RESIDENTS and businesses are being urged to take part in a competition to reduce their "carbon footprints" this summer.

Kent County Council (KCC) is running the One Tonne Carbon Challenge which aims to reduce each participant's carbon dioxide output by one tonne.

Carbon footprints are so called as they are a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels.

Prizes will be awarded to the best performers, including a folding bicyle, free bus tickets and a year's free carshare.

The competitions requires Kent businesses to reduce their business travel by around 3,333 miles a week, thus saving approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide.

This figure works out at only 17 miles per person in a company of 200 employees.

Everyone can contribute by changing the way they travel for work; for example, you could share transport to and from work and for business, drop unnecessary meetings, walk, or use alternative transport such as buses or trains.

The council hopes the competition will save money, help develop healthier, happier staff and improve the environment.

KCC Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Waste Keith Ferrin, said: "We want to encourage everyone to make a difference to carbon emissions by changing the way they travel, whether it is to do business, to shop or for family reasons."

More details about the One Tonne Carbon Challenge are online at, where you can download Stepping Out to Cut Your Carbon Footprint, or email

The closing date for competition entries is June 29 and the winners will be announced on July 6.

At the same time, KCC is urging people to take up cycling during National Bike Week from June 16 to 24 and throughout the summer.

For more details, go online to and