Carbon footprint

December 6, 2007 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

I’ve been working on a conference on carbon capture this week, which has brought back to me some of the science of climate change, rather than simply concentrating on the lifestyle aspect of it.

So, I calculated my carbon footprint on the government website. This is the first time I’ve been able to do it with my own heating bills, which is interesting, although I couldn’t find the bf’s mileage on his car or anything, so that wasn’t taken into account.

Anyway, we came up with 4.43 tonnes per year as our household footprint, which compares pretty favourably with the national average of 10.22 (although if this is for a household, most households may be 3, 4, 5 people, so it’s not necessarily fair – the website isn’t very clear about that) and with the target footprint of 3.54.

We did particularly well on appliances, which considering that we have a pretty crummy old (second-hand!) fridge and freezer, means that there must be a lot of people leaving their mobile phone chargers plugged in…

So, what does our action plan suggest:


  • switching to a green tariff – no can do, renting
  • reduce temp on thermostat – done this already, house is often dangerously cold as it is!
  • set the timer to only come on when people are in the house – well, duh!
  • get a seven day timer if people are in at different times – again, we have no control over the boiler etc, but when I’m in on my own during the day I tend to have the oil-filled radiator on for a burst of heat as it’s better to heat a room than the whole house
  • renewable technologies e.g. solar panels, wind turbine – no can do, renting (when I get my smallholding, though……)
  • draught-proofing – have draught-excluders, but getting some really thick curtains would be good… there were some in Oxfam, so i’ll measure the windows and see if they fit (they looked a bit short at first glance)
  • loft insulation – not shelling out to insulate someone else’s house!! can you take it with you when you move???
  • double glazing – again, no can do…. would look into that or secondary glazing if we buy somewhere that’s not double-glazed, but I flat-out refuse to get uPVC windows
  • underfloor heating – again, no can do, but I had it in my first year at uni and LOVED it!


  • get more energy efficient fridge – yep, when this one breaks
  • get a microwave – I know they are more energy efficient, but we really haven’t room for one, and I only really see them as a tool for defrosting/reheating rather than a cooking appliance… I know I should be more open-minded… I do use my slow cooker a fair bit though
  • get a dishwasher – okay, it only says this if you are a large household and do a lot of washing up throughout the day… we are a small household, do the washing up once in the evening (maybe once at lunch too), and also have a small house with no room for said appliance
  • turn down brightness and colour on the telly – apparently, manufacturers tend to set them for showroom viewing which is too bright for normal living rooms. I have no idea if this is true… I also never go anywhere near the telly… will pass info onto the boy…


  • walk, bike, use public transport whenever possible – do this already, boy does most of the time, sometimes drives to work when late… only really use car for getting places we can’t get to on food/by bus/train or when we need to pick up something heavy
  • keep car in good condition – not my job!
  • stop flying – yes, yes, I know, it’s bad, I am going to take the train to China… never take domestic flights, will take train within Europe, but sometimes it’s just so expensive and time-consuming….

Entry filed under: carbon footprint, climate change, energy.

Leftovers recipe of the week December sniffles, obscure cuts of lamb and bio-"diversity" in my back garden

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Most recent ramblings

December 2007
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