Environment: treading lightly on the Earth
Environment: treading lightly on the Earth

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Environment: treading lightly on the Earth

2 Not all footprints are equally heavy

You’ve just read some information about the average carbon footprint of a UK individual or household. But the footprint of a particular individual or household depends on the amounts and types of energy, food, and other goods and services they consume. This means that their carbon footprint depends on where they live, the type of home they live in, their income, values and lifestyle. Thus, carbon footprints of individuals and households vary widely within a country and also between different countries, but especially between rich, developed countries (e.g. the UK), newly industrialised countries (e.g. China), and poor developing countries (e.g. Uganda).

For individual or household carbon footprints, the average (or more correctly, the mean) footprint within a country is usually given (see Study note: Averages – mean and median). These average (mean) values show the variations in carbon footprints between different countries, but conceal the wide variations within each country.

U116_5

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371