Carbon footprints: what makes them high or low?

Are you trying to be more low-carbon? Your lifestyle, what you eat, how you travel and your home all play a part in how much you impact the earth. And the activities that make your carbon footprint higher can be quite surprising. 

The average person in the UK has a carbon footprint of around 10 tonnes per year(1), which would fill about 24 million balloons(2).

We interviewed three people to demonstrate what can make a carbon footprint high or low.

Keeping your lifestyle low carbon

Unsurprisingly, Tom’s carbon footprint is quite small and below the national average.

His proactive, responsible attitude to low-carbon living makes a big difference to the amount of carbon his lifestyle uses. However, his reliance on air travel for work shows significantly in his results, inflating his score.

What drives your carbon footprint up 

Because Danielle needs her car to get around and has to fly for work, she finds it difficult to be green. Her reliance on fossil fuels for commuting and working abroad means that her carbon footprint score is above the UK average. She could bring this down by carpooling or using public transport rather than commuting in her car. If Danielle switched her petrol car to an electric car she’d also see an improvement on her score. 

She could also reduce her carbon footprint by thinking about how her family use energy at home. Turning off TVs and other standby appliances at the plug and eating less meat would all help to reduce her impact on the earth. Getting a smart meter could help with this.

How to make the lowest carbon impact

Laura’s carbon footprint is the lowest. There are many reasons for Laura's low-carbon footprint, the biggest is her lack of air travel and the fact she is very conscious of her home energy tariff.

Her love of cooking reduces her carbon footprint further – as she’s not getting takeaways and reducing, reusing and recycling as much as possible.

Low-carbon tips and tricks

Want to know how you can be more energy efficient at home? You can check out our energy efficiency tips and tricks.
Read energy saving tips

Low-carbon energy

We’re the UK’s biggest producers of low-carbon energy. Why not take a look at the range of tariffs we offer? From tariffs that cover your boiler to tariffs that include smart tech. 

Check out our tariffs

Low-carbon travel

We now offer a range of electric car options – from our stand-alone EV tariff all the way up to our complete option that includes our tariff, charger and an electric car lease. 

See our options here