Carbon Handprint - let's beat Climate Change

Over the last few years there has been a change in how we approach the environment. Landmarks like the Paris agreement have been backed up by an appetite to do more across the world. For more and more people, the question is how can I help?

Carbon Handprint is an idea to help people realise that no contribution is too small. Anybody can make a difference to the environment, and the world will be a better place if we all try to do our bit.

Nobody owns the term Carbon Handprint - it is a concept that we hope will help your own efforts to promote and protect the environment. Enhance your own Carbon Handprint by taking practical steps to reduce your impact on the environment, or build on the idea and promote it to other people.

In a Nutshell:

Updated 12th May 2019
We are just 12 years from Climate Catastrophe , warns the IPCC.
The natural world and human society are linked and equally at threat, as a new paper warns that climate change and environmental breakdown would force society into Systemic Collapse , and researchers warn we are in an age of Mass Extinction
Around the world schoolchildren and students have been going on Strike to demand action on climate change. A new wave of protests is due inthe UK as key emissions targets are missed .
We have started talking about population dispersement or sprawl in ernest. As populations grow beyond control do we need to relocate as well as renew our infrastucture for the sake of the environment?

The United States is still the ONLY major nation in the world to refuse to make a commitment under the Paris Climate Agreement, but very few countries are doing enough .

There are some good news stories , and grassroots support for consuming responsibly is high and individual states, authorities and groups across the globe are working independently to lower emissions and a cleaner environment.

... and while it is mired in politics the proposed Green New Deal is stimulating debate and could one day see the USA aim for a Carbon Neutral future .

Join the discussion
Discuss these issues here »


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Britain making progress on eliminating coal-fired energy by 2025»

Britain sets personal best for going without coal

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It is the cause of more than one angry tweet, so what is the difference?»

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Bournemouth aims for 5% car reduction with Beryl

Beryl launches new Bike share in Bourneouth, aims for 5% reduction in car usage by 2022»

Bournemouth aims for 5% car reduction with Beryl

how important is the Guardian Environment?

Digging into the environmental section of the Guardian, it is amazing how much time and effort they have committed to helping us all»

how important is the Guardian Environment?

What can I do?

No contribution is too small. Anyone can start building their carbon Handprint at any time.

Would you like to help Or perhaps you need our help getting your message out to a wider audience. We would love to hear from you - please get in touch.


What is your biggest impact on the environment?

Perhaps it is your commute to work or school, or the packaging that your weekly shop comes in.
You don't need to give up travelling or eating to make simple changes that make a big difference.


Reducing consumption is the easiest way to help the environment

Less waste means less harmful landfill and less gasoline and energy is used to transport it. Consider keeping plastic packaging to use again, and always think about the "food miles" of what you buy - the shorter the distance the better for the environment (and often the more delicious it is too).


Waste of any type has a devastating impact on the natural environment.

When waste goes into landfill it harms habitats and releases harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. It is generally cheaper in terms of money and energy to recycle key materials like plastic, glass and some metal.


Share your experiences!

Whether from the exercise you get by reducing a commute, or the new and interesting meals you discover when you vary your shopping, you Carbon Handprint can be measured by positive experiences just as much as it can the amount of greenhouse gases saved. Share it with your friends - helping the environment should be fun and inclusive!

This site is always looking for inspirational stories if you would like to get in touch.

More about Carbon Handprints

Your Carbon Handprint is your contribution to the environment. If we think of your Carbon Footprint as the negative impact you have on the planet, your Handprint is a record of the positive steps you take.

Carbon Handprinting is not a replacement for Carbon Footprints, or an attempt to ignore the vast amount of work to be done; rather it is a tool for us to engage the public on a different level.

After years of supporting and promoting the reduction of Carbon Footprints, a more positive message was needed to recruit a new generation of environmentalists and raise awareness about pollution, climate change and associated perils.

Areas of interest


At the moment Carbon handprints are largely anecdotal. We really need an open and robust way to calculate and record Carbon Handprint contributions. This should be open for development by the community and free for use


The original aim of was microcertification - allowing data from a number of sources to be recorded and stored alongside each other regardless of where it came from. A user could write a pledge to ride their bike to work, while a carbon neutral data centre could automatically upload its consumption figures on a daily basis.

With a well defined schema both types of data could live in the same system to measure carbon handprint / footprint contributions.
The Internet has changed the face of data sharing and Twitter and social media now achieve a lot of these original goals, but it a solution tailored for environmental topics is still needed.


Sharing thoughts, progress, research and breakthroughs is important. Until a licence more suited to environmental topics is formulated will use the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

This gives content creators and thought leaders the ability to build on what we publish quickly and easily. Businesses and commercial enterprises are welcome, but they are not covered by the default licence - just get in touch.


International, National and local government make the decisions that affect us all.

Over time all environmental causes need the acceptance and support of local politicians and representatives to make positive steps forward.

This is perhaps the most open and important goal of Carbon Handprint - we can't do this for you but we can offer support and encouragement.

Origin / Ownership was developed a decade ago as a website which anybody could use to record their achievements or promises for the environment. was the first published use of the term "Carbon Handprint" online, though we are sure it was being informally used before then.

As such we do not claim ownership of the term, and do not believe that anyone else should either. The current Carbon Handprint has the same goal it always had - to reinforce the environmental message by reminding everyone that they can make a difference.

Most content and any future research or resources on Carbon Handprint will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License to ensure it reaches as many people as possible.