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10 tips to reduce our carbon footprint - part 2

On Sun, 28 June, 2015 - 17:45
mokshini's picture

Here is some more info is from the book called ‘How Bad are Bananas?‘ by Mike Berners-Lee. This book compares the relative amount of the carbon impact of a wide range of daily products and activities and gives an estimate of the actual carbon produced from each to help us make more informed choices. The carbon footprint figures for each product are estimates  (Co2e) - but the book makes it very obvious and easy to see where we can make choices that would significantly add up to reduce our carbon footprint. 

1. A weekend ‘quality’ newspaper with loads of colour supplements, sent to landfill averages around 4.1kg Co2e. Compare this to e.g. the Guardian Weekly, recycled: 300g Co2e. 

2. Flying... there is no getting around the fact that flying has a major Co2 impact; and as Mike B-L says, “the impact is worse still because high-altitude emissions are known to have a considerably greater impact than low - altitude eqivalents”. A return flight London - Hong Kong averages at 4.6 tonnes Co2e . 

Options? Flying less often and use alternatives -  is it possible to get there by train? Flying to closer destinations; and making a special effort not to buy air-freighted food and clothing. 

3. Cut flowers, bought our of season! How many armloads of flowers have been bought for our shrines over the years?! One red rose grown in a heated greenhouse in the Netherlands = 2.1kg Co2e. Compare that to a red rose picked fron your garden, using only orgainic fertilizer = 0 Co2. 

4. Leaving the lights on: old style 100 Watt light bulb for 1 year = 500 kg Co2e. A low energy lightbulb for the same period = 90kg Co2e. Better still, let’s remember to turn them off!

5. And lastly - mobile phones - and this hadn’t even ever occurred to me: “using a mobile phone an hour a day for a year is equivalent to flying from London to New York” - wow!

On the other hand, just insulating our loft could save 3.5 years’ worth of our 10 tonne a year Co2 ‘allowance’ - this 10 tonne annual ‘allowance’ is the conservative aim for Western countries; this is in the context of average emissions around the world - 

0.1 tonne Co2e per year for the average inhabitant of Mali
15 tonne per year for the average inhabitant of the UK
30 tonne per year for the average inhabitant of Australia 

Here’s Part 1 of this 10 Tips post!

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