Donnachadh McCarthy: National Carbon Footprint Day

The Home Ecologist: A national carbon footprint day will help us all to show we can make a difference

I had been thinking for some time about how to get more people emulating what I have achieved with my own carbon-negative home and low-carbon lifestyle. Although the climate crisis and ecological destruction are the obvious concerns underpinning my actions, I was trying to pinpoint what maintained my commitment to reducing my environmental footprints?

Then I realised one of the chief drivers maintaining my momentum was that as I wrote about my annual footprints, I was publicly accountable for them. It had also engendered a personal competition with myself, as to whether my carbon and environmental footprints were lower than the previous year's. So how I could convince everybody else in the country to do likewise and came up with the idea of an annual National Carbon Footprint Day, when everybody could record their environmental readings and see how much progress they had made. To make this easy for people, I am launching the National Carbon Footprint Day website, where people will be able to pledge to measure their annual carbon footprint and can record their five key environmental readings. These are their electricity, gas (or coal/oil), mileage, water and flights.

They will then receive an email reminder every National Carbon Footprint Day which will contain their previous year's readings and a reminder to take their new readings. They can then use a carbon footprint calculator to calculate how much CO2 their direct energy consumption was responsible for.

To my delight I found that 2 October is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, a good date for the world's first annual National Carbon Footprint Day. Gandhi's maxim urging us to be the change we want to see in the world, underpins of my message. One major reason why we have not successfully halted the climate crisis is that not enough of the messengers, journalists, politicians or environmentalists have lived our message. If someone is publicly calling for urgent action to reduce our emissions but they have a large family, numerous long-haul flight holidays or drive a larger car than they need, their audiences will pick this up and think it can't be all that urgent.

So this new National Carbon Footprint Day is a wake-up call for all of us to start putting our climate crisis houses in order. I am delighted that comedian Marcus Brigstocke and prominent environmental politician Jenny Jones, former Deputy Mayor of London have agreed to be the patrons. So please log on to www.nationalcarbonfoot printday.org today and make your carbon footprint pledge. Who knows, maybe next year it will have become the world's first International Carbon Footprint Day. We CAN do something!

www.nationalcarbonfootprintday.org

Donnachadh McCarthy runs an eco-auditing consultancy and is author of "Easy Eco-auditing" (www.3acorns.co.uk)

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Retail Business Analyst

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Ecommerce/Retail/E...

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz