A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gasses that are generated through our actions. These greenhouse gasses, including carbon dioxide, methane and others, trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to increases in global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency calculates that the average American’s total carbon footprint is a shocking 50,000 pounds each year.
The bulk of the average person’s carbon footprint comes from the burning of fossil fuels. The cars we drive, the power used in our homes, the way we travel and the food we eat are just a few factors that contribute to an individual’s carbon footprint. Understanding your impact is an important way to comprehend how your personal behavior effects climate change.
The United Nations has a carbon footprint calculator that can be used to measure your impact by answering a few simple questions about your lifestyle. These questions are focused on the size of your household, energy consumption, travel habits and diet. After measuring your greenhouse gas emissions there are several ways to offset the impact you make on our planet.
The Carbonfund.org Foundation provides several options to reduce your personal carbon footprint through individual carbon offsets. Carbonfund.org makes it easy to offset the carbon emissions generated through your lifestyle, vehicle, home, air travel, special events and water usage.
You can also support reforestation/forest preservation projects to help sequester CO2 emissions from the atmosphere and plant trees to help reduce your environmental impact. Carbonfund.org specializes in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects to help replace fossil fuel usage with more sustainable methods and reduce carbon emissions. Tax deductible donations can be made to offset your carbon footprint and support carbon reduction projects around the globe.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the serious nature of global climate change but there are easy things that you can do to help reduce your impact on the environment. Simple alterations to your habits, like eating less meat, carpooling and buying local products can make a significant difference on your carbon footprint. If we all pitch in to reduce fossil fuel emissions and offset our energy use we can be part of the solution to building a better world for us all.