Reduce Your Carbon FootprintPeople are always talking about reducing their carbon footprints, but how much do you really know about them and what they signify?

If the answer is “Not a lot,” here are a few frequently-asked questions that should fill in a few of the blanks for you.

What Is A Carbon Footprint?

“Carbon Footprint” is an oft-used term that relates to human activities and their impact on the level of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.

To be more precise, a Carbon Footprint is defined by the Carbon Trust website as “A measure of the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a person, organisation, event or product.”

Everything we do in our day-to-day lives, from switching on a light bulb, to driving a car and to using a product, all contribute to our individual carbon footprint which, in turn, goes towards making up the collective footprint of the nation and the planet.

What Types Of Carbon Footprint Are There?

An individual Carbon Footprint is made up of two parts; a primary and a secondary.

  • A Primary Carbon Footprint is a measure of the CO₂ emissions produced directly from the activities of an individual or organisation. These are carbon emissions over which we have direct control and can actively reduce ourselves. We, as individuals, can reduce our personal carbon footprint by closely monitoring and moderating our use of energy intensive appliances such as light bulbs and electrical appliances.
  • A Secondary Carbon Footprint is the indirect CO₂ emissions created across the entire lifecycle of a product. This includes anything from the extraction of raw materials and manufacturing, right through to its use and final reuse, recycling or disposal. Thus, during every phase of its existence, a product is contributing to an indirect Carbon Footprint of this sort.

Why Is Reducing Our Carbon Footprint So Important?

During the 18th and 19th Centuries, the western world underwent a period of sustained industrial growth that has become loosely referred to as the Industrial Revolution. While it’s possible to identify lasting social, economic and cultural changes from this period, one of the most profound impacts has been environmental.

Population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation, an increasing dependency on fossil fuels and, more recently, consumer products, have all contributed to larger and more far-reaching carbon footprints being left in the modern world.

Developed countries such as the United Kingdom are producing more and more carbon emissions, however, some of the world’s largest contributors are actually developing countries such as China and India, both of which are only now undergoing the same period of industrialisation that once propelled Great Britain.

Reducing our collective carbon footprint will reduce the amount of CO₂ that’s emitted into the atmosphere as a result of our activities.

What’s The Best Way To Reduce My Carbon Footprint?

The majority of electricity in the UK is produced by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal. By lowering the amount of electricity you use, you’ll subsequently lower your carbon footprint.

With the development of long-lasting, energy-efficient LED light bulbs, reducing this figure is incredibly straightforward. Installing LED bulbs as your primary source of illumination really is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take toward making your home more energy efficient, and help you begin reducing your footprint today.

A lot of people are deterred by factors such as cost and effort, but replacing your existing light bulbs with LEDs could not be easier. They have a like-for-like, retrofit design that will enable you to replace your older incandescent and halogen bulbs without the need to refurbish your entire lighting system.

LED lights use 90% less energy than a typical incandescent bulb, which will greatly decrease your primary footprint, as less fossil fuel needs to be burned in order to produce it.

As LED light bulbs also have a life-expectancy that’s 20 times longer than a traditional incandescent bulb, they will also help you reduce your secondary carbon footprint because you’ll only have to replace  them once every 50,000 hours, or 17.12 years in simpler terms.

Unlike traditionally used bulbs, LEDs are manufactured using 100% recyclable materials, which means they shouldn’t end up in landfill sites at the end of their lives; another important factor in the reduction of their secondary carbon footprint.

The lighting in a typical household constitutes about 17% of its annual electric usage, so reducing its use and employing vastly more energy-efficient light sources like LED will also have a significantly beneficial impact on your electricity bill.

As soon as you see how easy and pain free switching to LED lighting is, and what an enormous impact it can have on your Carbon Footprint, you’ll be just as eager to search for new ways to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly.

If you can think of any more ways to reduce your carbon footprint, why not leave a comment below?

You can also see our full range of energy-efficient LED lighting products by visiting our LED lights online store.

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of LED lighting, you can call one of our customer service advisers on 0116 321 4120 or send an e-mail enquiry to