Doing our bit for the environment

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we’re facing, we’re standing on the brink of an environmental disaster. But there is still something we can do to minimise further damage, like reducing our carbon footprint.

What is a Carbon footprint?

A measure of the total amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere as a result of an individual’s, organisation’s, or nation’s actions. It’s usually measured in tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

What is a Greenhouse Gas?

Greenhouse gasses (GHG). This is any type of gas in the atmosphere that blocks heat from escaping. In relation to your carbon footprint and climate change, the main gases to mention are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.

As a company we investigated Design Hives carbon footprint, our total is 11.7 tonnes which is made up of 10.4 tonnes for our office and 1.3 tonnes for staff business travel.

What are the biggest causes of a carbon footprint?

  • There are a few main industries that create most of the greenhouse gasses we produce. Global data from 2016 shows the main culprits:
  • Energy (the burning of fossil fuels) produced 36013.52 million tonnes of CO2e.
  • Agriculture produced 5795.51 million tonnes of CO2e.
  • Land-use change and forestry (altering or converting land) produced 3217.07 million tonnes of CO2e.
  • Industrial processes produced 2771.08 million tonnes of CO2e.
  • Waste produced 1560.85 million tonnes of CO2e.

If you are wanting to start looking at your own carbon footprint, you need to look at your own lifestyle.

  • Your home energy use and waste production. Like how much electricity, natural gas, and other fuels you use and where they’re sourced from, as well as whether you recycle or send your waste to landfill.
  • Travel. This will vary depending on whether you have car/motorbike and how often you use it or if you use public transport. Also, any flights you take need to accounted for, as these will contribute significantly.
  • Your diet. The types of food you eat and where you source it from can play a central role in your overall carbon footprint. The more energy-intensive it is to produce and ship your food, the worse for the environment it generally is.
  • Your shopping habits. Do you buy new products such as electronics, household goods and clothing regularly?

There are many ways we can minimise our carbon footprint and help the environment.

At home

  • Insulate your home – by insulating your roof and walls your home will retain heat during the winter months.
  • Switch to renewables – Look for greener energy, many suppliers provide electricity from solar or wind energy.
  • Buy energy efficient – Buy electrical appliances that have A++ energy ratings or above, change light bulbs to energy saving alternatives.
  • Use less water – By turning off the taps when brushing your teeth, having short showers rather than baths, and only boiling the water you need will all help cut down your water consumption.
  • Change your diet – Why not try buying local, food shipped from overseas uses a lot more resources than local produce.

At work

  • Turn off the lights – Just by turning off lights and appliances when not in use, will stop you from wasting energy!
  • Go digital – Stop printing unnecessary paperwork, instead save documents digitally.
  • Cycle to work – Cycling and walking are two of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel. And, not only are they good for the planet, but they’re also good for your health.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle!
  • At Design Hive we are working with Ecologi to offset our carbon footprint by funding Gold standard sustainability projects and the planting of trees all over the world.

Why not take a look at our environmental webpage to see how we are doing!

Mel is the Creative Director/Owner of The Design Hive. Mel has put her heart and soul into building up the business and is truly passionate about the the industry and our clients.