What is a carbon footprint?
Your carbon footprint is part of your ecological footprint – the overall impact your activities have on the environment. The larger your footprint, the greater the amount of greenhouse gases your activities produce, measured in units of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Your emissions may be caused directly, through burning fossil fuels for domestic energy or transport, or indirectly as a result of the whole lifecycle of products you use – emissions connected with their manufacture, use and eventual breakdown.
How can I reduce my carbon footprint from travelling?
The golden rule is: “Reduce what you can and offset the rest.” If you do fly, fly less frequently, fly shorter distances (a return flight to Australia generates 17 times more CO2 than a flight to Sweden!), stay longer at your destination, use public transport both to your departure airport and within the country, and purchase an offset to mitigate your carbon emissions. An offset for a return flight to Sweden costs just £3.50.
What do we at Nature Travels do to reduce our footprint?
Of course, it’s not only when travelling that we produce greenhouse gases, and there are many straightforward steps we can all take in everyday life to reduce our emissions – steps which make sense from an economic as well as environmental standpoint.
Here are some of the ways we try to reduce our footprint at the Nature Travels office. It is easy to take this kind of advice as glib and meaningless, but small changes can make a real difference. Not only that, but they can save you a fortune!
· Nothing is left on standby. Ever. If it’s not being used for any length of time, we turn it off.
· We turn off the lights whenever we leave a room and all computer equipment overnight. The only thing switched on in our office after closing is the answerphone.
· The office is fitted with low energy light bulbs.
· We try to minimize our use of paper as much as we can. All correspondence is via email where possible. We use both sides of all paper. All written notes are done on the back of scrap paper. We do not print things out unless absolutely necessary.
· All waste products (paper, printer cartridges) are recycled where facilities exist. Recycled printer cartridges and used stamps are used to raise funds for conservation charities.
· The nature of our business means that we travel to Sweden fairly frequently, but we try to minimize any negative effects by using public transport both to our departure airport and within Sweden, and purchase an offset for our flights.
The issue of climate change is not going to go away: we are all part of the problem, should we not also be part of the solution?
What do YOU do to reduce your carbon footprint? Do you have any good ideas on how to make your home or office a greener place? We’d love to hear from you.
The Nature Travels Team
For advice on reducing your personal or corporate carbon footprint, see:
Also see the following articles from the BBC:
How green is your office? and Scheme to Cut Carbon Footprint.