Carbon literacy - calculate a carbon footprint

The first step to reducing your own personal carbon emissions is to realise how much carbon dioxide your life and activities may be causing. Every time we use a car, every time we use the heating in our homes and every time we eat processed food from a supermarket we are using fossil fuel and in turn releasing carbon dioxide.

The average emissions per person in the UK is 9.4 tonnes CO2. This figure seems very high until you begin to break down the details into their parts. Sometimes figures for carbon footprints are given in carbon, sometimes in carbon dioxide. To convert between them, 1 tonne of carbon is the equivalent of 3.67 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

There are various online tools that can help you work out the carbon emissions that you are producing, such as the carbon calculator. The methods behind the calculations may be different so it may be worth using a few to compare. Once you know the baseline of carbon emissions for your life you can begin to reduce them.
Solving climate change is not about climate champions crusading for the cause. It is about people waking up to the real ecological impacts of their lives and reducing these impacts accordingly.
One small action by one person is a small difference. One small action by everybody is a big difference. Big action by everybody will completely resolve climate change, but a journey begins with a single step.