People and businesses across the region are being invited to discover their own personal carbon footprint this week and see what they might do to change it.
Find Your Footprint Week is running from October 17 to 24 and is a joint venture between North Devon and Torridge district councils plus a local entrepreneur who has made low carbon his mission for the past 25 years.
Using a simple online survey, people are invited to go to the Carbon Savvy website set up by Mukti Mitchell and learn how big their footprint is.
The online tool takes around five minutes to complete and offers people several easy-to-implement carbon-saving actions that they can apply to their own lives.
It will be followed in March by the opportunity to see how well you have done, with Celebrate your Savings Week.
The big project is being supported by North Devon Biosphere, Plastic Free North Devon, Resurgence Trust, 361 Energy and Beaford Arts.
Those who complete the survey will be entered into a competition with the chance to win a range of low carbon prizes from North Devon businesses.
These include a pot from Sandy Brown Ceramics, a veggie box from Marshford Organic Foods, a chimney balloon from Mitchell & Dickinson period insulation services, a belly board from Plastic Free North Devon and a Koffie Soap gift set from North Devon Soap.
Mr Mitchell, whose efforts have included sailing a low carbon yacht around Britain, said: “In the next few months we will be involving businesses, schools and churches so that working together we can bring down CO2 in the region to help the councils in their target to reach zero carbon emissions by 2030.
“The best bit is, I have found that almost every action to reduce my carbon footprint makes me either happier, healthier or saves me money.”
Caroline Leaver, NDC lead member for climate change, added: “An average UK carbon footprint is close to 15 tonnes per person per year. The five biggest areas which emit CO2 are: heating our homes, transport, intensive food production, international holidays, and shopping for products.
“Simple actions like taking one less flight, buying organic milk, increasing your loft insulation or purchasing a long-lasting household appliance, have a big effect when lots of people are doing them together.”
Councillor Peter Hames, TDC lead member for climate change commented: “Radical change often begins with one small step and so the Find Your Footprint campaign is a perfect way to help people make those small changes that collectively can mean so much for our environment.
“Hopefully people will be encouraged to make bigger changes in their lifestyles but if they start with just one or two then that’s still a big win for the planet and future generations.”
To take part in Find Your Footprint week, go to www.carbonsavvy.uk/findyourfootprint where you can take the survey and find out your carbon footprint in just five minutes.