Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
Sustainable aviation fuel is manufactured from sustainable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to the traditional fossil jet fuel. The feedstocks used in the manufacturing process are cooking oil, non-palm waste oils from animals and plants, solid waste from homes and businesses including packaging, paper, textiles, and food scraps that would otherwise go to the landfill.
With the aviation industry expected to double their passenger intake to over 8 billion passengers by 2050, it is essential that the industry acts now to reduce its carbon emissions.
Dependant on the particular feedstocks used to produce the type of sustainable aviation fuel, it has shown that nearly 80% of the carbon emissions can be reduced effectively. There are a few organisations who are leading the way in providing solutions for the aviation industry. They have varied methods and most are blended with traditional aviation fuel for safety and certification purposes. The sustainable and renewable fuels are already in circulation and in use with limited quantities. It’s a massive leap in the right direction.
The price of sustainable aviation fuel is significantly more than the traditional version. This is due to the limited availability of sustainable feedstocks. As the technology develops further the entire process is forecasted to become more efficient, so the expectation of the industry is that it that the cost will eventually level out and airlines would be able to pass on the savings to us as their customers.
According to IATA, sustainable aviation fuel will be a viable option for aircraft operators to meet their obligations under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). In 2016, the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed on a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) to reduce CO2 emissions from the aviation industry with a pilot phase from 2021–2023, followed by a first phase from 2024–2026.
The three major manufacturers of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) are Neste from Finland, Gevo from the United States and Velocys from the United Kingdom. There are smaller private enterprises such as World Energies and Lanzatech who are also paving the way for the production of SAF.
Zev's Crown Of Melting Ice & Water
It's not a belief system; it's observable scientific facts.
I created a melting ice crown for Zev to wear, in order to raise awareness and keep the conversations alive about the warming of our atmosphere and the devastating effect it’s having on our home planet. We as humans are absolutely destroying planet Earth without a shadow of doubt. I’ve lived a sustainable lifestyle as far back as I can remember and being kind to our planet was instilled into me from my childhood days. I may not be an activist who stands on the streets of cities with a megaphone, shouting about climate change, but I actively live a lifestyle that supports and nurtures our planet. I raise awareness through my art works and the melting Ice Crown that I’ve created for Zev will serve as a piece of art to encourage talks in a positive way. Besides... Zev is an Emperor and I think the crown rather suits him.
Scientists have shown us indisputable evidence that Planet Earth is warming up, and it’s linked directly to our activities and lifestyles as humans. The biggest cause in particular, the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels.
The snows of Kilimanjaro have melted more than 80 percent since 1912. Glaciers in the Garhwali Himalaya in India are melting so fast that scientists believe that most Central and Eastern Himalayan glaciers would almost disappear by 2035. Arctic sea ice has thinned significantly over the past half century, with a recent decline of 10 percent in the past 30 years.
Spring freshwater ice breakup in the Northern Hemisphere now occurs 9 days earlier, and autumn freeze-up 10 days later. The melting of snow and frost has caused the ground to subside more than 15 feet in parts of Alaska. From the Arctic to Peru, from Switzerland to the equatorial glaciers of Man Jaya in Indonesia, giant ice fields, glaciers, and sea ice are disappearing, faster than ever before. We are close to the point of no return and our eco system becoming inhabitable.
Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data, scientists have calculated that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 billion metric tons) of ice and snow per year since 2015. This loss is a direct result of the increased levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
Alaska’s melt rates are among the highest on the planet, with the Columbia glacier melting permanently around 115 feet (35 meters) a year. According to three-dimensional satellite measurements, glaciers around the world are melting faster, losing around 31% more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years ago.
“Ten years ago, we were saying that the glaciers are the indicator of climate change, but now actually they’ve become a memorial of the climate crisis.” - Michael Zemp, World Glacier Monitoring Service Director.
Every piece of hand embroidery is unique and is custom created just for you. The possibilities are limitless, If I can sketch something, I can certainly embroider it on any fabric, including leather. Sometimes, embroideries become an object that is a labour of love for me, and I'm totally at peace with that.
Embroideries are a notoriously difficult skill that take an enormous amount of time. To make it even more difficult for myself, I embroider with gold plated wire instead of thread. Why go for the easy option when I can master the most difficult one?
The City Walks
I'm always inspired by my favourite cities, and the interaction with nature fascinates me. It's almost as though the cityscape changes at every hour to put on a spectacle of wonder.
I don't possess any photoshop skills, hence everything I capture has to be live and I adjust any required settings on my cameras prior to capturing what my eyes see. Sometimes I set up a travel tripod to capture long exposures, then step back and enjoy the views. They are little moments of my experiences that get etched in my memories.
From playing hide and seek with the fog and the sun to reflections of ripples with the moon and the city lights. They remind me to self introspect, not only to help become the best version of myself, but also for the fact that, I can re-imagine my own creativity in different ways.
Kolkata Eco Park
I absolutely loved visiting the Eco park in Kolkata during my visit in 2019. The park is built on 480 acres of land and is surrounded by 104 acres of water with an island in the middle.
The park has different zones, from the wetlaands, urban forests, themed gardens, and recreational areas to the replicas of the "Seven Wonders Of The World'.
Although the replicas weren't quite life-size, they were still pretty huge, towering over the treelines. The beauty of them all was the details were identical to the original and you can actually walk inside to have a good look around. I've been lucky enough to see 6 of the 7 wonders for real, but the visit to this Eco park had a different perspective. The clue is in the name.
It was fascinating to see. Parts of the park isn't finished yet, but I'm looking forward to visiting again when all the areas are open.
I visited the park with two of my cousins. We took a buggy ride all the way to the top of the park and then we waked back through the different zones, it took hours and we still couldn't finish seeing everything that was already open to the public. I particularly loved walking through the mist garden. Every are highlights the beauty of planet Earth and comes with a message of sustainability. From the wild flower meadows, bamboo garden, tropical and bonsai gardens to tea and butterfly gardens, it really is beautiful place as well as being an educational park for different generations. It also houses creative artisans from across the industries and across the state of West Bengal, where each artisan can exhibit and sell their products and services to every visitor who enters the park. It's a huge amount of exposure for creative poeple.
The Test Projects
I'm a visual dreamer when it comes to inspirations and aesthetics but very practical, when it comes to creating something. So, staying true to my creative process, in 2021, I did real life location tests for a few scenes, so I could start finalising the chapters and see what I needed to change within the process before filming the actual scenes. I know my capabilities and my limitations only too well, hence I never underestimate the amount of work that's required to produce something authentic and beautiful.
Tests are an important part of my brand's creative process. 99% of the time, no one gets to see the work I put in behind the scenes and how my studio gets filled up with things that I test with. I work with time lines months and years in advance, and even though sometimes it may seem as though I've just decided to create something out of the blue, I know how much time, planning and hard work has gone into the creative process before hand, to be able to have a finished product that I'm happy with. Test projects take an enormous amount of planning and a lot of time for post project evaluations to create the findings to improve the process. Whatever I create, I make sure that I spend the time for research and development, risk assessments, structured plans of time lines and carry out testing before I create and release the final products. That's my dedication and my uncompromising work ethics to build the best version of my brand that I possibly can. My creative process is a vital part of it all, because the end products are for the loyal followers of my brand, whom I value, and I take that as a serious responsibility by nurturing and paying attention to every little detail.
I play a little piano whenever I have some time, and since I'm a realist, I knew that taking a grand piano on the beach for filming and photoshoots for one of the scenes would be out of my capabilities and the movie budget, so I came up with an alternative idea and improvised. As a test project, I had a fold up baby grand piano shell made to fit my digital piano inside it. I was blown away by the finished shell, it looked amazing. From putting perspex wave breakers underwater to having flat pieces of wood beneath the sand as platforms for the piano feet and the stool, to working out camera angles whilst using smoke flares, on top of that, all the natural elements, such as birds flying, changing wind directions and spray from the sea. It was a weekend of learnings but I loved every minute of this test project. I took away those learnings to make the changes and fine tune my process for events to run smoothly when it comes to filming the actual scene. The feeling of sitting to play on the beach was pretty incredible, although my feet would somewhat disagree with that sentiment, as they were absolutely freezing in the ice cold sea.
THE BRAND AI
When it comes to my relationship with science and art... I played with it, I teased myself with questions and puzzles that I had to solve, I explored it to the depths of my soul and I calculated it from every conceivable angle.
In 2012, I concluded that every part derives from my learnings of science and art as a child, from my grandparents and parents. That's when I knew how to develop my already existing JC brand further, and the specific marketing strategies I needed to create for the final stage of my brand development, so I designed my own branding lab as a second studio and I got to work. If we lived in the times where I-Robots were walking amongst us, I'd definitely build a futuristic lab and have a few I-Robots incorporated in my AI work flow, just like my artistic impression above.
I built the entirety of my brand concept on geometry, mainly on the most stackable shapes on planet Earth; cubes and cuboids. I also took inspirations from some aspects of the hexagon and some aspects from all the Platonic Solids. My branding model utilises the exact building blocks of everything we know as humans. How the Universe works, the science and the maths behind it, that supports not only the interactions of it, but vitally, the expansion of it. This concept has given me growth potential that's organic and multidimensional. I spent nearly 4 years, building the concept of my branding, marketing and my creative process, so upon completion of my formulas, I wanted to celebrate... which I did in true JC style with a cup of coffee, a cheesecake and an inspirational trip to the Indian Oceans.
Between 2012 and 2016, I devoted every spare minute I had towards developing my brand design further, with the help of AI, based more on science and maths than anything else. Once I attained the completed formulas from my findings, I then applied my artistic vision to add the layers of my style. In 2016, I extended my branding lab to incorporate my mood board analysis area to extract my design formulas. Then the time came in 2017, to launch my first ever collection of JC Couture in the form of Resort Wear.
The Colours Of James Clarke
I have four colours at the heart of my brand. Each of them is of significance and has meaning to me. This is where my brand phrase "Everything I create has a meaning." originated from. Every one of my brand colours originate from my childhood in one form or the other and then more relevance were added to those colours through my life experiences over the years.
BLACK, because it intensifies colour, it's the depth and darkness of my character. Black is the distinct markings of the stealthy snow leopard. Black, because it signifies strength, rebellion and sophistication. Black, because it absorbs aggression, reflects mystery and evokes emotions. Black, for me, accentuates the beauty of elegance, it's the absolute and embraced for eternity. Black surpasses all.
WHITE, because it's pure and enhances beauty. White, because of my memories of the fragrant white flowers that grew in my childhood garden, it evokes memories of time. White, because of the marble used to construct the most beautiful monument of love... The Taj Mahal. White is the soft snowy wilderness where the snow leopards roam. White, because it illuminates the delicate strands of James' pearls, that adorn each collection. And white because it represents the purest of cotton and silkiest of satin sheets when it's time to dream and love.
RED, because it's the colour of passion, the colour of the fire that smoulders within me. Red because it represents courage and a daringly beautiful feeling of danger. Red, because it reminds me of the vibrant cathedral roses and the seduction of the deepest red piano roses in my garden. Red, because of the fiery sunsets during my childhood. And red, because it evokes curiosity, and it extends the invitation to get lost in lust.
GOLD, because it represents both the genuine and the imitation. Genuine gold that are the family treasures handed down to me and forever cherished. Imitation gold that I re-invent time and again with plating, to adorn the clasps and buckles of my collections. Gold because of the cultural festivals that intertwine my childhood. Gold, because it envelopes the wearer with a sun kissed glow and seduces the voyeur. Gold, because it dares to compliment the unity between black and white. Gold, because it's the signature of brand James Clarke.
The Natural Fibers
Since farmers have started producing natural fibres from various plant species and animals, the figures show that more than 40 million tons of it has been produced. These fibers are used to manufacture mainly clothes, accessories, shoes and household products, amongst a few other items. Unfortunately, the amount produced is not enough to sustain the demands of the consumer, add to that the cost factor of natural fibres being considerably higher than synthetic mass manufactured fibers, the trend easily followed the consumer demands of cheaper products.
In the recent years, we have seen a welcome rise in recycled synthetic fibres, reducing the waste within the fashion industry. One of the most exciting developments have been fibres made from recycled ocean plastics, that have opened up a whole new world of creative possibilities.
However, to be truly sustainable, natural fibres are the best options that are healthier for the environment. Yes, the cost may be higher for the natural options, but keeping to the synthetic route, eventually we will pay the highest price of it all, with the destruction of the precious environment of the only home planet for us.
Natural fibres divided into two categories, plant based and animal based. Both of their heritage dates back to the beginning of humans wearing any form of garments.
Cotton grows in open fields around the plant seeds. They actually look like cotton wool balls in a husky shell that open as the cotton grows. Cotton is the most common natural fiber that’s utilised around the world across many industries. There are many types of cottons, however the two most commonly known cotton varieties that are of amazing quality are Egyptian and Peruvian Pima. Cotton is one of the most versatile fibres and the fashion industry makes use of it in many different ways, from pure weaves of different grades to combination weaves with other natural and synthetic fibers. Cotton is soft and have great properties of conductivity and absorbency, hence they are perfect for garments close contact with the skin. The only downside to them is that they are prone to shrinking, wrinkling and fading colours over time. Organic cotton can be expensive but it’s the most environmentally cotton we have to date.
As far as my memory serves me from my art school days, Linen was the first natural fiber to be utilised for manufacturing clothes due to them being the strongest of all natural fibers. Like cotton, there are different varieties of linen, the main two are, common flax and perennial flax. All types of linens are high resistance fibres, hence they wrinkle very easily. Linens are better suited to warmer climates when it comes to fashion as it’s a very light and breathable fabric. Pure linen is expensive, however there are affordable varieties of blended linen products available on the high street.
Natural fibres of hemp is extracted from the stem of the plants. It’s one of the important fabrics within the natural range as it absorbs a lot of carbon. It also has amazing properties such as being anti-bacterial and being able to block UV rays. Many innovations are in process to develop Hemp further so it can be accessible to more textile manufacturers. To soften the fibres, they need to be blended with cotton, silk and linen and for an even softer feel, wool hemp has such a beautiful feel. Blending other fibres with hemp also allows to strengthen the overall finished textiles.
Abaca is a species of banana plant and is another form of hemp called Manila. This is also extracted from around the stem of the plants. It’s used in textiles mainly around coastal areas as it resistant to damages from salty waters. It has one of the longest lengths of fibres, some can reach up to three meters in length. The most common ways this fibre is utilised is with sailing accessories, however more and more manufacturers are starting to utilise it to create textiles for the fashion industry.
Coir is a very short natural fibre which is extracted from the coconut husks., There are two types of coir, brown and white fibers. This fiber is also resistant to salty waters, hence the white variety is commonly used to manufacture sailing ropes. The brown fibre is utilised commonly for household textiles.
Ramie is white fibre with a silky texture, and it is one of the strongest natural fibers, similar to linen. The tough ramie fibers are utilised to make ropes, nets and some garments of fashion. Ramie is often blended with cotton to achieve a silky texture, strengthen the cotton fibres and to reduce shrinkage.
Jute is one of the easiest and cheapest fibres to harvest. It’s commonly known as the golden fibre due to their natural glow in the sunlight. It’s the second largest when it comes to production and manufacturing after cotton. The downside to Jute is that it’s fragile and the quality deteriorates rather quickly with usage.
Ramina is a fibre, that’s also known as China grass. This is something we don’t see that often. It’s quite common for house hold and interior design textiles in Asia, however it’s not a fibre that’s used in the fashion industry very much.
Kapoc is a white fiber that is found in the seeds of Ceiba Pentandra trees. It’s also known as silk cotton because of its texture and smoothness of silk, I love working with textiles that’s made from Kapoc, mainly for interior design.
This one is so adorable. A few years ago, I wanted an Alpaca, unfortunately, I don’t have enough land to keep one and as much as I love them, I don’t particularly want to share my sofa with one. Alpaca fibres are quite exclusive and the biggest thing about them is they are available in twentythree natural colours. The fibres are really strong, certainly stronger than any other wool. However, we don’t produce enough of it, so they are usually mixed with other fibres such as silks or mohair to manufacture textiles, for it be financially viable for the fashion industry.
Cashmere comes from the goat native to Kashmere, a region of the Himalayas. Due to the low quantities produced, Cashmere is rather expensive. There are different grades and strengths of this fibre. The lowest grades are usually found on high street fashion and the highest grades are reserved for large fashion houses due to costs. One of the most common pieces of fashion accessory is the pashmina shawl, they are made from another type of cashmere from the same region.
It’s the most common wool of excellent quality that’s used in today’s fashion industry. They are produced from fibres of different lengths and densities, making it versatile to be utilised for a wide variety of woollen textiles. Often it’s blended with other natural and synthetic fibres to make it more affordable for the mass market, as pure wool comes at a much higher price bracket.
Mohair is the hair from the Angora goat from Tibet. It’s a white fibre and has a silky texture. It’s classed as a type of wool and can be dyed in a multitude of colours. The trend of mohair saw a sharp rise in the late 80s and early 90s in the fashion industry.
Camel hair is also very loosely classed as wool, depending on the part of the world you are from. It’s very limited in quantity as it only comes from camels with two humps. Anyone would thing that it would be twice the quantity, but unfortunately the Bactrian camels are not that common in numbers. Due to the very high cost, it’s often mixed with cashmere and other wools to make it financially viable for manufacturing.
Silk is certainly the most common type of natural and exclusive fabrics that are available in today’s market. There are so many different types of silks. It’s the one and only natural fabric that has so many different types. Every silk producing region in the world produces a different type of silk, and there are many regions. Producing silk was part of my art school curriculum, and it’s something that’s stuck with me ever since. It’s a protein filament produced by the silk worms. The worms feed on Mulberry leaves and produce liquid silk. Once solidified, they form the filaments to build their cocoon. Then, once the larva is dead, heat is used to soften the hardened filaments and then they are unrolled. Then the filaments are fused together to form the silk yarns.
My Florals and Lights in Paris
After my London exhibition, I created more environmental awareness displays in Paris with lights, glass, Icelandic black sand and natural dyes amongst other natural elements.
My displays drew quite a bit of local attention and raised many conversations on how we can all be pro-active in an attempt to reduce our energy usage from fossil fuels and look towards more renewable alternatives.
Throughout the days, I made live floral displays to add to the exhibits. My doors were open and many people, including other florists came by to show their support. A lot of the methods became part of my courses and many florists enrolled onto my courses to gain resourses on how to be kind to our home planet.
My Florals and Lights in London
When it comes to carbon emissions, how we utilise energies and how we spend it are vital. It may seem difficult to change things at first to be able to reduce how much energy we use during our daily lives, but when we break it down, it’s something that’s quite simple to achieve.
In 2009, I showcased an exhibition of light and energy conservation, at my flower studio in London. I created many designs to highlight the need to save energies and utilise renewable sources.
One of the biggest areas that I needed to improve was my own energy usage. Thankfully I identified it early, and drew up strategies to put in place and took actions to reduce my energy usage drastically. My initial objective with the exhibition to just raise awareness within the floristry community and the visitors to my floral studio. My solar designs also raised awareness within the local community and highlighted how many different ways we can reduce our carbon emissions in this category with some of the creative solutions I created to achieve that.
My studio was filled with light up floral displays that I created with glass balls, and broken chunks of glass, solar lights and fresh flowers. It was a week-long exhibition that attracted many local inquisitive minds and opened a lot of discussions about saving energies, reducing carbon footprint and being kind to our home planet.
Helping Planet Earth
There are many environmental movements and charities who are doing brilliant work raising awareness for the environmental issues and there’s also many avenues for activism and making a change for a greener future. Up until the recent years, it was up to individuals raising their voices and innovating creative solutions to reduce the impact of greenhouse gasses to our environment, now many governments and organisations are coming together to bring out new legislations to help those green movements.
We can all contribute in so many different ways, however small that may be, every little act of kindness towards planet Earth adds up towards the bigger dream of preserving it for future generations.
