Reduce Carbon Footprint
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Green House Gasses (GHG) that are being produced and emitted, to support individual’s activities, directly and indirectly, is commonly known as Carbon Footprints. It is also associated with an organization, event, products and among others and is usually measured in equivalent tons of CO2 during a year period. Carbon Footprints as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is a measure of the impact your activities have on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced through the burning of fossil fuels and is expressed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes.
The carbon footprint is a very important means to understand the impact of a person’s behavior on global warming. An on-line carbon footprint calculator was developed. It determines individuals contribution, using standard values but are not always right for multiple possible reasons. However, at least for now, we have some figures we can use to start working with.
As stated in Britannica On-Line, the per capita carbon footprint is highest in the United States. According to the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center and the United Nations Development Programme, in 2004 the average resident of the United States had a per capita carbon footprint of 20.6 metric tons (22.7 short tons) of CO2 equivalent, some five to seven times the global average. Averages vary greatly around the world, with higher footprints generally found in residents of developed countries. For example, that same year France had a per capita carbon footprint of 6.0 metric tons (6.6 short tons), whereas Brazil and Tanzania had carbon footprints of 1.8 metric tons (about 2 short tons) and 0.1 metric ton (0.1 short ton) of CO2 equivalent, respectively.
Furthermore, also stated, in developed countries, transportation and household energy use make up the largest component of an individual’s carbon footprint. For example, approximately 40 percent of total emissions in the United States during the first decade of the 21st century were from those sources. Such emissions are included as part of an individual’s “primary” carbon footprint, representing the emissions over which an individual has direct control. The remainder of an individual’s carbon footprint is called the “secondary” carbon footprint, representing carbon emissions associated with the consumption of goods and services. The secondary footprint includes carbon emissions emitted by food production. It can be used to account for diets that contain higher proportions of meat, which requires a greater amount of energy and nutrients to produce than vegetables and grains, and foods that have been transported long distances. The manufacturing and transportation of consumer goods are additional contributors to the secondary carbon footprint. For example, the carbon footprint of a bottle of water includes the CO2 or CO2 equivalent emitted during the manufacture of the bottle itself plus the amount emitted during the transportation of the bottle to the consumer.
As we can tell from above, acquiring individual’s carbon footprints contribution is not that simple. It needs relatively close figures with close approximation with individual’s reality numbers.
However, with those facts stated above, we have something to work as basis, though cannot be considered 100% accurate and certain guidelines still apply.
In Compliance with the WHO suggestions, 5 main areas are need to be considered and worked on to lessen individual’s impact on Carbon Footprints, such as:
2. Food that we consume
3. Use of Water
4. Use of Energy
5. Waste Management
As an individual what can you contribute to lessen the impacts of your carbon footprints.