We’ve all heard of a carbon footprint. But have you ever stopped in your tracks and really thought about your own?
A carbon footprint represents your impression on the planet. It’s an accumulation of the goods you buy and the services you use – and the carbon emissions it takes to fuel those things.
It’s kind of hard to imagine isn’t it? That every single thing you do is loaded with carbon consumption.
So let us begin to paint that picture for you.
Carbon: a day in the life.
You roll out of bed in the morning. Your sheets, bedframe, mattress, PJs, slippers – the lot – all have a carbon footprint. You take a shower to wash off the sleep – how did that water get hot? Are you using a bar of soap or shower gel? Does the shower gel come in a plastic bottle? Is it virgin plastic (newly made into a consumer product from fossil fuels) or recycled (it’s done the rounds, has been repurposed and now lives in your bathroom)?
You brush your teeth (hello plastic). You’re feeling fancy so you moisturise (is that another plastic tube?) You get dressed: more clothes = more carbon.
You pop the kettle on (electricity – check, water – check), make your brew of choice (coffee and tea aren’t usually grown in the UK – so how far have they travelled to land in your cupboard?) Where does your favourite mug come from? Open the fridge for some milk. The fridge requires electricity. The milk is in a plastic bottle. The milk is from a cow. That cow lives in the UK but is fed partly on soybeans that come from Brazil. Rainforest was cleared to grow the soybeans.
Option two: the milk isn’t from a cow. It’s from almonds. Bad news, it actually takes a lot of resources to grow almonds (some estimate 80 litres of water for every 200ml of almond milk) – try again. Oats – looking better. And so on, and so on.
You’re, what, half an hour into your day and you’ve not even thought about eating breakfast or travelling to work yet? The carbon is already stacking up.
We’re not here to guilt trip you as you stare into the void of your phone and/or laptop screen (but while we’ve got your attention, think about all of their components and energy usage too). It’s just that right now, producing carbon emissions is a fact of our collective daily life.
Slicker than your average.
Let’s take a look at the average UK citizen’s carbon footprint. WWF calculates that in 2020, the average Brit will produce 10.51 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, using data regulated by the Office for National Statistics.
We’ve put our team to the test to see how their carbon footprints compare to the national average.
First up, our Co-Founder, Tom. A self-confessed failed vegan (he did stick with it for two years mind), he keeps his red meat and dairy intake low. He lives in a cosy, well-insulated flat and uses a renewable energy provider, which keeps his home footprint small too. Add to that no car and walking whenever he can, Tom comes in under the national average at 9.9 tonnes.
Next up, our User Experience Executive, Lauren. Lauren’s a vegetarian (and regularly champions the veggie life in the office). She travels by bus frequently, likes to keep her house toasty in winter and has pets to look after too. Add a meal out here and there, new clothes and skincare – and Lauren comes in just above the national average at 10.9 tonnes.
And last but not least, Toby, who looks after all things Product & Growth. Toby doesn’t drive, cycles whenever possible and takes the tube where cycling’s not an option. He’s been reducing his meat intake and tries to buy local produce when he can. At home in an energy-efficient newbuild flat, he only uses renewable energy sources but does love a good online shop. All this combined leaves Toby almost a tonne under the UK average at 9.6 tonnes of emissions.
Honest about carbon.
Our team members fall pretty close to the national average of 10.51 tonnes when it comes to their carbon emissions. Intrigued as to how your own footprint looks? We recommend looking at WWF’s calculator.
Makes for a lot of food for thought, doesn’t it?