Due to the industrialization and modernization, our world developed a lot but just as the bright side of it, there is a huge part covered with darkness. Environmental pollution is one such thing. Though the environment helps the man in many ways, man does not care about the environment. He destroys it without knowing that he himself will be destroyed by that at the end. Carbon footprint is also such an adverse effect on our environment. Hence this means the emission of gases such as carbon dioxide into the environment. This is not something that only happens from the industries or factories; it includes everything we do in our day to day life which emits CO2 into the environment. This has become a greater problem in the world today.
What is the Carbon footprint?
The total amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment by any individual, industry or community is known as carbon footprint.
Let us make this simpler. Just like an actual footprint, this is also a footprint that you leave on the environment but not from your shoes but from your actions. Following are some actions done by man which releases carbon into the environment:
- Burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas.
- Transportation – Engine releases some amount of carbon into the environment. This is something that we all know. But is it all? No! Think of carbon emitted from getting some fuel into the tank.
- Factories and various industries
- Burning of forests
- Production of cement
The carbon footprint at a glance!
Though we all know that carbon emitted to the environment led to environment pollution we know a little about carbon footprint. As mentioned above greenhouse gases are released into the environment by various activities of human beings. Not only the sources mentioned above release carbon into the environment but some simple activities done by a man also help in the carbon emission.
If we say that reading a book keeps a carbon footprint will you believe me?
It is unbelievable, right?
This is how it happens when you read a book, the manufacturing process like printing and distributing uses energy which release carbon into the environment. Brush your teeth; all those items have a manufacturing history in the industry. Even something as simple as eating an apple has a carbon footprint because it has arrived at your supermarket by means of transport. Hence this clearly defines that each and every activity helps in releasing CO2 into the environment.
Carbon footprint facts
Electricity: Every time you connect with electricity such as a plug-in, switch on the tv, switch on the iron, switch on a bulb, etc. are causing the environment through carbon emission. All the power plants around the world also use fossil fuels, coal, water, nuclear, solar and wind energy. E-garbage such as batteries from laptops and mobiles also led to the carbon emission into the environment.
A/C and heating also release carbon dioxide into the environment. Therefore, man has to train themselves to change with the climatic changes rather than using number equipment for heating or cooling their bodies. Once the environment is cool, wear thicker or heavy clothes to warm your body and when the environment is warm try to tolerate your body with warmer temperatures. This will not only reduce the carbon emission this will also help to reduce your daily expenses, on the other hand, but it will also protect the consumption of electricity.
Consumption of Water:
Purification of water led to a greater release of carbon dioxide. So, if we consume water without wasting it will help in reducing carbon footprint. Therefore, use water effectively.
How to calculate carbon footprint?
As we discussed before every activity of man contribute to carbon footprint therefore when calculating if you can take necessary action to reduce the carbon you emit individually to the environment. If you start it personally, we can reduce the carbon footprint for sure. In order to calculate it, we should focus on five areas such as:
Collect facts of your personal home use of energy, water, and waste use and divide it by the number of people living at your home and then multiply individual energy consumption from emissions factor (EF). The electricity use and fuel use needed to be calculated. As an example, (Electricity: use (kWh/yr.) * EF (kg CO2e/kWh)
This can be calculated by figuring out how much you have travelled using various transport methods. You will have to calculate each distance you travelled by the carbon intensity of each vehicle. As an example, (distance (km/yr.) /*EF (kg CO2e/km) = emissions (kg CO2e/yr.))
This can be calculated by figuring the amount of food you consume during the time and calculating the emission through that food. As an example (consumption(kCal/day*365*EF(kgCO2e/kCal))
This means how much amount we spend on new goods which interact with different manufacturing and distributing industries. As an example, the amount you spend on clothes (spend ($/month) * 12 * EF (kg CO2e/$)
Services are also something similar to products calculation. This includes health, finance, recreation, education, vehicle, communication, and many others. As an example, this can be calculated as, (spend ($/month) * 12 * EF (kg CO2e/$) = emissions (kg CO2e/yr.))
Effects of carbon footprint
This is the most powerful effect under carbon footprint. The emission of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide led to warming the planet and contributes to global warming which has become the greatest problem in the modern world. Due to the pollution of the environment by the large carbon footprints have resulted in increasing this warm in the world. From 1990 to 2005 it has increased rapidly by 31%. 2000- 2009 is known as the warmest decade recorded over the whole history of the world.
Reduction of resources:
Carbon footprints lead to the reduction and destruction of natural resources. Cutting down a tree leads to the use of air conditioning of one house; therefore, deforestation leaves a carbon footprint. Moreover, the consumption of electricity also does the same. The more you use electricity, the more you exert carbon into the environment.
How to reduce the carbon footprint?
As we all can understand that each one of us leaves a carbon footprint, the reduction of it also can be done by us. Therefore, if we reduce the emission of carbon into the environment from our daily activities, we can create a better world.
Following are a few measures you can follow:
- Try to take alternative methods like walking, riding a bicycle.
- Using public transport.
- Driving a vehicle with low carbon emission.
- Stay out from traffic.
- Drive slowly.
- Take fewer air travels.
- Avoid using the fridge, a/c, and other electric appliances.
- Turn off the lights all the time possible and when you are not at home.
- Try to use solar power.
- Try to eat locally produced food.
- Try to cultivate a home garden to reduce transportation for food.
- Reduce the wastage of water.
- Repair leakages of taps and reduce all unwanted usage of water.
- Purchase taps and other appliances like showers and washing machines with a low level of water usage.
Hence by considering all the facts above we can understand the way that every person contributes to leaving a carbon footprint on the environment. Therefore, each and every person need to change their lifestyle to protect the environment. If one person reduces the amount of carbon, he emits to the environment it will reduce one footprint that damage the whole world. Conclusively, man produces its own destruction, therefore, try to reduce the carbon footprints that you leave on the environment from today. Therefore, you can make your footprint smaller and make the world cool again!