The Energy and Transport Group is the new name for the TTH Carbon Footprint Working Group which had its first meeting in April 2009. We aim to work with the community to help the residents, businesses and other organisations of Haslemere and the surrounding area, to collectively reduce their carbon footprint.
We usually meet on the second Monday evening of each month, and are in the process of planning how best to achieve our aims. We have started to put together a portfolio of community projects and would welcome any further ideas. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Meeting – See Diary
What is a carbon footprint?
The way we work, play, eat, travel and shop all result in carbon dioxide emissions – the leading cause of global warming. Scientists predict that unless we reduce overall emissions by at least 80% by 2050, global temperatures will rise by more than 2 degrees, causing runaway climate change with disastrous consequences for the planet.
In order to avoid this, the global average carbon footprint per person needs to be 3 tonnes a year or less. Currently, the average is 13 tonnes per person in the UK, with around a third of this resulting from home energy usage.
It is urgent that we start to reduce our footprint. Fortunately, there are many simple ways we as individuals, businesses and organisations can reduce our carbon footprints and at the same time save money on our energy bills.
Calculate your Carbon Footprint!
Find out what your carbon footprint is by using any of the online carbon calculators on our Tools and Skills page.
Reducing your carbon footprint – A Practical Guide
For an informed and detailed account of what we as householders can do to reduce our carbon footprints, we offer a practical guide – see the link below. It features some ‘easy wins’ – actions or devices which save CO2,
save money, and do not require any major change of lifestyle. It also highlights others which are a waste of time and money, with a spectrum of others in between.
The author, Sandy Polak, is an engineer and member of the Carbon Footprint Group.
TTH Wood Fuel Project
The Carbon Footprint Working Group is looking into increasing the use of locally grown wood as a carbon-neutral fuel. It’s in its early days: we are investigating what other groups, like the Forestry Commission and the National Trust, are doing so we can take advantage of their expertise.
Why wood fuel in Haslemere?
We couldn’t help noticing that Haslemere is surrounded by woods. Surrey is the England’s most wooded county and the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has 40% woodland cover. What’s more…
- …woodland is an under-used local resource…
- …active management of woodland can be better for wildlife…
- …better use of our woodland could create new employment and business opportunities…
- …use of wood fuel is a recognised part of our country’s strategy to move to renewable energy.
CFG is currently trialling home energy monitors and using them to help reduce their carbon footprints. Other ideas for projects and campaigns that we are investigating include the 3 Tonne Club, Greening Campaign and
Carbon Neutral village.
We are developing an information exchange, and welcome any of your ideas and information on green products and suppliers which could help residents, businesses and other organisation reduce their carbon footprints.
We are also developing case studies of best practice, so if you or anyone you know has taken steps to green their home or lifestyle, we would love to hear from you.
Haslemere is surrounded by woodland and so we are investigating the potential for local renewal energy sources, such as wood fuel from local coppiced woodland.
The Three Tonne Club
The Womens Environmental Network (WEN) have also produced a very helpful booklet and campaign idea called the “Three Tonne Club” which provides step by step advice on how to reduce your carbon emissions from an average of 13 tonnes per person to 3 tonnes per person. It is the perfect tool for those who want to go a step further than just home energy improvements and provides alot of interesting information and ideas. You can order their booklet from the WEN website.
Carbon Footprint for Haslemere
In order to track how much we reduce our carbon emissions by, we need a starting point, or baseline. The best figure we can find is that calculated in 2004 by the the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in partnership with WWF. Using software called Resources and Energy Analysis Program (REAP), the organisations calculated the carbon footprint in tonnes of carbon dioxide per person for the various regions of the UK. The calculation included emissions from housing, food, transport, consumer items, public and private services, and capital investment.
The figure for the whole of the Waverley Borough was 14.03 tonnes carbon dioxide per person on average. We are assuming that emissions for Haslemere and surroundings do not deviate much from this figure, so we
are taking this as our baseline. Waverley’s total was the fifth highest out of the 66 parts of the South East for which the calculation was done, and the South East overall had the highest emissions in the UK.
The biggest contributors to our carbon footprints are housing (energy usage) and transport. This is where the greatest potential for reductions lie – if we can collectively make substantial home energy efficiency improvements and begin to find more sustainable ways to travel.
If we look at our overall ecological footprint, which is the total amount of land, resources and energy we each need to maintain our current lifestyles, then our per person requirement in the South East is 6.17 hectares. If everyone in the world had our ecological footprint then we would require three planets just to sustain us. Clearly, this is not an option !