Energy efficiency

There are areas where we can reduce our carbon footprint.

The largest contributor to our carbon footprint is energy. This amounts to 62% of the total. If we limit this to electricity and heat for household purposes only (non-industrial), this is about 25% of the total.

The carbon footprint for transportation is 13.5% of the total emissions.

These percentages show the potentially significant impact of making energy efficient choices in our household and transport. Simple lifestyle choices can reduce a person’s carbon footprint drastically.

1 — Renewable sources of energy

The carbon footprint of a household is reduced to a fraction by fitting renewable sources of energy. Solar panels and wind turbines are excellent choices. Some devices over-produce energy and are connected to the national grid to provide energy for others. The device manufacture can have a high carbon footprint and it is worth comparing to choose the right option. Cost and planning permissions can be hurdles but it is certainly the way of the future.

2 — Electric cars

If one has to drive a car at all, it should be an electric car. The carbon footprint of electric cars is a fraction of a combustion equivalent. There is no valid reason why all other cars should not have been phased out and the motor industry hasn’t devoted itself 100% to the production of electric cars. Limited choice is an issue at present but it is a quickly evolving and promising sector.

3 — Public transport

The use of public transport minimises our carbon footprint. For short distances cycling is a good choice. Within public transport, rail and tube (underground/subway/metro) are the best choices. Coaches and buses add to congestion and have a relatively high carbon footprint. Clean combustion technology is being introduced in modern buses but rail remains the transport with the lowest carbon footprint.

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