Pocket Guide to Leading a Low Carbon Lifestyle Released

A consumer handbook on how individuals and families can reduce their carbon footprint and monthly outgoings has been published today by WWF. The WWF Pocket Guide to a One Planet Lifestyle contains top tips on how to be more environmentally-friendly in the home, the workplace and when planning a holiday.

The One Planet Lifestyle guidebook

The booklet’s publication follows the recent launch by WWF of their “Living Planet Report” which warned that humanity was heading towards an “ecological credit crunch”. It revealed that we currently use 30 per cent more resources than the planet’s ecosystems can naturally replenish. If everyone on earth had the same lifestyle as an average North American, we would need five planets to meet the demands for energy and resources. Europeans have a “three planet lifestyle”.

The One Planet Lifestyle guide also attempts to set a new standard in sustainable publishing. Available primarily as an online e-book, the printed version is produced digitally on-demand on FSC certified paper and bound by screw rivets so that readers can easily unbind the book and insert updates, thus avoiding the need for printing new editions. The paper size has been chosen to reduce wastage to virtually zero, and only uses non-hazardous inks.

“This is a book which aims to empower people to act,” said author Eduardo Goncalves, Global Coordinator of One Planet initiatives at WWF International. “The figures in the Living Planet Report may seem daunting, but in fact there are small steps we can all take in the home, in the workplace and even when we plan a holiday which can make a big difference.

“At a time when consumers and companies are looking to make savings, it is important to remember that cutting CO2 emissions usually also means cutting costs.”

WWF has researched a series of “Ten Top Tips” of how we can reduce the ecological footprint of our homes, eating habits and methods of travel. These are coupled with tools to help us measure our footprint, and reduce and neutralise CO2 emissions. There are model “sustainability plans” for companies to put into practice.

It lists projects which WWF is supporting around the world that show “One Planet Living” in action – including the multi-billion dollar Masdar Initiative in Abu Dhabi, a programme to create a global hub of renewable energy research and production within a solar-powered, zero-waste, car-free city for 90,000 workers and residents.

“At the moment, when you start talking about sustainable lifestyles, a lot of people are afraid that you are going to ask them to freeze in the dark,” said James P Leape, Director General, WWF International. “WWF wants to make sustainable living easy, affordable and attractive. This book aims to help people find their own way to a lifestyle that is both environmentally-friendly and high-quality.”

The e-book can be accessed at www.panda.org/lifestyles. It has hyperlinks to WWF International’s One Planet Living page on YouTube, which features “Green Guinea Pig” Gael Leopold putting an air-powered car through its paces (www.youtube.com/oneplanetliving) and young people from the world’s poorest countries saying why we need to reduce humanity’s footprint.

There are also links to footprint calculators, information about WWF’s “One Planet Leaders” course for business executives (www.panda.org/oneplanetliving), and a link to WWF’s new online “Travel Helper” – an innovative programme that helps travellers plan their route and which tells them the carbon footprint of all the different options, and how to neutralise their emissions (travel.panda.org).

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