Carbon neutral. What is it and should you do it?

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The idea of going carbon neutral has been around for a while now. Since the term first became part of everyday language we were told it was something to aspire to or work towards. But, can anything that is deemed as being neutral really be good and, what does it all mean anyway?

Hand in hand, as it were, with the term carbon neutral are references to our carbon footprint. This relates to the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted or caused by a business, event, product, household or person.

Pretty much everything we do in our daily routine at home and work involves burning carbon and emitting it into the atmosphere as pollution, greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Most everything we buy is made by using energy from coal powered power plants. Our homes and workplaces are heated and cooled by burning some kind of carbon based fuel.  Our cars are powered with carbon-based gasoline. The foods we eat, particularly an animal-based diet of meat and dairy, have carbon implications.  At the end of the day, we all have a carbon footprint whether we know it or not.

But, carbon footprints can be measured and reduced. The size of a carbon footprint indicates the amount of resources being used. So, anytime we can reduce the size of our carbon footprint, we are also using fewer resources, creating fewer greenhouse gases and saving money – all good things. Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, we can figure out where it can be reduced or possibly, neutralised.

So, what steps can be taken to decrease your family’s carbon footprint –

  • Measure it – There are many online calculators that can help you measure your usage. For small businesses there are companies who can assess what you use and offer ideas on how to reduce what you emit. Once you know what your usage is you can identify areas where reductions can be made.
  • Reduce it – Changing simple everyday behaviors will have the most impact: reducing your fuel use by consolidating errands, managing your phantom power loads with power strips, rethinking your heating or cooling comfort zone, tightening up your home, recycling, eating more vegetables and buying products made from recycled and renewable materials.
  • Offset the rest – You won’t be able to erase all the carbon you use completely, so having taken reasonable steps to remove what you can you can begin to offset the rest. The starting point is to re-measure your new footprint after the changes you’ve already made have taken effect. There are a number of carbon credit or offset companies around from whom you can buy carbon offsets. These work by allowing purchasers to neutralise the greenhouse gases that they can’t eliminate from their carbon footprint through reductions themselves with the credits purchased being used to support a variety of emissions reduction initiatives. You get the “pass” for your pollution because the carbon offset company is offsetting your emissions by reducing emissions elsewhere in the global system. The companies that sell the offsets or credits often have online calculators so that you can see how much of your footprint will be offset by your payment.

Admittedly the carbon credit system does represent a leap of faith of sorts but if more people were to take advantage of the system the impact would ripple across the globe to great effect.

With the carbon footprint in mind, RecycleIT4U offer a fast, efficient and friendly service to help recycle your unwanted electrical goods with a simple automated collection system.
To book a collection you can either use our online form or you can speak to us direct during our normal office hours. Our collection booking telephone number is 01952 580814.

We will collect redundant PCs, laptops, monitors, servers, network products, printers, EPOS, Scanners, UPS, cabling, AV equipment, projectors, telephones, mobiles and fax machines using our own vehicles at an agreed date and time.

An official WEEE disposal certificate will be issued, quoting serial number, asset tag and 
description of all the items collected.

Hazardous waste notes will be issued for redundant equipment such as monitors and batteries that contain hazardous materials.

We can also ensure secure data destruction. The security of unwanted data held on file by way of magnetic media, computer hard drives, 
backup tapes, CD’s or floppy drives is controlled by the Data Protection Act 1998. All data bearing devices are dealt with by Recycle IT 4U in one of two ways:-

  • Physical shredding
  • Electronic wiping of DATA (only applicable if approved by you the customer)

Data held on hard drives is removed or eradicated using approved software and hardware in accordance with internationally recognised standards.

We also pride ourselves in refurbishing, reusing and recycling for spares and repairs as much as possible, so equipment can have a second lease of life.

Any equipment not suitable for our refurbishment programme or spares, is separated and then sent in bulk to our Strategic Partner, the world’s largest waste management company for further recycling and separation into glass, metal and plastics and reintroduced into the manufacturing chain as raw materials.