With fewer of us travelling to work, school and elsewhere due to the current pandemic, the media has reported that greenhouse gas emissions have fallen across many parts of the world as countries attempt to contain the virus. These reports may prompt you to think about your personal impact on the planet and consider long-term changes you could make to the way you work and travel.
However, it’s important to realise that there are environmental choices to be made within our homes too. Inspired by food and drinks brands such as Quorn and Oatly, which provide carbon labelling on their products, we have carbon labelled some of the routine activities the average family does around the house.
At Viessmann we have a keen interest in all activity which relates to carbon emissions. We thought it would also be interesting to show you the impact of some everyday household chores and activities in terms of their CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) as we spend more time at home with our families. This standard unit is used to compare emissions from different greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential.
We hope that this information will get you thinking about all the little things that make up our carbon footprints and the small steps we can take to lessen our impact on the planet, whether we’re at home or out in the wider world.
To help you put the numbers into perspective, check out our infographic The Carbon Footprint of (Nearly) Everything. We’ve also calculated how far you could travel in a mid-range family car (with emissions of 200 g CO2/km) for the same CO2e. These figures are based on data from the Equa CO2 Index.
Whether you and your little ones are doing PE with Joe Wicks, getting stuck into some gardening or doing endless crafts, one thing’s for certain, staying home doesn’t necessarily mean staying clean. And let’s face it, personal hygiene is always important - whether you’re leaving the house or not. So, what’s the carbon price tag associated with the average family’s showering and bathing habits?
Tempted to stay in your PJs all day every day during lockdown? Or do you need to have a pair of jeans on to start your day? Whichever type of at-home dresser you are, it’s inevitable that your laundry basket fills up sooner or later. Here we’ve broken down the carbon output of doing two loads of laundry.
If you feel like your house only stays clean and tidy for a few minutes at a time with everyone at home all day, you’re not alone. More time in the house often means more home cooking, more dirty dishes and more crumbs on the floor. We’ve calculated the CO2e of two of the most common household chores to get you thinking about how even our cleaning habits affect our carbon footprints.
Staying entertained with Disney +, Netflix or another streaming service? Or perhaps you’ve dusted off your old favourite DVDs for fun family film nights at home to combat the boredom? However you like to watch them, it’s no surprise that people have been turning to screens more for entertainment during lockdown. We’ve totted up the CO2e of enjoying a cosy family film night for a family of four, complete with hot chocolate and a lovely log burner.
The greenhouse gases emitted through doing simple domestic duties and staying entertained at home tends to pale in comparison to the amount of carbon we create when running cars and taking flights, for example. So, it’s important to keep things in perspective.
However, to lessen your impact on the environment while maintaining a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle at home, follow these simple tips: