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.

4 Reducing your carbon footprint

Calculating your individual carbon footprint using the OU carbon calculator gives you a good idea of the contribution to the total footprint made by your choices regarding energy, food, travel, etc. You’ll also know how your carbon footprint compares to that of the mean footprint per person for the UK or another country.

Unless you already live a very ‘green’ lifestyle, it’s unlikely that your footprint will be light enough (at 2 to 3 tonnes CO2e) to be compatible with long-term environmental sustainability, or at least to help avoid dangerous climate change in the coming decades.

This section, therefore, discusses targets for reducing carbon footprints towards an environmentally sustainable level. At the end of the section, you’ll then use the carbon calculator again to explore options for reducing your footprint towards such targets.

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