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Make smarter living choices <h2 class="sectHeading">What is a carbon footprint?</h2><p>A carbon footprint is a term given to the amount of carbon dioxide (C02), methane and other greenhouse gases you produce (expressed as CO2 equivalent) just by going about your daily life. Carbon emissions refer to the carbon dioxide released, or ‘emitted’, into the atmosphere through certain actions like driving a car, cooking food, heating your home, running hot water or even switching on a light!</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact</h4><p>Carbon dioxide is emitted by power stations that burn fossil fuels to generate electricity. About 95% of South Africa’s electricity is generated by fossil fuels such as coal and diesel. Therefore, the more electricity you use, the higher your carbon footprint.</p></div></div><h4>Methane emissions </h4><p>As a greenhouse gas, methane gas (CH4) is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Methane emissions are produced by the decomposing of waste at landfill sites. The way we handle our waste directly affects the amount of methane that is emitted into our atmosphere – the more rubbish we throw away, the more methane we produce at landfills.</p><p> <a href="">Reducing our waste</a> (waste minimisation) is an easy but highly effective way to reduce our carbon footprint.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">Why are greenhouses gases so bad?</h2><p>Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are the number-one contributor to climate change; a process that scientists say has led to a rise in global average temperatures by over half a degree Celsius over the past 30 years. Climate change could raise the earth’s temperatures by 1,4 – 5,8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century – which will make it difficult for life on earth to be sustained.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">How can I make a difference?</h2><p>You can start by trying to cut down on habits and activities that produce greenhouse gases. This is called ‘tracking your carbon footprint’.</p><h4>Consider the following when calculating how to reduce your household’s carbon footprint: </h4><ul><li> <strong>Density of living</strong> – living in a dense urban area (such as the Cape Town CBD) lowers your carbon footprint as you tend to travel shorter distances to access your workplace.</li><li> <strong>Your lifestyle</strong> – water and space heating, air conditioning, appliances and lighting are mostly powered by electricity or gas and therefore contribute more to your carbon footprint.</li><li> <strong>Your habits</strong> – switching off appliances, recycling and taking shorter showers are much better all round.</li><li> <strong>Consider green technology</strong> – solar water heating or photovoltaic (PV) panels.</li><li> <strong>Think about how you travel</strong> – lift-sharing, using public transport, driving more efficient vehicles, cycling and walking, all produce much less carbon. Flying a lot is never good, nor is using your car when you don't really need it.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact</h4><p>Every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity you avoid using saves over a kilogram of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere by the coal-fired power stations that produce the majority of our electricity.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Consult the Smart Living Handbook</h2><p>To help you track your carbon footprint and make smarter choices in your daily life, we have created the Smart Living Handbook.</p><h4>We include an overview of: </h4><ul><li>challenges to reducing our City’s overall carbon footprint and becoming more resource-efficient;</li><li>the City’s initiatives in helping households make smarter choices and save money; and</li><li>practical steps you can take to reduce the impact your daily lifestyle has on the environment..</li></ul><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Read or download our Smart Living Handbook</a>.</p><h4>Other ‘smart living’ resources include:</h4><ul><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Cooking and Home Safety Guide </a></li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Driving Training Manual </a></li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Events Handbook</a> </li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Living Audit Guide for ECD Centres </a></li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Living Audit Guide for your Home</a> </li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Smart Office Handbook</a> </li></ul>GP0|#fb65f646-a9da-41c8-91ce-a846c4eafe19;L0|#0fb65f646-a9da-41c8-91ce-a846c4eafe19|Make smarter living choices;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#fd14169b-2553-46d9-8c82-378f4b6a2b98;GPP|#39d66b11-2134-4df5-8360-0bc5e66e8f4f;GPP|#245ec7aa-a528-4cd3-bcac-597c292db711Learn how you can reduce your carbon footprint.0



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