Carbon calculator

Question 1
This question carries 25% of the marks for this assignment.
This question involves your results from Activity 3.2 Your carbon footprint, where you used the calculator to measure your existing personal carbon footprint
as described in Part 3 Section 3 of the Block 1 book with additional guidance in Section 3 of the OU Carbon calculator user guide. When you are satisfied that
you have made the best estimate of your existing carbon footprint, don’t forget to name and save the file (e.g. ExistingFootprint1).

• a.Identify five examples of questions in the calculator where you had to make an assumption, approximation or guess in order to provide an
answer (e.g. your home’s insulation; your public transport use; your diet). Refer to the calculator’s screens and pop-ups and, as necessary, to the Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQs) in the user guide.
For each of the five questions you have identified, briefly explain why each example required you to make an assumption, approximation or guess in order
to answer it. There is no need to disclose any personal information if you do not wish to.
(15 marks)
(Question 1(a) has a word limit of 500 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
• b.If you have successfully completed Activity 3.2, the results on the ‘Summary’ screen should show two bar charts and a table:
a.A ‘You’ bar chart which shows your existing personal carbon footprint and its main components (Home energy, Travel, etc.)
b. A bar chart showing the Average UK footprint and its main components
c.A table showing the numerical values from the ‘Your footprint’ and ‘Average UK footprint’ bar charts (in tonnes CO2e per year).
Present your results from doing Activity 3.2 as a screenshot of the ‘Summary’ screen, as explained in Section 4.1 of the OU Carbon calculator user guide
(e.g. using the ‘Snipping Tool’ on Windows PCs). If you tried and failed to take a screenshot, you could present the information shown in the table on the
‘Summary’ screen. Add a caption to your screenshot [or title to your own table or list].
Then comment on how your existing total and component footprint scores compare with the UK average, noting briefly some possible reasons why they
differ or are similar.
(10 marks)
(Question 1(b) has a word limit of 250 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)

Question 2
This question carries 35% of the marks for this assignment.
This question involves your results from Activity 3.5 Reducing your carbon footprint, where you used the calculator to explore how to reduce your personal
carbon footprint to a particular target – as described in Part 3 Section 3 of the Block 1 book with additional guidance in Section 3 of the Carbon calculator
user guide.
Launch the calculator and open your existing footprint file (e.g. ExistingFootprint1).
You should have set an appropriate reduction target, using either the Personal target or UK Government targets options on the ‘Target’ screen of the
calculator. There is guidance on choosing targets in Section 3 of the User guide. When you are satisfied that you have reached – or done your best to reach –
your target, save your reduced footprint using a different name (e.g. ReducedGovtFootprint1).
If you are using the alternative calculator for non-UK students, refer to the Carbonfootprint calculator: User guide for non-UK residents for how to set a
target.
a.State your target, whether it’s a Personal or Government target, and explain why you chose it.
(2 marks)
(Question 2(a) has a word limit of 80 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer)
• b.Copy the template table (from the link below) into your TMA document.
TMA 02 Question 2 template table
a. During Activity 3.5 Reducing your carbon footprint you made changes to your answers in order to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions towards a
target. You will now repeat the activity using just five of these changes. Start by selecting five changes that you feel would be fairly realistic for you to make
in real life.
b. Next, starting from your existing footprint, make the first of these five changes in order to reduce your footprint. As you make this first change,
start to fill out your version of the template table.
c.In the top row (A) describe briefly the first change. Next, fill in rows B to I for that change. Repeat this for the four other changes, adding reductions from
each change to those already made, as in Table 1 below.
d.Next, think about how these changes compare with each other in terms of howlikely you are to make them. (This isn’t the same as how much you might
want to make the changes or how effective they are in reducing your footprint.). In row J, rank the change you would be most likely to make as 1 and rank
your least likelychange as 5. Rank the options in between as 2, 3 and 4. If you feel you cannot distinguish between the two options in terms of their
likelihood, use = to indicate this and miss out the next lowest preference (e.g. 1, 2=, 2=, 4, 5).
Finally, in row K, briefly comment on the reasons for your rankings. This should consider each change in terms of how much it reduces your carbon
footprint, its costs or savings, and other issues such as personal preferences and convenience. The word limit for each option in row K is 60 words. State the
word count at the end of your answer.
Table 1 is an example of a possible answer.
Change 1 Change 2 Change 3 Change 4 Change 5
A Brief description of change Use our wood stove regularly for additional room heating Install solar photovoltaic panels on the roof
Change to a 100% green electricity tariff Avoid flying on holiday (average 1 return flight to South Europe per year) Reduce meat and dairy
consumption from regular to occasional
B Carbon footprint before change (tonnes CO2e/year) 15.12 14.85 15.18 14.14 13.60
C Carbon footprint after change (tonnes CO2e/year) 14.85 14.51 14.14 13.60 12.96
D Reduction in personal carbon footprint (subtract row C from row B) (tonnes CO2e/year) 0.27 0.34 1.04 0.54 0.64
E Will this change cost me a lot of money upfront? No, as I have a wood stove and use waste wood A 3kW system typically costs £5000 to £6000
No, but green electricity is a bit more expensive Probably, since alternative European travel, e.g. train is more expensive No, should save money
F Will this change save me money in the long term? Some After about 17 to 20 years Maybe Maybe Yes, should save money
G How difficult will this change be for me? A bit: collecting and sawing wood and cleaning ash Not sure: will have to investigate
Only the effort of switching supplier Could be very difficult, but willing to try for environmental reasons Learning to shop, cook and eat different
foods
H Are there other factors I need to consider before making this change? Availability and storage of waste wood Suitability of roof, government
subsidies and grants No If my travel companions are also willing to stop flying on holiday Only acceptable if other family members are
willing to eat less meat and dairy products
I Uncertainties, approximations and guesses in making the change Unsure how much gas using more wood fuel would save Availability of
money,; satisfaction of having solar PV Additional electricity bills. How much carbon green electricity actually saves Where I could travel by other
modes; the cost and their footprint? Will I and the family like different meals?
J How likely am I to make this change? (Use 1 for the most likely option, 5 for the least likely, and 2, 3 and 4 to rank the options in between.) 1
5 2 4 3
K Reasons for my ranking of this change Easy, I like wood stove fires and it should save some money. Although the carbon saving is quite small, it’s
my first preference as it has several advantages and no significant disadvantages apart from concerns about air pollution. [38 words] This option is
expensive with a long payback time, although, I’d like to try out solar. I was surprised that the carbon savings were not as large as expected. [29words]
This would make a large reduction in my carbon footprint for relatively little effort and probably little extra cost. So it’s a good option. [24words]
Although this would make a large reduction in my carbon footprint, it might mean I miss out on some travel opportunities. But I am willing to try alternative
travel modes or holiday more often at home provided they do not cost me a lot extra. [44 words] It’s certainly worth trying, especially as it’s healthier
and should save money, if I can persuade other family members to accept the change. We have plenty of recipes for meat and dairy free meals. [34words]
(20 marks)
• c.If the five changes made in Question 2(b) have enabled you to reduce your carbon footprint to your target, no further changes are needed at this
stage. If they have not, you should make additional changes to reach your target and so complete Activity 3.5. Once you have successfully completed Activity
3.5, the results on the ‘Summary’ screen should show two bar charts and a table:
a. A ‘You’ bar chart which shows the components of your reduced personal carbon footprint and how the total compares to your target.
b.A bar chart showing the Average UK footprint and its main components.
c. A table showing the numerical values from the ‘Your footprint’ and ‘Average UK footprint’ bar charts (in tonnes CO2e per year).
Present your results from doing Activity 3.5 as a screenshot (or other representation) of the ‘Summary’ screen, as explained for Question 1(b). Add a caption
to your screenshot (or a title to your table or list).
Then state whether you managed to reach or exceed the target you chose. Comment on how easy, difficult and feasible it would be in practice to reduce
your carbon footprint to your target value and explain why.
(10 marks)
(Question 2(c) has a word limit of 300 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
Marks for presentation (3 marks)
Three marks are available for the presentation of your answers in Question 2. Check these answers now and make edits, if needed, to improve their clarity.
For example, is the written text clearly written and presented? Do all tables and charts have titles? Have you used captions to indicate the content of
screenshots?
(Total for Question 2 is 35 marks)

Question 3
This question carries 10% of the marks for this assignment.
This question involves your results from Activity 3.6 Decarbonising your footprint, where you used the calculator to explore how to further reduce your
personal carbon footprint. This is done via emission reduction measures paid for by you, but undertaken by government or others – as described in Part 3
Section 5 of the Block 1 book with, additional guidance in Section 3 of the OU Carbon calculator user guide.
a.State which decarbonisation options you decided to pay towards, why you chose them and whether this was to reach a footprint reduction target set in
Activity 3.5 or a new more challenging one.
(5 marks)
• b.Describe which of the decarbonisation options have the most effect on your footprint. Explain which, if any, you think might be personally or
politically acceptable in practice.
(5 marks)
(Question 3 has a word limit of 350 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)

Question 4
This question carries 30% of the marks for this assignment.
a.Summarise the carbon wedges approach as a response to climate change. You should include the aims and main features and some of the advantages and
possible drawbacks of this approach.
Your answer should be in your own words using simple language suitable for a general readership.
You should include a citation and reference to the module materials.
(18 marks)
(Question 4(a) has a word limit of 300 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
• b.‘Sustainable transport’ is one element in a list of ten ‘One Planet Living’ (OPL) principles given in Figure 4.25, and one element in the specific
goals for the Elmsbrook OPL Action Plan given in Figure 4.28.
Give three specific examples of practical and everyday actions that could be taken by a typical household based on the OPL principle that relates to
Sustainable transport. For each of your three transport examples, explain how these actions might improve environmental sustainability. You should also
explain how these actions might affect economic and/or social sustainability.
(12 marks)
(Question 4(b) has a word limit of 250 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
Advice on answering Question 4
The new process word for this question is ‘summarise’ which means to give a clear, short description, presenting the chief factors and omitting minor
details and examples.
Advice for 4(a) Carbon wedges approach, is described in Block 1, Part 4 Section 3. You may find it helpful to make notes of the material from the text, and
video resources on the module website first. Use of diagrams (which do not count as part of your word total) is acceptable but not essential.
Question 4(a) asks for a citation and reference. For guidance see the ‘Study Note: References and sources in academic writing’ (Block 1, p. 209) and the
‘Referencing examples for U116’ section of theU116 Assessment guide.
Advice for 4(b) terms are explained in Block 1, Part 2 Section 4 and Block 1, Part 4 Section 4. Your answer can be in continuous prose, a table or a bulleted
list. However, make sure there is enough explanation to make your meaning clear to someone who has not come across these examples before.
By ‘practical and everyday actions’ we mean something specific that a householder could realistically do, not just the general principles given in Fig 4.25. So,
if the example had been the OPL principle of ‘Zero carbon’, (rather than Sustainable transport) a suitable action would be using low energy appliances and
lighting, or insulating and draught-proofing the home, or making sure appliances are switched off when not in use.
When considering how the actions might improve sustainability, you should consider at least one environmental and one social or economic aspect for each
example. Note: you might decide that an action which improves environmental sustainability actually reduces economic sustainability, for example, because
it’s expensive, or it might reduce social sustainability because it’s unfair and reduces the quality of life for some people. For social sustainability, think
about the impact of the action on the wider community as well as the household taking the action. Some other actions might be ‘win-win-win’,
simultaneously improving environmental, economic and social sustainability.

 

Sample Solution

ACED ESSAYS