It is possible to cut our carbon footprints dramatically.
Zero Carbon Britain is the flagship research project from the Centre for Alternative Technology, showing that a modern, zero-emissions society is possible using technology available today.
Have a look at their new report on how we might change to Zero Carbon Britain.
There are lots of tips on this site.
Examples of simple things you an do
Cut down on binge flying – it has a massive impact!
Switch to a green tariff
Waste less heat and electricity in the home
Walk and cycle on some shorter journeys
Buy fewer goods that are flown around the world
And new technology can help:
Renewable electricity sourced from wind, tide and solar power
Lower emissions cars
Boilers that recycle surplus heat
Low emission light bulbs
Standby free electrical goods
There are lots of tips on Green Wiki.
The Carbon Trust gives plenty of information on working our carbon footprints for organisations.
And this one from the Nature Conservancy.
The figures on recycling are shocking.
We could be powering our homes from waste, saving on imports and preventing methane escaping .
You can find loads of them on the WRAP website
WRAP estimates that around 600 million tonnes of products and materials enter the UK economy each year… only 115 million tonnes of this gets recycled.
Nearly 25% of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) that’s taken to household waste recycling centres could be re-used, worth around £200m gross a year.
We throw away more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink every year from our homes - most of which could have been consumed quite safely.
Portsmouth is running a BIG Recycle scheme to encourage all of us to recycle more of the right things. It has launched with an incentive scheme which is aimed at raising awareness about recycling, educating on what can and can't be recycled and motivating residents to recycle all they can.
Changing our diets can have a huge impact on our carbon footprints.
There are lots of things to consider:
The distance the food has come
How much processing
The energy used to produce and transport it
Storage and refrigeration
The key change we all need to think about is reducing the amount of meat we eat because it’s a really inefficient way of producing energy.
Have a look at the carbon footprints of various foods here.
Friends of the Earth have produced a guide to eating sustainably and are asking people to adopt a ‘flexitarian’ diet where we reduce our meat consumption, and eat more veggies.
They suggest we:
• Eat more plants – enjoy more fruit and vegetables.
• If eating meat and dairy – eat less but better. Meat – red or white, should be a tasty complement to a fresh meal rather than the centre piece.
• Waste less food – up to 30 per cent of the food we buy is thrown away.
• Eat more fresh food, and reduce processed food which tends to be more resource-intensive to produce and often contains high levels of sugar, fat and salt.
• Eat food you can be sure of, such as goods that meet a credible certified standard – like MSC (Marine Stewardship Council certified label) fish or organic meat and eggs, or produce direct from suppliers like local farmers.
Did you know that at least 25% of global emissions come from agriculture – land clearance, fertilisers, use of machinery, cows farting (a huge factor) and transporting food over long distances? Some of the big agri-business companies have huge carbon footprints. See the new report from Global Justice. More than half the emissions come from livestock production which is also a really inefficient way of using land and water. So cutting down on meat (especially beef) and trying to buy local food will make a real difference.
Apart from those costs, we waste about a third of the food produced globally. Sometimes it’s down to poor storage, but often the crops are regarded as below standard - blemishes are unacceptable. And of course loads of food is wasted because it gets to its sell-by dates and because people buy more than they need.
This is terrible in a world when so many people are going hungry but it’s obviously really bad news for the climate, especially as wasted food in landfill produces one of the worst greenhouse gases – methane.
PUT PRESSURE ON SUPERMARKETS
There are a lot of pledges around to try and get supermarkets taking action
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has done a lot to publicise the issue - Hugh's War on Waste #wastenot
Avaaz already has over a million signatures on its Stop food Waste, End Hunger petition.
Thanks to a huge petition on Change.org launched by Arash Derambarsh, a municipal councillor in Courbevoie, France introduced a new law requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity. This French victory has created an echo around the world. So now there's a petition asking the European Union to introduce a new directive calling on every supermarket to give its unsold food to a charity of its choice. Stop Food Waste in Europe
You can find links to them all here Food Waste : A Round Up of Petitions and Pledges -