It’s a phrase we’ll heard but what does ‘carbon footprint’ actually mean? Your footprint is the amount of carbon produced by your day-to-day activities – and that can mean while running your business or just living your life.

Climate change is a global problem and it’s easy to feel that it’s a huge and scary issue and there’s nothing you can really do make a difference. While it’s true that you can’t save the world on your own, the good news is that you can make a difference. The even better news? You can save money while doing so.

Start by working out the extent of your carbon footprint. How much carbon does your heating generate? How about your daily commute? This is not as difficult to do as you may think: there are a number of calculators available online which will give you at least an approximate idea of your footprint. Try this one,for example, or this carbon comparison tool .

Calculating your footprint will involve asking yourself searching questions about your lifestyle and that is an excellent way to consider more environmentally-friendly alternatives to mainstream resources.

Then take action. Have you considered installing solar panels on your home, for example? Not only will they cut your own emissions and reduce your footprint, they will also you money – potentially quite a lot – because you will be generating some of the electricity you use and will no longer need to buy it in.

Further savings – along with further reductions in your carbon footprint – can be generated when you buy new household goods: everything from washing machines to lightbulbs. Many manufacturers have made determined efforts to increase the energy efficiency of their products so the latest models are better for the environment and will cost you less to run. Modern LED bulbs for example, burn 80 per cent less energy than the traditional models.

Efficient recycling will reduce carbon emissions, and cut costs as well, by reducing the need to produce new supplies of such basic materials as glass, plastic and paper.

Modern vehicles are also designed with energy efficiency and low carbon emissions in mind. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, then great: choose a hybrid vehicle - or go all in and opt for an all-electric vehicle.

But if that’s not possible right now, don’t despair: you can benefit the environment even in your current car by simply changing the way you drive. Focus on fuel consumption: don’t drive around with unnecessary weight in your vehicle, keep your tyres in good condition to improve the efficiency of your brakes, don’t drive faster than you need.

It also helps to ask if you really need to drive at all. Could you feasibly catch a train or bus? Public transport is significantly friendlier to the environment. Could you share your ride to and from work?

And all those measures are just the beginning. It’s great to think that you can help save the planet while benefitting your wallet or purse as well. As the Internet is fond of observing: not all heroes wear capes!

Author's Bio: 

Morgan Franklin is a freelance writer, editor and designer who works across various sectors and largely online. His work covers everything from business and politics to the environment, ethics and entertainment.