The term carbon footprint is used quite frequently these days, but I’m not sure it’s easy to understand, so here’s a quick explanation.

Everything we do, and spend our money on, has an impact on the planet, called our carbon footprint.

This is because carbon is what is causing all of the climate change impacts we’re starting to experience.

To protect our planet, we therefore need to reduce our carbon footprints, individually and at work.

The scary data is that in the UK, we need to reduce them by 3 quarters over the next few years to avoid serious climate consequences.

One of the ways to have an impact quickly is to look at the way we travel, which can also have a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.

Most of us have a petrol or diesel car that we hop into whenever we need to go somewhere.

The biggest thing you can do is think: if I planned my day a little, could I walk or cycle there instead of drive? We could make a big difference by reducing the number of short car journeys we do.

We’d also save money on fuel, get some exercise and improve the air quality in our local area.

We also need to look at public transport – trains and buses. Now, I know that the bus service is pretty ropey round here – despite our best efforts, we often find ourselves having to drive because the bus is cancelled or late.

(Please write to your MP about this, it’s really important we tell them what we’re dissatisfied with. If we’re going have sustainable communities, we need the infrastructure in place, and currently, the buses are definitely not cutting it!).

Taking the bus can almost halve the carbon footprint of a car journey, and the train is about 75 per cent lower.

If you go to work or a social activity in the car, perhaps you could consider car sharing. That reduces the carbon footprint of the journey by almost 50 per cent just by having an extra passenger with you.

Some of us are lucky enough to go on foreign holidays. If that’s you, consider the impact of flying on the environment.

Depending on your trip, maybe you could take the Eurostar instead, more than 10 times less impactful than flying and really easy to get to from here.

And if you are flying, take direct flights, as take off and landing are the worst bits, and sit in economy, which is less carbon intensive than those fancy business class seats!!

Finally, a word on the electric car. They have a much lower carbon footprint than their petrol relatives – more than two thirds less.

However, there is an argument for not replacing your existing vehicle until it needs it, so you’re not increasing unnecessary consumption. The batteries also use a lot of precious metals in them, and there’s not an infinite supply of those.

So if you’re like us, and only do low mileage each year, we’re waiting to switch over until we really need to!