Saturday, 7 April 2012

G for Greenhouse gases

carbon footprint logo
It is very easy to worry about greenhouse gases, and our carbon footprint which is related – the footprint being the measurement in units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide equivalent of all greenhouse gases we individually produce.

There are opportunities everywhere to calculate the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burningfossil fuels for electricity, heating and travel. But how many of us have actually calculated them when faced with the information needed to work it all out. And then what? Are you really going to avoid going on a journey if there is only you in the car? Will you cut out that foreign holiday?

Most people believe that global warming is caused by an increase in the greenhouse effect. image
image from
There are lots of controversies around carbon footprints and in particular 
schemes designed to  offset the damage like tree planting but if you look at it in more detail you find these described as feel good strategies that do not take into account the subsequent CO2 released when the tree dies. The arguments abound.
For some industries the issue has turned it to their advantage and made a virtue out of a  necessity– for hotels I imagine the “protect the environment and don’t have your towel washed today” message results in them reducing their laundry bill and feeling good that they are doing their bit. 


  1. I love protecting the environment and just hope everyday that people care and that they try.

    Great post!

  2. It's something I've never tried to calculate because, selfishly, I feel I am unlikely to change my lifestyle because of it. I live in a rural area, with practically non-existent public transport, so a car is a necessity for me (although maybe not the diesel-guzzling Land Rover I drive, useful though it is in all sorts of ways!). We coppice our own trees for burning over the winter but our reality is that we live in a large house that needs a lot of heating, so we use oil in our central heating. I may be a wimp but at my time of life I'm not prepared to live without central heating. There may be other "greener" alternatives but the cost of changing over is prohibitive. So, I continue to bury my head in the sand and pretty much ignore the issue.

  3. I know there is a controversy about whether eReaders really help the environment because of how many books needed to be downloaded to put it ahead of buying real books. Considering how many books are on my iPad right now though, I think I am way ahead.
    Hope you're having fun with the Challenge!

  4. I wonder if it is more important to be aware of your own numbers or to simply focus on reducing consumption. I am also curious about the whole tree "controversy." As far as I understand it, the green kingdom is what produces oxygen. Not sure how planting a tree could be considered anti-environmental. That sounds bizarre to me. Resources?

  5. We all can do small things that make a big difference.

    Play off the Page

  6. I don't mind being wise when it comes to things I can do to stay green; however, carbon taxes are coming and this aggravates me as it is a for-profit scam on the world.