Google the UK Carbon Footprint Project

November 1, 2007 at 5:49 am | Posted in 100% renewable energy, Carbon footprint, ClimateCare, Good Energy, Google, UK | Leave a comment
  • The UK’s carbon footprint is over 500* million tonnes of CO2 per year.

  • Individuals account for 45% of this.

  • Find out how you can reduce your footprint.

  • How green can you be?

After calculating how *yellow* we are, i.e.:

My Google UK Carbon Footprint 1 Nov 2007

I wrote to the UK Carbon Footprint Discussion Group to add my support to basak’s suggestion: Using Green Electricity Suppliers needs to be emphasised. Currently, it is not an option when you complete the boxes, so I entered zero for our electricity bill, just to get rid of the carbon emissions associated with our electricity, 100% of which comes from renewable sources via our supplier, Good Energy.

My comment is still in the moderation queue. Meanwhile, back in the attic, I posted it on my blog and immediately caught spam of the kind that I do not want to encourage. So I deleted that post!

Instead, I shall post my thoughts here, and see what happens:

Using Green Electricity Suppliers

I agree wholeheartedly with basak!

In fact, I came to this carbon footprint calculator *specifically* to see if it included 100% renewable energy as an option, and am really disappointed that it does not.

As far as I can tell, the single most effective way to reduce personal household carbon footprints is for as many people as possible to demand energy that comes 100% from renewable sources. 100%, and no less.

There is no point in giving suppliers “wiggle room” on green percentages: homeowner commitment to renewables needs to be total so that companies and the government see that there is demand for this kind of solution, and that demand is the best way to increase supply way beyond government targets.

Good Energy is great for electricity. I have written about them several times on my blog, and even wrote on this topic for Blog Action Day (October 15 2007 topic was Environment), and am slowly encouraging other members of my family and friends to consider switching to Good Energy. My only regret is that I had not switched sooner!

On a parallel topic, I think that you should have the option for people to say when they have offset the carbon emissions of their personal flights. Typically, I take one transatlantic long-haul flight a year with my family, and one medium length trip to Europe, which I know pushes up our carbon emissions into the extravagant carbon-lifestyle bracket, but I have used ClimateCare to offset our return trips this year—I bought the offsets and even displayed one of my certificates on my blog to show this is possible, and I am not joking! (It is too easy to talk about this stuff and never actually get around to doing it, which is, in fact, the crux of this problem.)

Again, I would recommend ClimateCare, just as I would recommend Good Energy, to anyone who is looking for significant ways to reduce their carbon emissions.

It takes a LONG time to figure out whether renewables and carbon offsets are worth switching to or paying for. Over a period of several months I skimmed this topic, and kept reading things that put me off. However, in the end, I concluded both are worth promoting, but only with conditions.

It is important to recognise that these involve discretionary action and discretionary spending, so it takes some commitment to overcome all the psychological hurdles even if you have disposable income.

As far as those conditions I mentioned, personally I do not support green tariffs that are less than 100%, nor would I currently recommend any carbon offsetter other than ClimateCare. However, I am now convinced these two companies are doing good, their offerings are crucial, and must not be ignored, but must be promoted to get them outside the “minority interest” category.

Now playing: Pink Floyd – Green Is the Colour, a song of love and damnation, from More (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture). Lyrics below not verified with the album, because I can’t find my copy …

via FoxyTunes

Green is the Colour
Pink Floyd
More, 1969

Heavy hung the canopy of blue
Shade my eyes and I can see you
White is the light that shines through the dress that you wore
She lay in the shadow of the wave
Hazy were the visions of her playing
Sunlight on her eyes but moonshine beat her blind everytime
Green is the colour of her kind
Quickness of the eye deceives the mind
Envy is the bond between the hopeful and the damned


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