Measures I’ve already taken:

  • 100% renewable electricity
  • Solar hot water
  • Frak-free gas tariff (is also 12% renewable gas)
  • LED lighting
  • Loft insulation
  • Up to 10% self-sufficient on food
  • Two meat-free days per week
  • Fewer restaurants
  • One work room heated during winter
  • Saving up (slowly) for an EV (and we were car-free for 2.5 years)
  • Mobile phone eco tariff pays profits into renewables
  • Winter gas use halved through rationing and a smart meter
  • Some food self-grown

Despite all this, here’s my personal carbon footprint report for August 2017 to August 2018…and it makes for some dreadful reading.

According to carbonfootprint.com the annual average carbon footprints at the level of individuals are as follows:

Industrial-world:

11 tonnes

Me:

9.6 tonnes

United Kingdom:

7.13 tonnes

Worldwide target is:

2 tonnes

I have 7.6 tonnes to shift

  • 2.1 tonnes will gradually shift away as my chosen gas supplier builds more gas mills (and they are). Great! 5.5 tonnes!
  • 1 tonne will drop if I stop using restaurants, pubs and hotels. 4.5 tonnes!

I think I can shift another 0.5 tonne with these measures:

  • reduce food:
    • miles (including with home-grown)
    • waste
    • packaging
    • meat consumption, and
  • increase my use of second-hand clothing
  • just heat the room I’m in rather than the whole house when I work from home

My realistic minimum?

4 tonnes (one of those goes on interest payments and things I can’t shift!)

For the other 2 tonnes to shift I need top-down solutions. Closed-loop car production. EVs charged by renewable electricity. National-level legislation. Carbon scrubbers.

I’m committed to working on this but I also need the legislation and infrastructure work done.

My pledge: this coming year I will reduce restaurant and pub use, reduce food carbon, go much easier on the gas, switch back to second-hand clothing.