Blog: Success! I significantly reduced my carbon footprint

BlogUpdated: 7 August 2023Environment and Climate Emergency
Cllr Jon Tankard, lead member for environmental services, climate change, and sustainability

After blowing my carbon budget last week I have made a concerted effort to reign it in this week and I have had a success!

Last week my total weekly emittance of C02 is 97.5 C02. Given my target is 116.9Kg of carbon per week in order to maintain the Paris Agreed climate reduction, I am nearly 19.4Kg of carbon under my weekly allowance (approx. 17% below my allowance).

Okay, let’s break it down though, last week was slightly different. I mostly worked at home and when I did go to work for two days consecutively, I stayed over (works do!), so whilst this did reduce my carbon footprint, I have not factored in a hotel stay (which I am sure is pretty carbon ladened – one to review in another blog).

However, that’s not the only contributor to my carbon reduction this week. I have made some major dietary changes too.

Over the last week, I have omitted red meat from my diet and switched cheese out from my sandwiches. Who would have thought what a dramatic reduction in carbon these two simple actions would have, but is this maintainable?

I love steak and I am a huge fan of cheese, which is probably why I am not built like Usain Bolt, so I am not that keen to totally eradicate these elements of my diet.

But there is the ‘small nudge’ effect which I think could work for me here. For example, the choice of a chicken burger over a steak burger is not a huge problem for me, and, in the light of the above, I will at least try a ‘veg based’ burger and see where this takes my carbon footprint wise.

Cheese is trickier. I love cheese, but on reflection, much of the cheese I eat is a pure habit, such as snacking.

Maybe if I reserve my cheese consumption to a conscious event, perhaps a specialist cheese with a nice port and switch my snacking to something else this could be a positive change for the carbon footprint and who knows, I may even get closer to the Usain Bolt build.