World over, people are becoming more environmentally conscious, and there is an increased focus on protecting the environment, reducing pollution, and using eco-friendly materials. One such term we often get to hear is about the carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is the measure of pollution (In terms of emitted greenhouse gases) which a product, or a manufacturing cycle, or even our day to day activities create. You can get a measure of your own carbon footprint for your household, your daily office trip or even the weekend party you just had last week. All of these activities require energy, be it electrical power or gasoline in your car tank. When we burn fuels to create energy, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane are released into the atmosphere. These gases pollute the environment, and also disturb the ecological cycle. So, all our daily activities certainly impact the environment causing immediate repercussions such as pollution of air and water resources, and also broad range of ecological calamities such as global warning, ozone layer depletion and many more.
Hence, in order to measure and standardize the amount of greenhouse emission an activity or a person does, a standard way of measurement has been created called as a carbon footprint. In very simple terms, it’s the measure of CO2 or its equivalent which is emitted in an activity. Once we know the carbon footprint of an activity or a product manufacturing cycle, we can take steps to reduce the footprint levels either by reducing its frequency, or moving towards an alternate source which gives a lesser footprint.
Often an estimation of the carbon footprint for a product can be reached by looking into its primary constituents. For example, a plastic box made of PET would have a definite carbon footprint in terms of its manufacturing cycle. Every time you use an automobile, you directly cause a greenhouse emission by burning fuel, and also the automobile itself had gone through a manufacturing cycle requiring energy to be consumed. Also, the fuel in your car did require energy to be drilled from earth, refined and transported to your local gas station. All of the above are associated with a specific carbon footprint which gives a measure of how much it’s going to impact the environment.
Common greenhouse gases are methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, sulpur fluoride etc. Often, carbon dioxide is taken as a benchmark for calculating the carbon footprint, and other gas emissions are expressed in equivalents of a CO2 emission.
You can use the below websites to check the carbon footprint for your household, or for any activity or product.
A small change in our daily activities can make a difference to the carbon footprint we leave behind. Using alternate energy sources, opting for eco-friendly products, using community transport are some examples we can incorporate into our lifestyle to do our part for nature.
Anny spent most of her time dwelling on useful things, and she drives all her research visible through her articles. Most of her unique and challenging topics include product reviews and descriptions of eco-friendly products and technologies.