Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Easy Way To Lower Your Carbon Footprint (Part 1 – Switch To Renewable Energy)

Time and time again we hear the need to cut our carbon footprints, lower our carbon emissions, turn our life green, live an eco-friendly lifestyle, and generally save the world! The rainforests are being cut down, the fish in the sea are being over-hunted, animals are going extinct left, right and centre, while the available oil slowly dries up while we drive to the shops and back. So, what can we do? How can we do our bit? How can we make a difference? How Can We Save Our Planet?

This article is the first in a planned series detailing how easy it is to change your current lifestyle to a greener, more eco-friendly, more sustainable lifestyle. My name is Robert Griffin and I run the website easilygreener, a web resource designed to help you make your lifestyle greener, easily. So, what advice do I have to offer?

We all need electricity. It is what makes our homes and workplaces tick. Electricity to power the fridge, the oven, the toaster, the washing machine, the television, the computer, the lights... The list goes on. But where does this electricity come from? How is it generated?

Here in the U.K, over three-quarters of the electricity is generated in thermal power stations, where gas, oil and coal are burned to drive turbines that generate electricity. The combustion of these fossil fuels results in the emission of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and other air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, which have been linked with negative health effects. Clearly, this is not good for our health or the environment.

15% of the U.K's electricity is generated in nuclear power stations, where the danger always remains of another catastrophic radioactive meltdown like that of the Chernobyl disaster in the mid-1980s. To this day, a 30km2 area of Ukraine is considered an exclusion zone and around a fifth of all the land in Belarus continues to be affected by radiation fall-out, because of that one accident. Clearly, the risk of using this sort of power outweighs the benefits.

Only 5.9% of our electricity is generated from renewable sources, such as from wind turbines, solar panels, hydro-electricity, biofuels and wave power.

It is worth noting that electricity generation contributes around a third of the U.K's total greenhouse gas emissions. So, is there a way that we can collectively reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions by a third and make 100% of our electricity generation renewable?

Quite simply, yes there is.

All you need to do is sign up to Good Energy, the independent 100% Renewable Electricity Supplier. When you receive their electricity through your mains supply you can feel happy in the knowledge that it only comes from renewable sources. No coal, no oil, no gas, no nuclear. Just wind, sunshine, waves and biofuel! If everyone joined Good Energy then all the country's electricity would be renewable and millions of tonnes of CO2 and other pollutants would be saved from entering the atmosphere. Our individual carbon footprints, and the nation's as a whole, would be a third smaller! It's so simple, yet so effective.

So, to do your bit for the planet, sign up to Good Energy!

All the best

Robert Griffin

The more on greening your lifestyle please visit

Please note that as well as being green, the Good Energy Group also received the maximum possible score for ethical practice from the independent Ethical Company Organisation in 2009. Another good reason to join Good Energy!

Also, please note that only Good Energy, out of all the UK electricity suppliers, offers 100% genuine renewable energy on all their tariffs. (Green Energy UK comes close but sources some of it's energy from combined heat and power plants that burn fossil fuels. All the other major companies, including Ecotricity, create a substantial amount of their energy from non-renewable sources.)


DECC: Fuel Mix Disclosure Data Table 2008/9

WWF & ILEX: The Balance of Power, May 2006

Information correct to the best of my knowledge as at 9th March 2010.

Please visit my website for further ways to make your lifestyle greener, at www.easilygreener.com : Green Your Life The Easy Way.