So I thought it would be a good idea to work out my family’s carbon footprint. We live a pretty eco lifestyle so it would be helpful to see just where we are on the greenhouse gas emissions scale and if our efforts are really worth it. I headed over to carbonfootprint.com. I have no links with the site and it does seem to be set up to sell carbon offsets however I’m assured it is one of the better carbon calculators out there for individuals and households.
I inputed my data as best I could and hit calculate. The results are below.
So first of all this is a calculation for my whole household. That’s 2 adults and 3 children. The 7.12 tonnes result could be divided by 5 to give an average individual footprint of 1.424 tonnes. That’s pretty low per person and is mainly a result of not flying and having a low energy house. We heat with wood, most of which comes from our land and our electricity is mostly from solar panels on the roof. We are lucky though in that we have this house and surrounding land and also that we are not that bothered about flying. Other people have different situations of course. Not everyone might want to (or be able to) live simply in a straw house in the middle of a field. The aim really, if you want to reduce your impact on the climate, is to reduce those things that don’t necessarily add to your life. Wasting electricity on devices you don’t need? Holidays abroad you don’t particularly enjoy? Too much stuff costing you time and money? The whole philosophy of ecosuffciency is to be able to live a good life (enjoyable and satisfying) with as low an impact on the environment as possible. Eliminating some of the less fulfilling but polluting aspects of your life is a great start.
So I’m glad to discover we have a relatively low footprint for the average UK family. It could go lower if we reduce our car usage (and I’ll address this in the next post) but for the most part we can definitely say we are enjoying life and being (relatively) low carbon.