Do you think it is possible to keep our standard of living and lower our carbon footprint? A carbon footprint is a “measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in a certain area in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide”. The UK’s carbon footprint is over 500 million tonnes of CO2 per year, Individuals account for 45% of this. Our carbon footprint to get here today was 2.81 kg. We desperately need to think of ways to reduce this.
Standard of living is the level of material comfort as measured by the goods, services, and luxuries available to an individual, group, or nation. And in this instance, it is the individual in the county of Wiltshire. Awareness is the first step of reducing our carbon footprint, but there are other simple suggestions that you can consider to reduce your own. We will inform you of those suggestions in this speech. Not only will these ways reduce your carbon footprint, it will sustain and potentially improve your standard of living.
These will allow you to have a healthier life in a cleaner environment with less expensive bills. Therefore, YES, it is possible to keep our standard of living and lower our carbon footprint. It’s so simple. Together, we can save Wiltshire, the UK and the planet. As from Gandhi’s famous quote: ‘You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.’
Think about it: we are all in this together. If every individual focuses on reducing their carbon emissions, the problem will eventually be non- existent. Here are ten quick and simple suggestions you can follow to reduce your carbon footprint.
1. Cut your home energy consumption
From turning down your thermostat by just one degree centigrade, it saves an amazing 10% on your fuel bill each year. This is clear evidence that you can improve your standard of living, and its SO easy. You should add more insulation, block up some annoying drafts, and be aware that each hour a boiler is fired it will have released 5kg of CO2. Your house does not need to be a direct replica of the heat in the Caribbean everyday, so lower your thermostat. Gas and electricity price are rapidly increasing, so action now will save you a lot of money and may also add asset value to your home. So, you will acquire many benefits from cutting down your home energy consumption without compromising on your living standards.
2. Switch to green electricity
Switch now to Good Energy, Green Energy, E-on or Ecotricity and you instantly lose two to three tonnes off your footprint. In the UK about two thirds of our electricity is generated by burning coal and gas in power stations. This releases millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, the main gas responsible for global warming which directly effects climate change every year. The other third of electricity mainly comes from nuclear power, which has other worryingly severe environmental impacts.
‘Green electricity” means electricity produced from sources which do not cause these impacts upon the environment. Of course, every type of electricity generation will have some impact, but some sources are much greener than others. The cleanest energy sources are those which utilise the natural energy flows of the Earth. These are usually known as renewable energy sources such as hydro electricity, wind power, solar power, wave power, tidal power, geothermal and biomass because they will never run out. Not only will it improves your own standard and greatly reducing your carbon foot, but will substantially improve and maintain further generation’s standard of living.
3. Use energy efficient light bulbs
The latest high performance energy efficient and long life light bulbs are incredible. They come in every shape and size, including exact replicas of the old fashioned bulb. Each one saves at least ï¿½25 over their life and cost about ï¿½2.50. They do not flicker, they come in soft-tone, they start up instantly and they look cool. Each bulb you use saves at least 100 kg of CO2. By changing every light bulb in your houseyou will notice the electricity bill drop- what a change! From doing this, it will NOT in any way affect your standard of living – but significantly improve it!
4. Know how much electricity you are using
How many of you know how much electiricty you use? If you actually knew, you would be devasted. You would switch off a few lights and turn off TVs and computers that are standby. So, get yourself an Electrisave. Its a small portable screen that can go anywhere in your home and it shows you instantly how much electricity you are using. Turning off electrical items you are not using can rapidly deliver you a ï¿½50 a year reward in savings, which means the pay back time for the Electrisave can be within a few months – and 250kg CO2 a year off your footprint.
5. Get a car that is nicer to the environment
Did you know the official all-in running costs per mile for the lowest CO2 vehicles in town are 25p rather than 50p (or more)? Low carbon is low cost in every sense. Road tax, insurance rating and fuel costs all tend to go together. And, of course, ultra low depreciation because these cars are the future. So when your next thinking of buying – or renting – a car, make sure you get one with CO2 emissions.
6. Use your car less
Consider how good it would feel to walk once in a while – or bike it. Rediscover the joy of public transport. Long distance off peak rail is great for unwinding and having a quiet time. Give that steering wheel a break once in a while.
7. Change your driving style, and take someone else
Drive more slowly and consider car sharing with someone else who is going to the same place as you.
8. Consider flying less often
This is a tricky one. None of us wants telling we cannot fly anymore. So try to fly less (some people are deciding not to fly at all). Stay longer when you fly long distance. Combine two trips. If you go far-flung on holidays do it less often.
9. Take a holiday in the UK
You deserve a break, so take one. Without getting on a plane. Millions of people visit our country every year for their holiday. Why not do the same and get to know your homeland better? You will be helping our economy, too.
10. Get radical
Once you have done all the basics, start to think about what the sun and wind could do for you. Install a solar panel or a wind turbine. My solar panel saves me well over ï¿½100 a year and a tonne of CO2.
Want county council to plant more trees.
One of te biggest aspects of modern ecological life is the technology we use to conserve energy. This can range from small things, like energy efficient light bulbs, turning down your heating by only one degree, basic insulation such as double glazing to buying a solar panel set or small wind turbine – it all makes a very large difference.
The investment does not need to be larg; it can just be the small amount of time it takes to turn your heating down and to turn off your computer and light switch. It literally takes 5 seconds. From doing this, it can make a huge different to not only the environment, but to your energy bill too.