A peer-reviewed study soon to be published in the journal Energy Policy shows that moving clocks forward an hour in Britain would substantially cut carbon emissions.
The new study by Dr Elizabeth Garnsey of Cambridge University’s Department of Engineering shows that if Brits moved their clocks forward an hour for the whole year, the carbon emissions saved would be the same as taking 200,000 cars off the road.
“The carbon savings associated with this clock change are significant, equivalent to the carbon footprint of the production of 1,800 plastic bags for every home in Britain every year, or taking around 200,000 cars off the road,” Dr Garnsey says.
The 10:10 campaign has been pushing for exactly this for some time now. It’s Lighter Later initiative proposes a 1-year trial of this idea.
But making this change is not just about carbon savings — matching our daily schedules with the sun’s would benefit people in multiple ways.
“Lighter evenings make us happier, healthier and safer,” Eugenie Harvey, director of 10:10 UK, said on Sunday, the longest day of the year. “But after today the nights will start drawing in again. We’re renewing our call to the government for a trial of Lighter Later’s proposals.”
Of course, doing so in other countries would cut carbon emissions and help people in these other ways as well.
Beyond this macro-scale solution, though, if you want to help to reduce your carbon emissions while living a healthier life, try to match your daily schedule with the daily schedule of the sun in your area yourself. I know this is something I should be doing more, and it was actually my biggest Earth Day resolution. With the days getting shorter again, this becomes more and more important.
I think changing the clocks would be a great move, but we should at least try to do our part on our own if we can.
Photo Credit: Roby Ferrari via flickr/CC license