The average Suffolk resident is responsible for releasing 9.3 tonnes of CO2 every year. That's roughly the same as five full hot air balloons.
When CRED Suffolk (now Suffolk Climate Change Partnership) calculated the carbon footprint of each Suffolk Local Authority area, Ipswich had a carbon footprint of 5.87 tonnes of CO2 per head of population. Although this is the smallest of the seven local authority areas, this is largely attributable to the fact that Ipswich is an urban area, so the dependance on a car for transport is far less than in more rural areas.
Luckily there are a number of free and easy changes we can all make which will help to lower the amount of CO2 we produce - as well as save money!
Free and easy changes to make
Think about the following when you are at home:
- Cover your pans when you cook - this could reduce the amount of energy you use by 90%;
- Be careful not to overfill your kettle for just one cup of tea. Every cup of water you boil represents 25 cups of CO2 released;
- Switch off from standby! A TV left on standby will create 30kg CO2 over the course of a year;
- Turn lights off when you leave a room;
- Reach for a jumper before going for the thermostat - and close your curtains at night so heat doesn't escape through the window. Turning your heating down by just one degree can cut up to 10% off your fuel bills - saving between £15 and £30 per year;
- Don't leave the fridge door open for too long as cold air will escape and the fridge will need to use a lot more electricity to get the temperature back to the correct level;
- Always wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine and try to use the low temperature programme, unless you have very dirty clothes to wash;
- Don't put really wet clothes into a tumble dryer, wring them out or spin dry them first.
Measures with a cost
There are other things you could do which would help but that have an associated cost, such as:
- Fit energy saving bulbs to any lights you use for an average of four hours or more a day. These use around a quarter of the electricity and last eight times longer than an ordinary bulb. Each bulb could save you 80kg of CO2, as well as £10 off your electricity bills each year;
- Draught proof your windows and doors - for an initial outlay of £40 you could save about 100kg CO2 and around £12 a year;
- Make sure your loft insulation is at least 270mm thick. A poorly insulated loft could lose up to 25% of your heating. If you do this yourself it should cost less than £100;
- Fit cavity wall insulation if you can. This will cost around £300 but could save you up to 800kg CO2 and £100 a year;
- Change to a green tariff with your energy provider.
The Suffolk Climate Change Partnership has produced a booklet for householders that provides 'Top Tips' to help householders reduce their environmental impact and save money. A copy can be downloaded at www.greensuffolk.org/greener-communities/support/.
Grants for insulation and energy efficiency
There are grants available for people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. More information is available on the Warm Homes Healthy People Project page.
How you can get more information on saving energy and money: