Much of the burden of cutting carbon emissions will fall on homeowners in the UK. It is estimated 27% of the overall amount comes from private residences. The government wants to eradicate the carbon waste being emitted by British homes by seven million tonnes per year.
To achieve that it is seeking to encourage the construction of so-called carbon-neutral housing. Measures including mini-turbines and solar panels are being put forward as viable alternatives to traditional sources of heating and lighting. The eco-friendly house would also feature rain-fed water tanks with geothermic pumps.
Such ideas are the inspiration behind an experimental community in Surrey, in southern England. Beddington Zero Energy Development, or BedZED, has 82 apartments built to the highest environmental standards. Zero carbon, zero waste, that is the aim and Sue Riddlestone, from the company behind the project, believes it is achievable: “You don’t have to be an environmentalist to live in BedZED, the idea is to make sustainable living easy for everybody, and if it’s laid on the people will participate.”
The government maintains everyone has a part to play and individuals should take responsibility for reducing what is termed their own carbon footprint.