How many times do we open our wardrobe that is full of clothes, yet we find ourselves saying that we don’t have anything to wear. Most of us have wardrobes bursting to the seams and kitchen cupboards with items of long-life tinned food that we’ve forgotten we had. Consumerism have seen a steady rise over the last few decades without a thought about how it affects the environment. At the moment, there is a slow shift in the direction of buy less and buy less often.
When it comes to fashion, slow fashion is definitely the way forwards. Fashion brands need to take more responsibilities for how much they produce and what they have in way of sustainable strategies. When it comes to us buying fashion, we have to look at quality over quantity and buy less with a thought of style in mind, so we can mix and match to create as many different looks as possible. It’s also a chance to shop from brands who are ethically kind and sustainable.
We can reduce the amount of energies we use at home, from using less water and fixing any leaks to something as simple as switching off lights and unplugging appliances we are not using. Not only these little things will reduce our energy bills, but it will go a long way towards reducing our own carbon emissions.
Taking a closer look at our diets and making healthy eating plans whilst only shopping for what we need would go towards reducing the amount of food waste we produce. Most of us love to eat meat, however there is a hidden environmental cost to the production of meat for human consumption. Live stock farming increases deforestation to provide space for the farms. Added to that is the waste product, for example millions of cows and sheep produce an unimaginable amount of methane, which is 84% more effective than CO2 in trapping the heat in our atmosphere and causing the temperatures to rise. It also reduces soil conditions by removing native plants and flowers from the lands needed for farming.
Many of us have gardens, green spaces and even balconies where we can plant seeds to grow our own produce. This not only puts food on our tables but also helps clean the air of CO2 through photosynthesis.
We can all contribute in our small ways towards creating a greener future by taking small steps in being kind to our planet. If we don’t have a garden or green spaces, we can always donate to different charities who do have the space to plant trees and bushes.
Reducing Single Use Plastics
Planet Earth is a thing of beauty and it’s also the only home we have. Sometime we forget how lucky and protected we are by our home planet. That layer of protection exists because of the Earth’s magnetic field and our very thin layer of atmosphere. Global warming and CO2 emissions as a GHG pollutant have been issues that are much talked about for quite some time now. However, there is another huge pollutant that threatens the entire eco system, and that’s plastic, in particular, single use plastics.
The good news is, in recent times the awareness to the damage its causing has been highlighted and most of us have already started taking steps towards greener alternatives.
Reducing and stopping our usage of single-use plastics may seem like a small contribution, but collectively, it stands to make a huge difference. Plastic firstly is not biodegradable, so whatever amount is manufactured will always remain on Earth. More of our oceans have become polluted with our single use plastic waste and it’s greatly affecting marine life. It’s estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans by weight than there will be fish. Plastic recycling is also one of the hardest and the slowest within the recycling industries, so most of the plastics end up as waste. Currently more than 50% of the plastic produced is for the manufacturing of single use plastic products. The more we reduce the demand for those products by using alternatives, the less the companies will produce.
There has been a welcome rise in the manufacturing of metal, glass and paper straws in the recent years. The latest and my favourite is quite possibly the eco-friendly bamboo straws. With such a diverse range there is no real reason why we would ever need to buy single use plastic straws. Many hospitality businesses have made the full switch to eco-friendly options, however many still serve with the plastic ones. If that’s the only option available, I usually opt for going straw free and drink naked straight out of the glass, so to speak.
Refillable glass and environmentally friendly metal water bottles are widely available everywhere and it’s a great alternative to buying water that are sold in single use plastic bottles.
Most of us have been through a stage in life, where we’ve accumulated a selection of plastic bags from our shopping. Thankfully, over the recent years, single use plastic bags have reduced greatly. Investing in reusable canvas or cotton tote bags is possibly the cheapest way to save money on buying the plastic bags for life to re-use. I’ve known friends to make their own cotton bags and of course there are countless designs available when it comes to buying ready-made ones.
