The awakening of the world to the problem of climate change has ushered in a new carbon conscious mind-set amongst consumers in the West. Now, in almost every sector, companies and their customers are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint in order to minimize the impact of their habits on climate change.
Many motorists in particular are keen to determine their carbon footprint in order to take steps to reduce it. Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) offers advice on how to calculate your carbon footprint and some ways to reduce the impact your car has on the environment
There are some 30 million passenger vehicles on the road in Britain, emitting around 68 million tonnes of CO2 per year, meaning that on average each motorist emits around 2.27 tonnes of CO2 annually. There are of course variations due to differences in each car on the road, so it is important that you calculate your own individual footprint in order to assess what you need to do about it.
The government have come up with an online calculator to help you do this. Once you’ve determined the size of your footprint, you can then decide what needs to be done about it.
Reducing your emissions where possible is not only good for the planet; it can be good for your wallet, too. Reducing fuel consumption is the best way to decrease carbon emissions, but as a happy bi-product you will also save money. There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Avoid using cars for short journeys – walk, cycle or take public transport instead.
- Care for your vehicle – check tuning, tyre pressure and brakes. Regular servicing helps maintain your cars efficiency and saves fuel.
- Lighten the load – roof racks, trailers and heavy objects in the boot make your car work harder, which increases fuel consumption. Avoid lugging these around unnecessarily.
- Consider replacing your current tyres with low rolling resistance alternatives. Studies have shown that 5-15% of total fuel consumption is used to overcome rolling resistance, so switching could cut your fuel bill.
- Drive smoothly – hard acceleration and sudden stops eat up fuel.
- Steady your speed – at around 50mph, emissions will be lowest, however they rise dramatically once the needle goes above 70mph.
- Do not run the engine unnecessarily – turn it off if you are stationary for more than a minute.
While we can reduce our emissions, they cannot be eradicated altogether. Therefore, we must seek to neutralise our impact on the environment where possible. Motorists can now reduce their carbon footprint through their car insurance.
Customers with Carbon offset car insurance can neutralise 100% of their car’s carbon emissions during the duration of their policy by paying a small additional fee. This fee then goes to companies like the Carbon Neutral Company, who run projects to reforest endangered areas and invest in renewable energy in the developing world. Not only do you offset your carbon emissions, but you also create job opportunities for people in some of the poorest parts of the world.