Your carbon footprint – what does it mean?

In recent years the term Carbon Footprint has been used by everyone from major manufacturers and supermarkets to politicians and normal householders.

It seems that everyone is doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.

But how many of those people truly understand what the term means, how they can reduce their own footprint and how to judge if the businesses they use are really doing the right thing – or just giving the impression that they are?

What is meant by the phrase Carbon Footprint?

It is best to breakdown the two words before tackling the phrase itself.

Carbon is a substance which contributes to greenhouse gases and therefore global warming, while a footprint is another way of saying the impact that someone or something has on the Earth. Together the two words represent the full impact that a person, business or thing has on the world in terms of climate change.

You leave behind footprints on the beach in the same way that you leave the results of your carbon usage on the world. This can result from the energy you use, the lifestyle you lead, the food you eat and the things you buy. In fact, just about anything you do will leave behind a carbon footprint of some sort.

Obviously the combined carbon footprints of billions of humans has an enormous impact and it is generally accepted that this impact is having a detrimental effect on global warming.

For this reason people and businesses are trying to reduce their carbon footprints or their impact on the world around them.

Carbon footprints at home

Boiler grant
Upgrading your existing gas boiler with a more efficient one can dramatically reduce your home’s carbon footprint.
Solar panels
Installing home solar panels not only cuts your carbon footprint but also reduces your household energy bills.
Heat pumps
Heat pumps are an increasingly popular way to reduce a carbon footprint by absorbing heat in the air or ground.
Wind turbines
Domestic wind turbines are becoming an increasingly popular way to generate power at home.
Wood burners
Planting of trees more than offsets the carbon produced by burning them, making wood burners a good choice.
Installing cavity wall or loft insulation is the easiest and cheapest way to increase the efficiency of your home.

Next How do I measure my carbon footprint?

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