We all have a carbon footprint, whether we like it or not. And while we might not be able to avoid contributing to climate change altogether, being aware of our carbon footprint is the first step to making a difference.
So, what exactly is a carbon footprint? In short, it’s the amount of carbon dioxide that’s released into the atmosphere as a result of our actions. In the UK, the average person’s footprint is around 10 tonnes of CO2 per year – which is roughly double the world’s average.
Here at Zixty, we like to spotlight the work of organisations that are working to create a greener future. And today, we’re zeroing in on Giki Zero, Giki’s free tool that enables you to lower your carbon footprint.
Giki is a B-corp that helps people live more sustainably by showing you how you can understand your carbon footprint and then find ways to reduce it, in a fun and engaging way – celebrating successes along the way.
With the help of Giki Zero, you can discover your footprint, find steps to reduce it, and celebrate your successes. Giki Zero is a free step-by-step guide that will show you how easy it is to start living a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
How to Use Giki Zero
Giki Zero is incredibly easy to use. All you need to do is create an account and answer a few questions about your lifestyle. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be given your own environmental impact score. This score will show you detailed data about your footprint and what actions you can take to reduce it.
You’ll also be able to see how eco-friendly you are relative to the rest of the population.
There are steps for every lifestyle and budget so you can start taking action today. The best part is that these steps are all displayed in an easily accessible checklist, with notifications to prompt you to act, and your score is updated automatically as you complete various milestones.
You can also check your score on the go. Giki has a free app that can be downloaded through the AppStore or the GooglePlay store. It’s a great way to live more sustainably on the go, and get reminders on the steps you’re taking.
A stark warning puts things into perspective using the Climate Budget
It takes only a few minutes to set up a Giki Zero account and it’s free too! All you need to do is answer a few questions about your lifestyle to get started.
Giki then gives you a personalised climate clock which shows you how long it would take for the global carbon budget to run out if everyone lived like you.
What’s the global climate budget, you might be wondering? The current global climate budget refers to how many tonnes of carbon dioxide we can release into the atmosphere if we hope to have at least some chance of staying below 1.5C of warming.
It’s widely accepted that the planet is getting warmer, but keeping the increase in temperature below 1.5C is a pretty crucial goal. At the current rate of emissions, it is expected that we will reach 1.5C within 9 years. Scientists believe that reaching this milestone could result in the flooding of coastal areas as well as the destruction of coral reefs and the transformation of biomes. Grasslands might turn into deserts, for example.
Giki Zero looks at the answers you provide when you sign up and tells you how long it would take for global warming to reach the 1.5C threshold if everyone lived like you. The screenshot below shows what your own climate clock might look like.
It’s a clever feature that could serve as a wake-up call to some people about their impact on the environment.
Giki gamifies climate footprint reduction with fast results
The beauty of Giki Zero is that it tells you exactly what your carbon footprint looks like and gives you realistic targets to meet each year. When you sign up, you answer as many questions about your household and habits as you want in order to calibrate your score.
The platform then gives you your carbon emissions in kilograms and sets you a target which you can try to meet by the end of the year. The target involves cutting down your carbon emissions by a certain number.
Then, you can “take steps” to meet your target. Each step is worth a set number of CO2 kilograms which is taken off your total carbon footprint when you complete it.
As you can see in the screenshot, the app encourages you to try out new ways to cut your carbon emissions.
You can select the “quick wins” option for, as the name suggests, quick actions you can take to reduce your footprint. This includes things like turning down the thermostat a little or taking shorter showers.
Or, you can commit to “big impact” steps for massive wins. This includes things like cutting out red meat or giving up cruises.
You can see an example of what a typical “step” looks like below. The work-from-home commitment is marked as a big impact step. Giki also explains why it helps the environment and how it impacts various aspects of your life.
The good news is, no matter what step you pick, Giki will provide guidance on how to make your new commitment a success. They’ll also explain all the benefits for the environment (and yourself) if you commit to and complete a particular step.
And when you complete a specific milestone, Giki immediately calculates how much you’ve reduced your footprint and takes it off your total carbon footprint for the year. It’s that easy!
Giki: Reducing our carbon footprint one small step at a time
We’re living through a climate emergency. Many of us want to lower our carbon footprint and impact on the environment but don’t necessarily know how to go about it.
That’s where websites like Giki come in. Giki Zero is an engaging and easy way to help reduce your carbon footprint. With just a few easy-to-answer questions about your lifestyle, Giki can estimate your carbon footprint and show you over 150 ways to help reduce it. Plus, it’s free to sign up if you’re an individual rather than a business.