Reducing CO2 Emissions

A website (in French) created by ‘La revue durable’ magazine allows everyone to calculate their Greenhouse Gas emissions and to take specific steps to reduce them. It provides useful addresses and advice on how to achieve reductions. Another useful feature is that it allows you to create a profile, to measure your progress and to interact with other people who are also getting involved in emissions reduction.

‘Durable’ magazine is a supporter of ‘Initiative 350’, which basing itself on scientific, ethical, economic and geopolitical considerations, as well as common sense, sets the objective of reducing the concentration of Co² in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million (ppm). Today it stands at 385 ppm and it is increasing by 2 ppm a year.

Here are some possible personal actions for reducing our Co² emissions or Carbon Footprint :


  1. -Taking the plane less or not at all. Short-haul flights produce the equivalent of

         80g/km, the TGV = 15.2g.

  1. -Not using the car for short distances (a car consumes 50% more the first km, 25%

         for 2nd).

  1. -Switching off the motor when stopping the car.

  2. -Reduce car use by at least 10% (saving varies with motor size but can amount to

         500 kg Co²).

  1. -Respect speed limits (increasing speed from 100 to 120 km/h increases fuel

         consumption by 20 %).

  1. -Fresh air in the car rather than air conditioning (latter can increase consumption

         by 20%).

  1. -Buying an ecological car, checking tyre pressure, getting rid of useless weight.

  2. -Travelling by bike, bus, train. A normal car emits +/- 150 g Co² per km and a big 4wheel drive 300g; a bike is emissions-free.

In the house

  1. -Using low-energy light bulbs (consuming 5X less and lasting 10X longer, saving up

         to 100 kg Co²)

  1. -Using A rated ‘white goods’, e.g. dishwasher or refrigerator (can save up to 30%


  1. -Lowering the thermostat, also at night (lowering 1° = up to 7 % less consumption,

         up to 400 kg Co²).

  1. -Buying green electricity (reduce up to 100% of Co² emissions from electricity


  1. -Not letting computer, TV, hi-fi on ‘standby’ (can leave appliances turned off via

         an adaptor)

  1. -Insulate the walls, basement and attic (up to 30% reduction in energy consumption

         from insulating basement and attic)

  1. -Shower instead of bath and ecological shower head (save up to 50% hot water)

  2. -Buying clothes and food that are less carbon-intensive (transport, packaging, hidden energy)

  3. -Making compost

  4. -Turning off pump when heating is switched off

  5. -Buying locally grown food that is in season, preferably organic and vegetarian products

In the Office

  1. -Connect your PC and other equipment to the mains via an adaptor

  2. -Laptop computers, inkjet printers and flat screens consume less energy.

  3. -Reduce your consumption of paper (double-side printing, printing less e-mails etc).

See also:

Ma semaine sans CO2, from Audrey Garric’s blog

• A special page on Jean-Marc Jancovici’s website with concrete actions for reducing emissions

• Another page from the same website on fighting the Greenhouse Effect

• A website to calculate personal carbon footprint (in French)

Everyone is able to make these types of gestures and they do not require any real sacrifice, you have just have to pay a bit more attention to some everyday habits.