Are you prepared to reduce your carbon footprint?

A lot of us agree going green and reducing one’s carbon footprint is the right thing for both the environment and our planet. However, when it comes to putting this into practice, it often involves a substantial initial investment to make the properties we live and work in more environmentally friendly and energy efficient, so with this in mind are you genuinely prepared to reduce your carbon footprint?

The first thing to do is to find out how much your carbon footprint is. One way to do this is to use online calculators to work out the size of your home’s carbon footprint. In an article on the Independent’s website entitled “Save the planet – and cash – with a green makeover” Alessia Horwich explains that “The amount of CO2 produced by your home depends on a huge range of factors, from the size of your property to how warm you like your living room in the winter. As a result, carbon shoe sizes for similar properties can vary wildly. There are several calculators online, including and the Government run actonco2 which asks you to enter details about the size of your home, your heating system, the cost of your energy usage, how much insulation your house has and even how many light bulbs there are in your property.”

“These calculators can give you an idea of the kind of carbon footprint you are leaving,” says Hayley Jones, a spokeswoman for green information website “It’s not an exact science, but at least it gives people an idea of where they sit, whether they need to make big changes or just tweaks here and there.”

Alessia Horwich advises that “Once you know where you stand on the carbon scale, you can start doing something about it. For those with older properties, the best area for big savings is your heating system. Out of all the energies used in homes, the most waste is from heating and hot water — so double-glazing and insulation are by far the best things you can do. If your boiler is an ancient model, replacing it can increase efficiency by as much as 20 per cent instantly, and your emission of greenhouse gasses can be cut even further by trading your gas, electric or oil boiler in for a wood-chip or wood-pellet boiler.”

There are so many other things that property owners can do to reduce their buildings carbon footprint, including installing cavity wall and loft insulation, switching to low-emissivity double glazed glass, fitting energy saving light bulbs, turning off electrical appliances that are on standby and not over heating rooms.

Going green and reducing your carbon footprint will reduce your energy bills going forward, it is just a case of whether you are prepared for the short term pain of investment to reduce your carbon footprint, for the long term gain of reduced running costs and the resultant benefits to you and the environment.


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