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Ten tips to reduce your carbon footprint - part 1

On Mon, 8 June, 2015 - 12:00
mokshini's picture

The following info is from a 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 - 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. 

Here are some suggestions, in no particular order………but all quite easy to do!  Especially in the context of what our carbon footprint is likely to be:

Average emissions per a person

       0.1 tonne CO2e per year the average Malawian

      15 tonnes CO2e per year average UK inhabitant

      30 tonnes C02e per year average Australian

 1. Shop bought water in plastic bottles: it’s not just the plastic in the bottle – but the many transport miles that have an effect!   160-215g CO2e per bottle VS drinking tap water 14g CO2e for 1 pint 

2. Cow’s milk: a large Latte: 340g CO2VS  an Americano with a shot of  cow’s milk  = 53 g Co2e, or better still, try soya or hemp milk!  

3Air-freighted vegetables or grown in artificially heated greenhouses  e.g. 250g asparagus from Peru in  January (same with  – baby corn/  carrots/ mangetout /green beans/okra/etc.) =  a staggering 3.5kg CO2e!  VS   seasonal local vegetables - 250g asparagus grown locally and in season = 125 g CO2e. It makes sense to get a veg box! 

 (Mike B-L points out,  btw,  that apples/bananas/oranges are shipped not airfreighted so have a much lower CO2e)

4. Tomatoes! 1 kg of  out of season cherry tomatoes, grown in artificially heated  greenhouse in UK in March are the highest carbon food in the book at =  a staggering 50kg CO2e!!   VS Tomatoes, 1 kg grown locally & in season (July)  = 0.4kg CO2e

5. Load of laundry, washed at 60C, in  a combined washer-tumble-dryer 3.3kg CO2VS   same  amount of washing, washed at 30C and  dried on the line 0.6kg CO2e.

See part 2.

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