Carbon footprint refers to the number of greenhouse gases emitted in the environment by an individual. The term is often related to global warming as the gas emitted contributes to Global warming. People calculate the carbon footprints to keep a check on how they can reduce them. There can be indirect and direct sources of such emissions such as direct emission from a car and indirect from household work. Basically, these footprints are any activity done by an individual so it can be reduced. Therefore, there should be measures taken to reduce them such as cutting down on some activities or finding substitutes for the same.
Each of the following activities adds 1 kg of CO2 to your personal carbon footprint
- Travel by public transportation (train or bus) a distance of 10 to 12 km (6.5 to 7 miles)
- Drive with your car a distance of 6 km or 3.75 miles (assuming 7.3 litres petrol per 100 km or 39 mpg)
- Fly with a plane a distance of 2.2 km or 1.375 miles.
- Operate your computer for 32 hours (60 Watt consumption assumed)
- Production of 5 plastic bags
- Production of 2 plastic bottles
- Production of 1/3 of an American cheeseburger (yes, the production of each cheeseburger emits 3.1 kg of CO2)
Hence, the main aim to reduce carbon footprints should be to reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse.
When you pack any product the packaging material can be recycled and reused. Some unused items which may be a waste to your industry can be of some use to the other so, sell such inventory instead of wasting it. Strictly avoid throwing waste in rivers or disposing of it in the soil.
The daily household work involves a lot of activities which contribute to carbon footprints. It’s important to know what all can be recycled and reused. A simple activity like keeping the food in a hot case to avoid reheating reduces the level of energy consumed. Using reusable containers instead of disposables ones. Household taking measures to reduce at least half of its waste can reduce tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Driving less is a very easy option to reduce the carbon footprints. Driving less will not only help reduce the level of carbon dioxide but also cut your expenditure on petrol or gas. A reduction in demand for fuels will, in turn, reduce transportation to supply them. There is a need to optimize the supply chain to reduce the carbon footprints. Everything gets linked to just one little effort that we make in our lives. Try walking down than driving to nearby places. If walking doesn’t seem to be a feasible option try carpooling or public transportation.
Use of air conditioner and warmers should be reduced. Adding insulation to the walls can keep the room warmer and reduce the need for a warmer. Wearing warm clothes and trying to keep the body warm and cozy at all times can also help to need the warmer less.
LED also known as Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a good option to reduce carbon footprints. It uses up to 80% less energy than the traditional incandescent. Replacing all your lights can collectively save a lot of energy and thus reduce the emission of Carbon Dioxide.
Minimize Food waste
Food is perishable goods and thus can be created in compost instead of disposing of it. Compost can be used to improve the fertility of the soil. Buy local food, organic or unprocessed foods. Avoid animal proteins like meat especially beef and lamb. Cow and sheep emit a large amount of methane, a greenhouse gas. A vegan diet is the most efficient to reduce the carbon emission and keep you healthy.
The most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint is to fly less often. Try avoiding air travel as much as you can and switch to other modes of transportation for shorter routes. If everyone took fewer flights, airline companies would burn less of jet fuel which would reduce the level of carbon footprints.
Quick steps to be followed
Grow more trees in the areas with deforestation. Use public transportation more often. Minimize the use of wood stoves. Wash clothes in cold water and hang them to dry. Buy certified and energy efficient appliances. Keep a check on your carbon footprints by an energy audit every month.