Wednesday, 23 December 2009

New Year's resolutions & Carbon Footprint

New Year is coming fast, and we usually make some New Year resolutions that most of the time get lost in the mist of time. But what about adding a resolution to help us and help everyone else?

After the Copenhagen summit, I think it's clear that we just can't sit back and wait that our politicians take all the actions, we can't depend on them, we should be the change we want to see.

So, I want to join the initiative of the 10:10 project. It is an ambitious project to unite every sector of British society behind one simple idea: that by working together we can achieve a 10% cut in the UK’s carbon emissions in 2010. However, it's not up to one single country to do this, we all over the globe can try to contribute.

Most people are not aware of their carbon footprint, nor how to contribute to reduce the global emissions, usually we think that is something that governments and industry should address alone, and we are helpless. What a single person can do whatsoever?

Well, a lot, we can make a lot !!

First we need to put measurable targets. There's a very useful tool on-line to measure our carbon footprint with this calculator. According to this my carbon footprint of 2009 was 7.32 tonnes per year, the UK average is 9.8, but still is high.

So my 2010 resolution will be to cut down 10% of my carbon footprint.

But how can we reduce it?

Here some tips that I want to share with you

1) Our biggest carbon footprint comes from our consumption, uwe live in a very consumerist society. Ask yourself before buying something. Do I really need this? Are there better options? for example:
  • Food - Is my food organic, seasonal & local source? Do I eat mainly meat? Do I need to buy fast food which aside of the health generate a lot of waste (packing, etc.)
  • Fashion - Do I buy cloth just to be on the latest fashion or do I really need a new one? Do I really need to throw away that shoes or can I just change the sole? etc.
  • Packing - Do I buy products that have more packing volume than the product itself?
  • Furniture and electricals - Do I buy them just to have the latest technology? Does this technology consume less energy or more than the one I have? Do I use them at least 5 years or until it brake down and there's no way to fix them?
  • Recycling - Do you recycle and compost your waste?
  • Recreation - Does your recreation activities have a big carbon footprint? Can you enjoy recreation activities like walking?
  • Car manufacture - Do you feel the need to have a luxury and big car just for the status? Do you own more than one car even if you don't really need it? or even ask the question, do you need the car at all? Are you planning to buy a new car, why not checking the less emission cars available in Green cars. Why not trying an hybrid or even an electric one like the Citroen C1
2) Household carbon footprint - Do you use rationally your electricity, water and gas? Do you use energy-saving bulbs? Do you unplug the electricals that you are not using, taking into account that transformers consume even when the machine is off? Do you use the heating system or air conditioned all the time? Do you really need a dryer machine? Do you need to wash dishes with hot water, or can you use cold one and rubber gloves? Can you wash your clothes with cold water? Do you need to watch TV all the time or can you read or just have a time talking with your family?

Is there any green electricity company available in your area, like Ecotricity that will switch your carbon footprint for electricity consumption to zero.

3) Transport carbon footprint - We have became very lazy, we use the car for small distances that can be covered even walking. We don't use public transport or bicycle when feasible. Or we use aeroplanes where that distance can be covered by coach or train. Just think about this numbers.

coach 0.0000625 tonnes/mile
train 0.0000965 tonnes/mile
tube 0.0001333 tonnes/mile
car 0.0002953 tonnes/mile
plane 0.0003095 tonnes/mile

So, we all can take action. I encourage you in joining me in this New Year resolution, let's share our numbers, how many tonnes did you use in 2009? what's your target for 2010?

My 2009 consumption was of 7.32 tonnes per year
My 2010 target is 6.59 tonnes per year

Wish me luck!!

PS. Share this with all your friends, if you don't; nothing is going to happen, nothing at all, everything will continue as it is, just think about how you are going to face your grand children when they ask you. "Did you make your part to prevent a unsuitable world for us to live?"

1 comment:

Penumbra said...

I passed this post on to several friends. This actions add up and at least keep us from despairing over our own parts in the challange facing us

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