My Zero Carbon

The best time to act is now!

Which Climate Action will make the biggest difference?

On 9 August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Sixth Assessment Report. For more on this report, please see my earlier blog for more detail. In response to that, you may wish to take some Climate Action for the very first time or take more climate actions than you have done before.


What is my personal carbon footprint now?     

There are many free online calculators to work out your personal carbon emissions from how much you spend on certain things. I personally use

You will need a gas and electricity meter reading from 12 month’s ago (e.g. energy bill) and your miles driven in the last 12 months (e.g. your last two MOT certificates). For the rest, you can probably make an educated guess. If you are a household, I recommend entering the consumption of all people in the household and then divide the end result by the number of people in your household (In December 2020, the Schüder household annual carbon footprint was 9.46t or 2.37t per person – we have been working on reducing ours for a while!)

The average carbon footprint in the UK is 6.5 t (6500 kg) of CO2 per person.

Don’t worry if yours is bigger. That gives you more scope to reduce it!


The following table sets out some big-hitting Climate Change actions in reducing your carbon footprint.

If there is just one thing you can do from the list, then please switch to a 100% renewable electricity provider as soon as you can. It will take you very little time and cost little extra money (if any) and will have a very big effect. Impartial advice on switching from Citizens Advice, Uswitch, Which or energy saving trust.


(sources for calculation at the end of the blog)


You will note that some climate actions are missing from the table that other sources suggest, e.g. buying an electric car. I have left out some items, because I am not comfortable with them or I cannot back the CO2 reduction with data.


There are plenty of online articles giving you more ideas on what you can do, but be aware some of them may cost you a lot of time and/or money with relatively little effect on your Carbon footprint. So chose wisely which Climate Actions you tackle first


There are plenty of online articles giving you more ideas about what you can do. Some suggest similar things to the table above, but be aware some of the suggested actions may cost you a lot of time and/or money with relatively little effect on your carbon footprint. So choose wisely what Climate Actions you tackle first. You may have a personal preference for actions that just cost money but don't take much time or actions that only take time, but very little or no money.

My favourite is this one from the BBC, as it also lists climate actions that make a big difference:

Climate change: Top 10 tips to reduce carbon footprint revealed (BBC News)


Other pages you may wish to explore to reduce your carbon footprint towards zero carbon:

14 ways to fight the climate crisis (The Independent newspaper)

6 actions to fight climate change (ACCIONA)

50 Tips 2 Cut Down Your Carbon Footprint (Global Giving) 

35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint (Columbia Climate School)

12 Things You Can Do Right Now on Climate Change (RESET)

11 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint (the weather channel)

9 things you can do about climate change (Grantham Institute)


There are also climate actions that don’t directly reduce your carbon footprint, but are still very important. these are things like writing to your MP, signing petitions or talking to other people about Climate Change and your actions.


You can get daily advice and information on Climate Change actions via Twitter (@MyZeroCarbon) and Facebook (@MyZeroCarbon).


Sources of information to calculate the carbon reductions in the above table:


  1. Carbon footprint website (2021)
  2. Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, Annex II: Methodology. IPCC (2011)
  3. Subnational Electricity and Gas Consumption Statistics, Great Britain, 2019, Department for Business, Energy &  Industrial Strategy (2020)



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Across this website we use the following symbols for climate change tips


Cost of the action:              



Time investment:                 



CO2 savings:                       



Money savings:                



Other benefits:  


Other benefits may include personal health, water savings, nature conservation, better air quality, income for the local economy