The EU has set the objective of being “climate neutral” by 2050 and many countries, institutions and companies have committed to reducing their emissions. As individuals, we can also play our part in reducing our emissions and we can estimate our carbon footprint. Here is how you do it.
What is a carbon footprint and why is it bad?
When you buy a new pair of kicks, drive your car to work, or make your favourite food on the grill, did you realise you are adding to the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions entering the atmosphere? This is what is known as your carbon footprint. Every single thing you do in your day to day life has a carbon cost. Whether it’s travelling to work, making your morning smoothie or what you eat for lunch. Everything has a cost.
Why Should You Care?
According to United Nations predictions, the global population could reach 9.7 billion people by 2050 and over 11 billion people by 2100 (Wow!) An ever-growing population drives emission growth and depletes the planets resources.
Some people may argue that climate change is natural. Of course, it is. But let’s not get confused. Increased greenhouse gas emissions accelerate climate change, leading to disastrous effects on the planet.
Be wary of what you eat and the process it takes to produce it. For many years, people thought that eating locally was the best way to reduce your carbon emissions. And, in theory, that sounds correct. Eating locally means you’re not eating food that’s transporting from other places, so you must be reducing your emissions, right? Well, it turns out that actually – mostly not. Of course, it will reduce some of your carbon footprint, but the offset is negligible. Food production not the food type or where it comes from is actually what is most important. Knowing how the food you are eating is prepared and produced “from farm to fork” is a much better metric for managing, and ultimately reducing, your carbon footprint.
For example, reducing your consumption of meats such as beef. Farming accounts for 14.5 percent of all anthropogenic CO2 emissions worldwide. Holy cow. To put that into perspective, that’s 7.1 gigatonnes of equivalent CO2 per year. But farming is a bigger problem, in the grander scheme of things. Global agriculture is responsible for almost 90% of forest loss and deforestation.
How about when you’re shopping? How many products still use single-use plastic coverings? Bananas wrapped in plastic is a great example of this. Bananas already have a protective packaging, why do we need plastic over it? Don’t forget to take a couple of reusable bags with you next time you go shopping, plus you’ll save on the plastic bag fee!
Take good care of your clothing, avoid buying excessive amounts of clothes. We’re all guilty of it, we love clothes. Looking good, feeling good, right? But did you know, the fashion industry is directly responsible for 8-10% of global carbon emissions? 😕
Instead of splashing the cash on that new dress or that new hoodie, try borrowing, renting, swapping, or buying clothes secondhand. Better still, pledge your fat stacks to our forest with Ecologi.
If you’re buying new clothes make sure they are responsibly made clothes, for example, made with an eco-label or made with recycled or organically sourced clothes. Or look for B Corp clothing brands, like Patagonia.
Ditch the car and walk, cycle or use public transport if you can. Let’s be real, vehicle usage is probably the main cause of concern for anybody seriously considering reducing their carbon footprint. Global transport contributes to about a quarter of all CO2 emissions worldwide.
If you drive, be smart about when and how you drive. If you can, use public transport where possible. Or how about getting a bike and cycling? Another great option is carpooling with your colleagues.
Hey, why not try the train for your next holiday? Get in touch with us if you want any advice on how to improve your workplace’s carbon usage sustainability.
Try implementing some of these into your daily life. Do you have any tips of tricks to reduce your carbon footprint? We’d love to hear them. Get in touch with us!