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This free course, Environment: Treading lightly on the Earth, focuses on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, and explores what you can do to lighten those emissions to help reduce the rate of climate change.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- Understand the problem of green-house gas emissions;
- Explore what you can do as an individual or household to lighten those emissions;
- Identify how much you would need to reduce your carbon footprint to achieve an environmentally ‘sustainable’ level of emission.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Not all footprints are equally heavy
- 2.1 Average and mean
- 2.2 The carbon footprint of UK individuals and households
- 2.3 International comparisons of carbon footprints
- 3 How heavy is your footprint?
- 4 Lightening your carbon load
- 5 Treading lightly on the Earth
- 6 Who's responsible for lightening carbon footprints?
- 7 Summary
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Environment: Treading lightly on the Earth
This unit focuses on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, and explore what you can do to lighten those emissions to help reduce the rate of climate change. You will assess your ‘carbon footprint’ and see what actions you and, if relevant, other household members could take to lighten that footprint. You will also better understand which actions are more and less effective, and the scope and limits of what individuals can do at the personal and household level.
This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course U116.
You'll explore the answers to questions such as:
What is the carbon reduction effect of changing your eating habits, compared to driving fewer miles or flying less often?
By how much would you need to reduce your carbon footprint to achieve an environmentally ‘sustainable’ level of emissions?
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 4th October 2011
Last updated on: Friday, 22nd August 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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