20 million tonnes of CO2 are absorbed and locked away by the UK’s existing trees and woods. The 1,000 woods in our care across the country make a significant contribution to this total.
Through a donation you can help us to look after our woods and ensure they lock up carbon for generations to come. Every £25 donated helps us protect and care for an area of woodland that has the potential to secure roughly 1 tonne of CO2. A donation of £137.40 would allow us to look after enough woodland to capture and store 5.5 tonnes of CO2, matching the figure for the average UK person’s yearly carbon footprint.
Making a donation will not directly reduce your carbon footprint, but it will help to mitigate your environmental impact. Of course, the woods you will help protect are much more than just carbon stores. They also provide homes for wildlife and places for people to visit and enjoy; a true win-win.