Reduce Carbon Emissions by 10% in 2010

Now for my final ‘retrospective’ post. A bit on my energy consumption.

As you may have noticed, I display a graphic showing that TheUniversityBlog is a 10:10 website.

I have pledged to cut my carbon emissions by at least 10% in 2010.

The 10:10 campaign kicked off earlier in 2009 and I have considered my energy usage even more seriously since then.

By way of comparison, I thought I’d share how much I roughly reduced my footprint in 2009, compared with 2008.

Using the Guardian’s Quick Carbon Calculator, I found I had the following carbon footprints:

In 2008: 16.5 tonnes CO2e
In 2009: 12.89 tonnes CO2e

The reduction came about mainly by the following:

  • Less regular intake from takeaway meals;
  • More locally sourced produce;
  • Fewer newspaper, magazine and book purchases;
  • Eating less meat (my other half is a veggie, so it’s been pretty simple…without help, some meat-eaters won’t be spurred on so easily to cut down!);
  • Using less car fuel;
  • Having more shopping delivered to me, rather than driving to shops all the time.

This is a healthy reduction in carbon emissions, which pleases me greatly. My footprint has reduced by more than 20% based on the rough calculations.

This is not an in-depth analysis of my footprint, but it is good for getting a gauge of how I have started changing.  And the changes haven’t exactly made my life more difficult.

As for 2010, I still intend to find ways to cut my footprint. The 2010 UK target is 14 tonnes CO2e, while the UK average is currently 15.4. I may be happy to find that 12.89 is much lower than the 2010 target, but it’s still far too high.  The 2050 target for the UK is just 3 tonnes CO2e.

I’ve got a lot of work to do before reaching such a low number. We all do.  As a starting point, here are some articles from The Guardian about environment-conscious fashion and food:

Shop your closet – How to look stylish without buying new clothes
Can I give up buying clothes for a year?

How to green your eating habits

And here are a few ideas to help you reduce emissions even further. I’m sure you’ve heard most of them before, but they’re worth remembering and actioning:

  • Unplug devices when you’re not using them (such as TVs, chargers, etc);
  • Don’t wash so often! (Many of us wash more often than we actually need to…do you dare shower less?);
  • Turn down the brightness of your TV and/or computer’s monitor;
  • Turn off the tap when brushing teeth;
  • Close doors to keep warm air in;
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room and only use the lighting you actually need;
  • Most of us enjoy a cuppa, but only boil the amount of water you need, rather than filling the kettle to the top;
  • Wash your clothes (or get your parents to wash your clothes…) at 30 degrees centigrade, rather than 40 degrees or higher;
  • If you’re in your own property and can control the heating, reach for a thicker jumper before you reach for the thermostat.

There are loads of little tips like these.  What tips do you have?

Making easy changes can make a difference. As pointed out in The Guardian by Andrew Simms, “The under-appreciated discipline of behavioural economics confirms that our actions are more influential than we often like to thin.”

Whether or not you believe the global warming arguments, where’s the harm in trying to reduce the amount of energy you use?  If nothing else, it should help you save money. And you know how important it is to keep as much money in *your* bank account than someone else’s!

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