How to Live a Low-Carbon Life – The Individual’s Guide to Tackling Climate Change – 2010 – 2nd Edition

Author: C Goodall
Publisher: Earthscan, London
Pages: PBK
ISBN: 978-1-84407-910-0

This is an excellent book, written by a plain speaking journalist, which explains clearly the links between global warming, carbon dioxide, and energy. It also shows how anyone can reduce their carbon footprint and make a difference.

The first two chapters of 31 pages provide a valuable broad context on carbon impacts in a summary form which is easy to read and understand. The book then splits in to three parts. Part 1 covers Direct Emissions and discusses Home Heating; Water Heating and Cooking; Lighting; Household Appliances; Car Travel; Public Transport; and Air Travel. Part 2 looks at Indirect Emissions and includes food and other indirect sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Part 3 entitled, “Other Analysis”, discusses domestic use of renewable energy and cancelling out emissions.

A book of this nature will always have some limitations, such as being UK based, or using costs and units that are country based. However, it is easy enough to slot in your own data or draw from the principles and the learning and guidance that is needed for your own local and country specifics.

The book contains a mass of detail and a wide range of excellent statistics, measurements, energy usage data and all the other information that you need to measure your carbon footprint and calculate what you need to do to reduce the size of your footprint. Author Goodall believes that it is relatively easy to reduce one’s footprint from 14 Tonnes down to 2 Tonnes of CO2 per person. I don’t entirely agree with him but I will say that a serious and focussed effort, using this book as a guide, can make a significant bite in the 14 Tonnes he mentions.

Highly Recommended. This is a excellent training resource and can be used by anyone who wants to make a meaningful impact upon reducing their personal carbon footprint.