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 A couple of months ago I talked about carbon footprints and had some really thoughtful responses from people.

The calculator I used was rightly criticised, it wasn't a particularly good one.

I'm now using this one  I went for the detailed version which asks for things like exact electricity consumption.

I came out as 1.8 planets compared to a UK average of 3 planets (you get a share of government CO2, which is fair enough, so even if you lived in a tent you couldn't get zero)

I'm pretty happy with 1.8.  There's a few things I can improve - we've recently installed LED lights and that won't have shown up in the electricity consumption yet, but there are also things I can't do much about.

(The only drawback with this particular calculator is that it's tips ignore some of what you've said about yourself. )

Although the calculator does not ask about children, I feel that  people who do not have children at all are clearly benefiting the world in the long term.  In my personal view, having more than 2 children is incredibly selfish in an over-populated world.

If you've got time, tackle the calculator and in weeks to come I'll try and talk about ways of improving your score.

The simplest tip of all is to go for renewable electricity.  The cost is about the same (in the UK at least) and the effort involved in changing supplier is minimal.  My personal recommendation is Ecotricity.  Their prices are good, they have excellent customer service, and they invest their profit in creating more renewable energy (which is not something guaranteed with the renewable tariff of the big energy companies).  They're an ethical supplier and the same tariff for all their customers, so you don't lose out if you've been with them a long time, or if you're on a prepayment meter.


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Judith Proctor

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