Article Index
Carbon footprint
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Direct and indirect emissions

Our direct emissions relate to the energy each of us uses while our indirect emissions are associated with the products we buy, the food we consume and the infrastructure and services we use.
As can be seen from the Table, our indirect emissions are similar to our direct emissions. Thus reducing our indirect emissions is as important as reducing our direct emissions and this can generally be best achieved by buying products produced or manufactured locally and using local energy sources.

Average energy use (kWh) and carbon emissions (kg CO2) per person per year in the UK

emissions kg CO2
direct 5300
indirect 5300

Thus on average, each person in the UK is responsible for the equivalent of 10.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which includes both the direct and indirect emissions associated with energy usage.

Calculating your carbon footprint

Many websites offer tools to help you measure your carbon footprint. Most focus on direct emissions such as energy bills and fuel consumption while ignoring indirect emissions associated with products and services.

Sites worth exploring are –

KITH # Activity Age range
2.4 Carbon footprint
 Geography, Science
  11 – 18  



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