There are many more ways for us to reduce the use of single use plastics, from packaging of products to using eco-friendly cutleries and coffee cups. Most of the things we can do to contribute towards reducing this particular pollutant is fairly easy and more and more manufacturers are listening to the consumer demands and are innovating new solutions.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
Climate change is the result of increasing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We are quite possibly the last generation who can bring about a change before the circumstances become irreversible. Collectively we stand a better chance of being successful, from individuals to businesses of every size, I think we all have a responsibility towards the future generations to look after the only home planet we have. The best way we can all contribute is to reduce our own carbon footprint.
What is carbon footprint and why is it important?
Our carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gasses we emit per year, as a result of both direct and indirect activities. It includes everything we buy, utilise, and consume. All emissions are usually converted to CO2 or equivalent to produce a carbon footprint, as per the Kyoto Protocol (an international agreement to limit and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the EU). The smaller our carbon footprint number is, the more we contribute towards a better future for planet Earth. A bigger number means that our activities release more greenhouse gasses and has a bigger negative impact on the environment and the condition of our planet.
There are many different ways to reduce our carbon footprint, from living an environmentally friendly lifestyle to offsetting the emissions we can’t avoid. I’ve listed just a few ideas from many to give an idea of how easily we can incorporate some of carbon reducing elements into our daily lives.
The first step is to find out what our current carbon footprint is. There are many free resources online to calculate our personal carbon footprint. One such resource is WWF FOOTPRINT
For every mile we walk or bike instead of driving, we reduce approximately 450 grams of carbon emissions. The exact figure would depend on the make and model of the vehicle we drive. Although I drive due to the type of work I do, I make a conscious effort to park up at one place and walk in-between my appointments. As we progress more into a sustainable way of living, better options of vehicles with less emissions are becoming a more viable option for many.
We can also reduce our emissions by travelling smart. We can try and reduce as much of our driving as we possibly can by scheduling our appointments, meetings and visits together on the same days, rather than multiple trips to the same location, and plan our routes accordingly. For every 1,500 miles of air travel, our individual carbon emission is approximately 306 kilograms, depending on the airline. We can explore options to fly with airlines that have the least carbon emissions. We can also try and consolidate a lot of business travels to reduce the number of flights we take per year.
Assess our home to identify areas where we can save energies being leaked out. From insulations, and weather stripping to sealing any areas where we feel a draft from the outside. We can switch as many lights to energy-efficient LED lighting as we possibly can. These little things will not only save us money but also reduce our carbon footprint.
For those of us we have a thermostatic heating system, by adjusting it to be 2 degrees cooler in winter and 2 degrees warmer in summer can reduce our CO2 emissions by approximately 910 kilos, depending on the size of the household and how often we have the heating on for. Luckily energy companies are on hand to help us out with a smart thermostat, which is Wi-Fi enabled and automatically adjusts temperature settings for peak energy efficiency. Many local governments and councils globally, now have incentives to contribute towards household energy costs as an incentive to install smart thermostats.
When it comes to replacing household appliances, we can opt for the most energy efficient models, yes, they may be a little more expensive to purchase initially but most of that cost is offset over a period of time from the energy they save.
Many appliances, including laptops, TVs, air conditioners, microwaves, etc continue to use power even when in sleep mode. Each device may use very little power, but collectively, it can amount up to as much as 10% of our overall household energy usage. Turning off the power at the socket to such appliance whenever it’s possible to do so, is the easiest way to reduce our carbon footprint from wasted energies.
We can explore options to buy food locally, from farm shops to local grocery stores. Many independent shops have a much-reduced carbon footprint than of the big supermarkets. We also reduce our own carbon emissions by staying local and outputting less emissions for travel.
Then there are the three important Rs... Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I’ll write a separate blog for the first two as a big part of those elements link to the fashion industry and include many factors. For this blog, most of the world is already accustomed to recycling, from individual households to businesses, the statistics of recycling has been increasing steadily, which is a fantastic thing. On an individual level, every little count, because even if we manage to recycle only half of our household waste, on average, we reduce just over a 1000 kilograms of CO2 emissions.
There are many other different ways we can reduce our carbon footprints. It’s amazing to think that all these little things can add up to a massive amount of reduction to each of our emissions, and collectively that’s a great way forward towards tackling the climate change issue.