Friday, 29 June 2012 15:30

What is a Carbon Footprint?

Written by  Jessie
Carbon Footprint Representation Carbon Footprint Representation Notnarayan/CC BY-SA 3.0

Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support your activities. It is usually expressed in equivalent metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The average American is responsible for a whopping 50,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Some examples of your carbon footprint are:

  1. When your car’s engine burns fuel it creates CO2, the amount generated depends on its fuel consumption and the driving distance.
  2. Heating your house with oil, gas, or coal also generates CO2.  
  3. Even if you heat (or cool) your house with electricity, CO2 is emitted during the generation of electrical power, most of which comes from coal in the US.
  4. When you buy food and goods, the production of the food and goods creates CO2; again, the amount depends on where the foods and goods came from and how they were created.
  5. Traveling on a plane generates CO2 in the same ways a car does.
  6. Weddings even create CO2 emissions!  See this past post for more information about how to reduce your wedding’s environmental impact.
  7. Also consider all the indirect emissions you are in part responsible for: the roads we drive on, the schools our kids attend, the mall and grocery story, our shared military and city hall. It all adds up.

The bottom line is your carbon footprint is the sum of all carbon dioxide emissions that were generated by your activities in a given time period, typically one year.

The carbon footprint is a powerful tool in understanding your personal impact on global warming.  Most people are surprised by the amount of CO2 their activities create.  If you personally want to reduce your contribution to global warming, the calculation and monitoring of your carbon footprint is critical.

Carbonfund.org offers helpful calculators to estimate your carbon footprint.  Individuals can follow this link for more information.  http://www.carbonfund.org/individuals  There is also a calculator for businesses here

At Carbonfund.org, our motto is “reduce what you can, offset what you can’t.™”  Make a commitment to sustainable living; get started on reducing and offsetting your carbon footprint now!

Read 28870 times Last modified on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 11:46