An increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the past 100 years has caused a huge range of serious problems. By accelerating a process called the Greenhouse Effect, the billions of tonnes of carbon emitted every year have caused the world to heat up.
A Hotter World?
Global temperatures have risen by 0.74°C since the 1900s, and this has caused sea levels to rise, glaciers to melt and increased the number of floods and droughts. And worse is to come. If carbon emissions continue at the current rate, we could see:
- A number of coastal UK cities underwater
- Water and food shortages
- Hotter, deadlier heatwaves every summer
- Forest fires across Europe
How Much Are You Responsible For?
Recent research estimates that every man, woman and child in the UK is responsible for emitting 10 tonnes of CO2 every year. That's due to electricity and gas consumption, transport and the effects of farming the food that we eat.
For businesses though, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted every year is far higher.
The average UK business emits 87.6 tonnes of carbon every year. To put that into context, that's the same amount as the average car doing 13 laps of the equator, or 900 fridges running at full power for 12 months.
That's a lot of carbon. And there's really no reason that you can't reduce the amount of carbon you emit.
What Can You Do?
You can reduce your carbon emissions in a number of ways:
The Carbon Directory can help you buy carbon offsetting credits. We'll help you invest in schemes and technologies that remove carbon from the atmosphere (by growing trees) or reduce carbon emissions (by investing in low-carbon technology).
By partially or completely offsetting the carbon you emit, you reduce your carbon footprint and your negative impact on the environment.
But offsetting is only part of the solution. You also need to reduce the amount of carbon you emit in the first place:
- Invest in low-energy lightbulbs, and make sure you turn the lights off when you leave a room
- Don't leave computers, televisions or other appliances on standby – turn them off!
- Watch the temperature! Turn your radiators down a degree or two, and your fridge thermostat up
- Re-use, repair and recycle – don't just throw things away
- Watch what you eat. Meat production emits far more carbon than growing vegetables. Going veggie one day a week can reduce your emissions
On the Move
- Do you really need to drive? By walking or cycling to the shops, you'll create less carbon and stay in shape
- Use public transport – buses, trains and trams emit less carbon per person than cars
- Plan your route – by taking the shortest route, you'll use less fuel and emit less carbon
- Offset flights – when you go on holiday, you can buy carbon credits to offset your flight
- Offset your carbon and get listed in The Carbon Directory – show people that you're doing your bit for the environment
- Carpool – if your employees are encouraged to share transport, they'll emit less carbon getting to work
- Email – sending an email emits less carbon than printing out a letter and posting it
- Use low energy lightbulbs, and ensure they're turned off at the end of the day
There are dozens of other things you can do to reduce your CO2 emissions. If you have a bright idea that might help save the world, please, share it with everyone!