Individuals families

Offsetting green house gas emissions is a great way to reduce the impact of climate change, with immediate and permanent results. But it isn't the whole answer.

In the developed world, we create most of the world's carbon emissions - in fact the UK is the world's seventh biggest producer with over 11 tonnes of CO2 per head. And since there aren't enough projects in the world to offset everyone's emissions, it's vital that we actually reduce them too.

This means reusing as much as we can, recycling what we can't, then offsetting the difference. It's all part of a Carbonvita Lifestyle - the low-carbon way to keep our emissions to a minimum. Here are some tips on how you can embrace change for the good of the planet - and for everyone on it:

Set your own target

Use your Offset with the Carbon Credit Agency as a reduction target - but don't stop
there. The UK Government has set itself a goal to reduce carbon emissions from its own offices by 30%, recycle 75% of its waste and cut water use by 25% - all by 2020.
We all produce the greatest proportion of our emissions in our own homes. The CO2
created makes up a full quarter of the UK total, so making a difference there can be highly significant - as well as a great way to save money.

Here are some ways to do it:

Cutting energy emissions at home

Above all, make sure you're not overheating your home in the first place. Reducing the
temperature by just 1oC can cut your energy bill by up to 10% and save 0.3 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
Around half the heat lost at home escapes through the walls and roof, so make sure
your have proper insulation and draft proofing.
Cavity wall insulation isn't expensive, and it starts making savings from the
moment it's installed.
Buy energy efficient products - and not just light bulbs. Look out for efficiency labels
on new appliances, like the European Energy Label which gives a rating from
A (best) to G (worst).
Electrical appliances left on standby waste 6-10% of all energy used in the home; so
remember to switch off TVs, stereos and mobile phone chargers when they're
not in use.
Even seemingly small actions make a difference. So conserve heat by closing the
curtains at night; make sure the dish washer or washing machine is full before you use it; wash clothes at 30o, and when you're buying a new machine look for one with
shorter cycles.

And remember you, can make a big difference when you're out and about too:

Cutting energy emissions in the car

If you have to drive, keeping your car in tip top condition and driving it wisely both help keep CO2 emissions to a minimum, so...

Make sure your car gets serviced on time.
Check and adjust your tyre pressure regularly; it improves safety, increases the life of
your tyres, and reduces CO2.
Driving at the appropriate speed keeps everyone else on the road moving, which means
less CO2 emissions and lower fuel bills for everyone.
Don't leave your car idling or insist on warming up the engine in the mornings.
Today's cars simply don't need it.
Finally, when it's time to buy a new one, choose the most emissions-efficient model
for your needs.
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