Greenhouse gases explained

  • Save money by reducing GHG emissions from buildings!
  • By improving insulation in the roofs and walls of office and domestic buildings you can save a fortune. Around a third of all the heat lost in an un-insulated building is lost through the walls. Cavity wall insulation could save you around £115 a year on your fuel bills.
  • You can also use energy efficient light bulbs, ventilators and other electrical appliances. just one energy saving light bulb could save you on average around £2.50 a year and, because it will last around 10 times longer than a standard bulb, it could save you around £40 before it needs replacing. How many light bulbs do you have on your farm? It soon adds up. It’s best to check all equipment is well-maintained and switched off properly (i.e. not on stand-by) when not in use as this can save energy and cash too.
  • Ensure thermostats and controllers are set at the most appropriate level
  • Consider the use of timers and independent metering for optimum energy control
  • Ensure boilers are maintained and serviced regularly
  • You can now apply for the Carbon Trust 0% interest loans to help pay for any improvements.
  • Read the Farming Futures energy efficiency fact sheet
  • Reduce methane emissions
  • We’ve all heard about cow burps in the press, but methane comes from all ruminant livestock. It is possible to reduce methane emissions
  • Check that livestock are fed an optimal diet and manage your manure
  • Investigate anaerobic digestion options in your area
  • Reduce GHG emissions from farm machinery
  • If you can, invest in the most energy efficient 'A' or 'AA' appliances when replacing equipment and ask your suppliers to stock these
  • Keep all equipment clean to work at its optimal level
  • Check all tyre pressures to ensure vehicles and machinery are working to their optimum efficiency - even slightly flat tyres will make the vehicle waste fuel
  • Use smart technology and controlled traffic farming techniques to reduce field passes and save fuel - see fact sheet 24 and case study 20 on precision farming
  • Consider the use of biofuels (some vehicles offer biodiesel warranties; others can be converted to use locally-produced vegetable oils)
  • Reduce GHG emissions from farm machinery
  • If you can, invest in the most energy efficient 'A' or 'AA' appliances when replacing equipment and ask your suppliers to stock these
  • Keep all equipment clean to work at its optimal level
  • Check all tyre pressures to ensure vehicles and machinery are working to their optimum efficiency - even slightly flat tyres will make the vehicle waste fuel
  • Use smart technology and controlled traffic farming techniques to reduce field passes and save fuel - see fact sheet 24 and case study 20 on precision farming
  • Consider the use of biofuels (some vehicles offer biodiesel warranties; others can be converted to use locally-produced vegetable oils)
  • Lock up green house gases in your soil and vegetation
  • Trees and grass lock up, or sequester, C02 as they grow.
  • By building up organic matter in soils, by adding compost and reducing tillage, you can also reduce the release of GHGs
  • Optimise fertiliser efficiency (saves emissions and money!) - see fact sheet 22 on smart technology and fact sheet 21 on nutrient management
  • Cover slurry and manure lagoons to reduce GHG release during rainfall.
  • Reduce GHG emissions from crop production
  • Adjust nitrogen inputs to match crop demand and use organic or manufactured fertilisers more effectively
  • Improve the effectiveness of nitrogen uptake of crops by including the latest nitrogen efficient varieties
  • Include nitrogen fixing crops, rotations and cover crops (e.g. legumes, red clover, vetch, rye or cocksfoot)
  • Become a renewable energy farmer
  • There are lots of options available to farmers who want to generate their own energy and heat. This could be for your own consumption or, if you sell it into the grid, could be a very profitable new side to your business.
  • ROCS, FITS and heat ROCS are making this more affordable
  • Consider biomass heating or electricity
  • Look into anaerobic digestion
  • Consider geothermal (ground source) heating
  • Consider wind power (small or large scale) on upland or windy sites
  • Some farmers even make their own low-carbon vehicle fuel!

Roll your mouse over the numbered labels on the diagram above to see more information.