We have all heard of the threat global warming poses to the planet. By reducing your carbon emissions you can help lower the risk of global warming as well as creating a cleaner living environment, reduce congestion and save money. But exactly how much can you do?

Calculating your Carbon Emissions

In order to calculate your amount of emissions you must take in to considerations the following variables:

  • Type of fuel
  • Engine Size
  • Distance travelled
  • Amount of fuel used

These will be different for everybody and will vary from day to day. Here we will look at an average estimation based on a typical family car using petrol from which you can work out your own emissions.

First, calculate the distance you travel in a typical week. The average family car travels 240 miles a week, taking into consideration school runs, work journeys and longer journeys spread out over the year.

Secondly, calculate the amount of fuel your car uses per mile. The average for a new family saloon is around 6.8 litres/100km (62 miles) which equals about 0.11 metres/mile. Your car will probably use less if you drive a smaller car as these types of car are more fuel efficient.

Now combine these with the amount of carbon produced by one litre of petrol = 2.4kg

240 x 0.11 = 26.4 litres per week

26.4 x 2.4 = 63.36kg per week

How does this compare with greener transport?

Using a diesel engined car will give you more fuel efficiency and therefore reduce the amount of carbon produced. A modern diesel car uses almost a litre less (5.9 litres) over 100km than a petrol car meaning a total saving of seven kilograms of carbon per week.

Also, by sharing a car when driving to work or school with a colleague you are effectively halving your own emissions. This principle is multiplied by taking public transport as you are sharing with lots of other people.

But ultimately, in order to keep your emissions to an absolute minimum you should try to walk or cycle as often as possible. Not only will this help the environment but it will also help you look and feel better by giving you some extra exercise.