Environmental conservation efforts are usually used in conjunction with the term ‘carbon footprint’. This phrase pops up in almost every single sentence on eco-friendly living and most of us have a vague idea that it involves something to do with harmful gases, but do you know exactly what a carbon footprint is? The first step towards reducing it is understanding exactly what it is and which of our everyday activities are contributing to it, directly and indirectly. Let’s get started!
What is a carbon footprint
When it comes to climate change, it may not be possible to save the entire planet overnight. However, what is possible is taking conscious steps to reduce our own footprint. So, what exactly is a carbon footprint? Experts explain it as the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activity. The prime focus is on harmful carbon dioxide which is what gave birth to the moniker, ‘carbon footprint’. It is today measured in terms of the tons of CO2 released into the atmosphere every single year. This number also takes into consideration other harmful gases that are the equivalent of CO2, such as methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases.
What contributes to the carbon footprint
Carbon footprint isn’t necessarily the concern of corporate conglomerates alone. Research has proved that everyday activities can contribute significantly to the emission of carbon dioxide as well. Every single day, seemingly mundane activities are contributing to the emission of harmful CO2 into the atmosphere. The culprits are common and widespread — from the clothes you buy to unwanted car trips to every single load of laundry. There have been several memes inspired by parents who complain about lights being left on in the room, but unnecessary wastage of electricity serves as a major contributor to the increase of the global carbon footprint.
How to calculate your carbon footprint
There are myriad everyday activities that are currently posing a threat to the atmosphere, and it is impossible to know where to begin and which ones to cut back on until we take stock of our individual carbon footprint. If you are looking to calculate how much your everyday activities are contributing to the emission of CO2 into the environment, start by noting down your everyday activities, no matter how big or small. Then, look up the carbon emission for every single activity to achieve the sum total of your individual carbon footprint. There are several online calculators that can get the job done as well, such as the ACE Carbon Calculator that offers a personalised chart of your cumulative carbon emissions for the year.
There is an old proverb that proclaims that knowledge is power. When it comes to saving the environment, this could not be any truer. By taking this first, crucial step towards calculating your carbon footprint, it will help you take the necessary measures to curb your footprint and make a positive change for the environment.