Lyme Regis town councillor Belinda Bawden feels the Impact Carbon Footprint Toolkit could be a significant help to town and parish councils as well as business and community groups trying to plan for net zero carbon futures. The toolkit shows the main sources of local emissions so local action can be directed effectively. For example, housing accounts for almost half the territorial emissions in Lyme Regis with transport the second largest contributor.
Consumption emissions per household in Lyme Regis compared to Bridport
Once the effect of consumption is taken into account, however, the housing contribution is reduced to the fourth largest, with the emissions caused by the consumption of goods and services; travel; and food & diet categories exceeding those from housing.
The scale of the consumption-based emissions seems daunting but there are personal and family-based Carbon Footprinting Toolkits, for example, Giki Zero (see Local News for Corfe Castle’s initiative with Giki Zero) which are fun as well as functional to use.
Using the Impact Toolkit at a community level alongside encouraging households to adopt small lifestyle changes (with Giki Zero) can create genuine community engagement as individuals realise the impact their personal consumption habits can have in the overall carbon footprint of their towns and villages.
The Impact Toolkit also allows comparisons with national and county averages, as well as other towns. A preliminary analysis of neighbouring and similar towns in Dorset seems to show that towns with more balanced reliance on local and visitor services have lower carbon footprints than those more dependent on the visitor economy.