Footprints


Climate change is an issue that grabs a lot of media attention. But with the focus on international negotiations, worldwide emissions calculated in megatonnes, and targets being set for decades from now, it is easy to miss the fact that individuals must take some of the responsibility for the situation. After all it is individuals who will be the winners or losers in the future, as climate change begins to affect our lives.


‘Carbon footprint’ is a term used to describe the amount of greenhouse gases we are responsible for emitting through our activities – whether as individuals, companies, products, institutions, or nations. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases are, for convenience, known as C02e (CO2 equivalent). Along with deforestation, human caused CO2e emissions are said by climate scientists to be responsible for the increased warming of the planet (currently close to 1 degree warmer than pre-industrial levels according to some sources).


Footprints explores how different lifestyles and attitudes in the UK affect our personal emissions, through a series of portraits, still life and environmental photographs. Each subject was asked to work out their own CO2e footprint using an online carbon calculator, and to talk about their attitudes to climate change. This reveals a surprising range of results – from 4 tonnes per annum to more than 50 tonnes per annum. The UK per capita average is around 10 tonnes (more or less, depending how it is calculated). To date, the footprint of this project has been 907.18kg CO2e, mostly spent on travel in my small car, which averages 54.5 mpg.


* Product footprints are from How Bad are Bananas – The Carbon Footprint of Everything, by Mike Berners-Lee.


See the story on Maptia

See the feature on Feature Shoot

See the feature in Huffington Post

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[9.4 tonnes C02e].Joan info
Carbon Footprint [23.2 tonnes C02e] info
Carbon Footprint [24.5 tonnes C02e]. info
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