You hear a lot about our CO2 emissions and carbon footprint in the news. With the Footprint Challenge we go a step further. We use the model of the Ecological Footprint, which is broader than the CO2 footprint. On average, CO2 takes up 60% of our ecological footprint. The CO2 we emit as individuals is mainly caused by what we eat, how we get from A to B and how we heat/cool and insulate our homes. So, in our daily lives we have the opportunity to save CO2 in many ways.
CO2, what is the problem?
CO2 is a greenhouse gas and occurs naturally. And that’s a good thing, because otherwise it would be much colder here on Earth. The point is that since the Industrial Revolution, we have been emitting a lot of greenhouse gases by using fossil fuels. In addition, many forests are cut down, which releases CO2 and the livestock sector has grown a lot, which results in more CO2 and methane emissions. There is now 40 percent more CO2 in the air than 250 years ago. All these emissions of greenhouse gases cause the enhancement of the natural greenhouse effect and therefore the Earth is getting warmer. This warming of the planet is changing our climate, which has all kinds of consequences, such as rising sea levels, acidification of oceans, more extreme weather and drought.
Watch this video for a summary of the challenge we face.
If we look at where the average household has the most CO2 emissions, these are the areas where you can make the most impact:
- Food and drinks
- Energy at home
During the Footprint Challenge we have already taken many steps to reduce our footprint. Take another look at the tips in the field of stuff, food and energy. We would like to share a few more tips for daily transport and holidays here.
Tips for daily transport:
- Small distance? Hop on the bike or walk and have that exercise you have been craving. A healthier, cheaper and often quicker way to get to your destination.
- For longer distances, the electric bicycle is a good alternative to the car. It’s 30x better for the environment!
- Not using your car on a regular basis? Consider car sharing. Share your car with neighbours or sell it, and borrow one when you really need it. Nudge offers a handy overview of car sharing sites in the Netherlands.
- Restyle your driving style with eco-driving: drive at a constant speed with low rpm, check tyre pressure regularly and change to higher gear as soon as possible. This way you save up to 10% of fuel. You’re not only saving money, it’s good for the environment and better for your car too.
Tips for a sustainable holiday:
- Stay closer to home and travel by public transport or take the bike. What about discovering Europe by Interrail?
- Be adventurous and get a ride with someone or offer your own available seats in the car via BlaBlaCar.
- Can’t reach your holiday destination without taking the plane? Choose a direct flight, better for your own stress levels and less CO2 emission.
- Compensate the CO2 emission of your trip via for example Greenseat of Fair Climate Fund.
- Stay with the locals via Fairbnb or Couchsurfing or choose a hotel with a small footprint on Bookdifferent.com Bookdifferent.com.