The need to protect the environment is more potent now than ever. With the dwindling resources and a boom in population, it becomes more difficult to sustain mankind’s survival in the future.
This is where the concept of carbon footprint becomes really important as it enables individuals to assess their own contribution to the environment’s destruction and degradation. It is therefore everyone’s responsibility to minimize their carbon footprint so as not to contribute to the further damage that the environment is experiencing.
However, not too many people are aware of what carbon footprint is all about, as well as how is it measured. Without this knowledge, it is difficult to follow the recommendations for environmental preservation. Read on further below to learn more about carbon footprint so you can make your own contribution now.
Carbon Footprint Defined
A carbon footprint is a measurement of the total greenhouse gas emissions that an individual, event, or organization gives off at any given time. It has been also referred to as the number of carbon dioxide that is present in the atmosphere. Or in layman’s term, the measurement of the impact of the activities that each individual makes every single day on the environment. This is especially true during certain climate changes.
Your carbon footprint therefore adds up on a day-to-day basis since basically everything you do creates an impact to some degree from transportation to diet to heating to use of electronic appliances, among other things. There are two parts that make up carbon footprint: primary and secondary footprint.
Origin of Carbon Footprint
The use of carbon footprint as a concept name was initiated during an ecological footprint discussion. These are all placed under the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that covers the ecological footprint, then the carbon footprint. It can be measured by an individual, organization, or nation through a GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions assessment.
This is the first component when measuring your carbon footprint. It refers to the direct emissions of carbon dioxide that is produced through burning of fossil fuels. Some of the common sources of primary carbon footprint are those emitted by transportation (plane, car, etc.) and domestic energy consumption (such as home electronic appliances). This is a more desirable form of carbon footprint since you have control over it, thus you have the option to minimize your CO2 emissions.
This is an indirect type of carbon footprint. It refers to the manufacture and eventual breakdown of the products that individuals use all throughout their lifetime. In other words, you are contributing to more carbon dioxide emissions as you buy more products. That will be part of your own personal carbon footprint and will impact the overall CO2 emissions in the world.
What To Do With Carbon Footprint
Once the carbon footprint of an individual, organization or nation is determined, the next step is to devise a strategy on how those numbers can be reduced. Since then, several alternative projects are developed to eliminate carbon footprint such as wind or solar energy and reforestation. All of these efforts to reduce carbon footprint is collectively known as carbon offsetting.