Mrs Green reveals her Carbon footprint

carbon-footprintFor Day 30 of our carbon fast, it’s all about knowledge. We’ve been asked to calculate our carbon footprint. After all, if you don’t know what it is, how can you improve it?

The suggestion reads “Calculate your carbon footprint today at, or and find out what more you can do about climate change, including purchasing carbon offsets”.

Over here in the UK, there are numerous carbon footprint calculator, five of which I have reviewed previously in my “online carbon footprint calculators review” post.

It has been a long time since I got an up to date carbon footprint so I decided to use the Act On CO2 calculator.

Our total household carbon footprint was 6.98 tonnes per year made up of 0.3 tonnes in the home (this covers things like insulation and heating), 1.88 for appliances and 4.8 for travel.

The national average is 10.17 tonnes made up of 4.53 tonnes in the home, 1.62 for appliances and 4.02 for travel.

To be honest I’m pretty disappointed with mine and I’m struggling to see what we could do to improve it. Apart from getting a dishwasher (I have a sneaking suspicion dishwashers and thought to be more eco friendly than washing by hand) and giving up our car, I can’t see any way to decrease our CO2 emissions.

The most gutting thing is that even though we have a low Mpg vehicle we are really careful how we use it. We travel way below the national average number of miles and we never fly anywhere…The reason we use a 4×4 is to collect wood to heat our home (which, from the low carbon footprint for our home is paying off!). Maybe that’s not so green after all…

Purchasing carbon offsets is not something I would ever do. I think they are a band aid over a wound that needs stitching. I don’t need to assuage my guilt by paying it off, I need to change my lifestyle to reduce my carbon footprint. Carbon offsets to me are like pouring petrol into a tank with a hole in it – they don’t solve the root issue.

What about you – did you check your carbon footprint? Any surprises for you?


  1. Preseli Mags on April 13, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Last time I checked it I think our carbon footprint was below average – I must check it again now we’ve made changes (swapped one car from thirsty to Eco). I drive a 4×4 too though because of where we live (but I defend the need for a 4×4 on a farm!) I agree that dishwashers are more eco-friendly, especially used on the eco setting (and cut the tablets in half to use less detergent).

  2. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking on April 15, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    You know I haven’t checked our carbon footprint. I think it would really be interesting to know though. We try really hard to leave as small of a footprint as we can but I bet we might just be surprised and find out it is bigger than we thought.

  3. Mrs Green on April 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    @Preseli Mags: Sounds like you’ve made some positive changes. I’m still not sure about the dishwashers argument!

    @Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking: It’s always worth checking because you never know – knowledge is power!