What's the carbon footprint of my daily activities?

A look at some of our everyday actions and the impact they have on the planet.

Honest Mobile
Thu Aug 05 2021

It can be tricky to keep track of our carbon footprint. But understanding the environmental impact of our activities means we can make smarter choices.

That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of how much carbon some of our daily activities use – to help us all make a couple of quick and easy swaps to lower our carbon footprint and save our planet.

🍎 A week’s food shopping?

For someone with an average diet (including meat and imported products) their weekly shop is probably using 88kg CO2e per week. The more meat and dairy you eat, the higher your carbon footprint. And the more food you waste, the worse for our planet.

Producing food generates a lot of emissions – and so does rotting food. Around 22% of the food we buy in the UK goes straight to landfill. It’s worth checking out meal prep boxes like Mindful ChefGousto and Allplants. Because their meals are pre-portioned there’s almost no food waste. And each company is currently working on reducing their emissions by reducing travel and packaging.

🚙 A congested car commute?

10 miles of crawling to and from work by car uses 16kg CO2e.

🥘 A takeaway curry?

This comes in at anywhere between 1kg and 6kg CO2e per person, depending how veggie your order is and whether you order too much.

Think about checking out some of the meal delivery boxes above to reduce your carbon footprint 👣

🍔 A 4-oz cheeseburger?

You're looking at about 3.2kg CO2e here.

🧦 A load of laundry?

2.1kg CO2e, when washed and dried in a washing machine and tumble dryer.

💐 A bunch of flowers?

A bunch of flowers generates around 1.7kg CO2e. That’s a bouquet of 15 mixed stems grown outdoors in the UK and sold locally.

There are awesome companies like Bloom and Wild that have made their letterbox packaging 100% recyclable and are offsetting their emissions. They also advocate dyring out flowers and keeping them all year round, flower pressing them or composting them to avoid them breaking down in landfill to produce methane.

🍷 A bottle of wine?

A bottle of wine uses around 1.65kg CO2e, if we’re thinking of a bottle transported 1500 miles by road from Italy for example.

If you haven’t yet then try out laylo – a premium boxed wine company. Their packaging is more environmentally friendly because boxes use less energy to create than glass bottle, are easier to ship and because the wine stays fresh for 6 weeks there is less waste.

🛁 Taking a bath?

A generous bath heated by electricity uses 1.6kg CO2e. A daily bath adds 73-584kg CO2e per year to your carbon footprint.

📖 A regular paperback book?

The carbon footprint of a typical paperback is about the same as watching 6 hours of TV. But that’s not to say reading isn’t good for the planet. It can actually be great, because it’s hard to drive or shop or do other carbon intensive activities whilst you read! The figure for a ‘regular paperback’ is based on a 250g book printed on paper. Assuming 60% of copies made are actually sold then, each book emits around 1kg CO2e.

🍕 A takeaway pizza?

A takeaway pizza uses around 3.27kg CO2e

🍞 A loaf of bread?

An 800g loaf of bread produced and sold locally uses around 630g CO2e. The same loaf transported a long distance by road uses 1kg CO2e.

☕️ A large oat milk latte?

A large oat milk latte uses 288g CO2e. 

📲 A year’s typical phone use?

At Honest, we calculate the carbon footprint of using your phone. And as a carbon negative company, we double offset its emissions.

An average Honest member produces about 70kg CO2e each year. This includes your calls, messages, data, the daily charging of your phone and the manufacture of your phone and your SIM. You can read more about our sustainability credentials here.


‘How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ by Mike Berners-Lee

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