Giki Zero carbon footprint calculator

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Minimise your impact on the environment with the help of a carbon footprint calculator

Whether it’s eating less red meat, using public transport more often, or cutting out single-use plastics, there are opportunities for climate action in almost every aspect of our daily lives. Alex Duckett, Graduate Trainee at Warwickshire County Council (WCC), has been doing some research to find out where to begin.

With so much advice available on how to minimise our impacts on the environment, taking steps to reduce our carbon footprints can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, tools such as carbon footprint calculators are available that can help us understand our personal impacts on the environment and give us the knowledge and guidance that enable us to make changes.

There are plenty of free carbon footprint calculators out there, with organisations like the World Wildlife Fund, Carbonfootprint.com, and Conservation International providing trusted and highly regarded online options. At the first meeting of the WCC Climate Action Group, an employee led space that aims to drive forward climate related activities across the organisation, the Giki Zero carbon footprint tool was highlighted as particularly useful.

Unlike some other tools, Giki Zero allows you to create an account, track your progress, and commit to taking specific and tailored actions that help mitigate against your climate impact. When you sign up to Giki Zero, the first step is to answer a set of questions about your lifestyle and habits, called 'footprints', with around 30 different categories covered. There are things you might expect to see such as electricity, gas and water usage, household waste and recycling, but Giki goes into a surprising level of depth, looking at areas such as your diet, how much food you waste, what kinds of transport you use and how often, purchasing habits, what kind of financial services you use, and even what kind of food your pets eat. If your habits change or you haven’t had an opportunity to answer all the questions, you’re able go back and add or change information as required.

The tool then processes all this information to calculate your personal carbon footprint, as well as that of your household, and provides an opportunity to see how your footprint compares to others, both in the UK and further afield. Their ‘climate clock’ brings your footprint into sharp focus, showing you how long it would take until the global carbon budget runs out if everyone lived as you do. For example, I was shocked to learn that if everyone across the globe lived as I do, we’d be facing irreversible damage to the environment in just six years.

Once you’ve entered your information and received a baseline score (they call it a 'Giki score'), Giki analyses the data and makes tailored suggestions on how you can minimise your climate impact. From 'nice little steps', such as taking care to boil only as much water as you need when making hot drinks, to 'changing the world' measures, such as getting a heat-pump installed in your home, Giki categorises the suggested actions by how much impact they will have on reducing your carbon footprint. Among a wide variety of suggestions, the tool recommended that I switch from bottled shower gel to bars of soap, or for a greater impact, purchase clothing made from organic cotton or wool. 

Alongside each of the recommended actions, Giki Zero gives you detailed tips on how to carry them out, and explores the benefits other than carbon reduction, whether that be financial, health related, time saving or other climate benefits such as helping support biodiversity. Once you’ve chosen the steps you’re interested in taking, you can commit to trying them out, track your progress, and mark them as ‘done’ when you’ve successfully made them part of your daily routine.

If you’re interested in how you can minimise your impact on the environment, or you’d like to learn more about the Giki Zero carbon footprint tool, visit Giki Zero.

Giki Zero carbon footprint tool (opens new window)
 

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