What is a carbon footprint?
Let's start by looking at the definition of carbon footprint. It is a term often used when talking about the environment and climate change, but not always understood. Moreover, there are often other definitions you need to know to get the necessary context. We've highlighted the meaning of carbon footprint and some definitions of other key terms, which we'll cover in the article below.
Carbon footprint: A measure of the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere as a result of the actions of an individual, organization or nation. It is usually measured in tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).
Greenhouse gases (GHG): Any type of gas that prevents heat in the atmosphere from escaping. Regarding your carbon footprint and climate change, the main ones to mention are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.
Greenhouse effect: The process by which greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere capture heat from the sun. While this is a natural phenomenon that makes the planet habitable, our greenhouse gas emissions are causing the Earth to warm at an unnatural rate.
Climate change: A long-term pattern of change in temperature and weather patterns globally or regionally. While these changes occur naturally, man-made climate change is accelerating their pace.
Global warming: Rapid increase in average surface temperatures on Earth due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It is only one element of climate change.
Fossil fuels: Natural resources that produce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases when burned. Coal, oil and natural gas are all examples.
As we will see, all of these terms are closely linked to the idea of a carbon footprint. Moreover, individuals, organizations and nations can do their part to take responsibility for many of these factors.
How can I reduce my carbon footprint?
Eating, traveling, heating your home… What is the carbon footprint of these activities and how can we make more climate-friendly choices?
When you drive, buy a pair of sneakers, or grill a steak, you're contributing to the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is your carbon footprint. While many countries, institutions and companies have committed to reducing their emissions, the EU has even set a goal of being “climate neutral” by 2050. You can also estimate and reduce your carbon footprint as an individual. Discover how.
Greenhouse gases are emitted through the production and consumption of goods and services. Carbon footprint is a concept used to measure the impact of an activity, a person or a country on climate change.
How much carbon is released to produce your t-shirt, food or phone? The amount will depend on production and consumption preferences. Taking the transport example, using an airplane emits 285g of carbon per kilometer, compared to 104g for a car and 14g for a train. The same goes for the type of meat or fish you eat or the type of jeans you buy.
Why should you care?
The world's seven billion people consume varying amounts of the planet's resources. According to United Nations estimates, the global population may exceed 9.7 billion in 2050 and 11 billion in 2100. Increasing population increases emissions and depletes the planet's resources.
Increasing greenhouse gas emissions directly affect global warming. It is accelerating climate change, which has disastrous effects on our planet. We can all contribute to the fight against global warming by making climate-friendly choices in our daily lives.
How do you limit your carbon footprint?
Understanding your carbon footprint can help you limit the environmental impact of your consumption. There are different online solutions to help you estimate your carbon footprint.
Small changes can make a big difference in the long run, for example transport, food, clothing, waste, etc. as. Here are some tips:
Consume local and seasonal products (forget about strawberries in winter)
Limit meat consumption, especially beef
Choose fish from sustainable fishing
Bring reusable shopping bags and avoid excessively plastic-wrapped items
Make sure you only buy what you need to avoid waste.
Take care of your clothes
Try swapping, borrowing, renting or buying second hand
Buy responsibly made clothing, e.g. made from recycled material or eco-labeled
Cycle or use public transport
Be smart about when and how you drive
Try public transport for your next vacation
-Energy and waste
Turn the heat down by 1 c°, it will make a difference anyway
Take short showers
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or cleaning the dishes
Unplug your electronic device and do not leave your phone charging when the battery is full
Don't store unnecessary data in the cloud
Choose energy efficient products with the “A” label (EU Energy Label)
Limit and recycle your waste.
Use Enge Energy's high-tech solar energy products.
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