A new project has been launched to help people make small changes in their lives to reduce their carbon footprint - and potentially save money at the same time.

It is being led by Helston Climate Action group members, who hope to get a better picture of the town's impact on the environment.

The Helston Footprints project is using the website Giki Zero and will be creating groups for people to log in to. 

To help gauge the progress, people will be asked to fill in a survey before they take the questionnaire, then again at the end after they have implemented some of the changes. 

To get involved visit www.helstonclimateaction.earth/helston-footprints

There is also a small number of paper workbooks available for people without access to the internet.

In both cases, people will answer questions to measure their current carbon footprint – an estimate of the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that a person emits each year based on their lifestyle.

Questions will cover everything from how they heat their home and travel around to the food they eat, including where they buy it from and how often.

There are a series of basic questions to answer to give an initial score, and people can then click on each subject again under the 'footprints' tab to go into further detail and get a more accurate result.

At the end of the questions the app will offer some suggestions on what changes can be made to improve the person's impact on the environment locally – some of which could even help them save money too.

Falmouth Packet: An example of questions on Giki ZeroAn example of questions on Giki Zero

An example of questions on Giki Zero

They might range from small things, such as making packed lunches twice a week instead of buying ready made food, and using local shops once a week rather than supermarket, through to bigger changes such as considering changing the heating source in their house or buying an electric car.

It will also give tips on day-to-day tasks that people may not even have considered – for example putting lids on pans to speed up the cooking time and thereby use less energy, or turning the heating down one degree and putting on a jumper.

"It gives lots of different options and really takes your hand to lead you through the process," said Melissa Benyon, from the action group.

"You can look at how much carbon is in your lifestyle and how much you're already trying to do something positive for the environment."

People will be sent suggestions on steps to take and can to monitor their progress as they go to see their carbon footprint going down. 

Helston Climate Action Group is asking people to get in touch and let them know who they would like to work with on this project - this may be friends, neighbours, work colleagues, or an organisation they belong to. 

The group can then help people get set up in teams on Giki, so they can work together and support each other. You can get in touch with the Helston Footprints team at www.helstonclimateaction.earth or by emailing helstonfootprints@gmail.com

Katharine Lewis, also from the group, added: "We will be able to monitor our town's carbon footprint going down, and see how all of the changes we make - even little ones - really can make a difference as part of a collective effort."

Helston Climate Action group is working with students from the University of Exeter, who will be carrying out more in-depth interviews with anyone who is interested. Online workshops will also be held to help people use the app.

It follows Helston Town Council joining Cornwall Council in 2019 to declare a climate emergency and agree to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Melissa added: "Taking action on climate change can be daunting, but we can do so much more by working together. Helston Footprints aims to bring people together so we can support each other through this process."

A 'Carbon Buddy Manual' giving more tips can also be found at www.carbonbuddyproject.org and people can also see the key areas to focus on via climatevision.co.uk/top-ten-pledges

Helston Footprints is being funded by Helston Town Council, Helston Rotary Club and Helston Climate Action Group.