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by Ayanna Stark November 11, 2020 3 min read 2 Comments

What Is a Carbon Footprint?


The term “carbon footprint” is used to explain how human beings release greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. We tend to overlook how much harm we cause to our environment due to the fact that not everyone is aware of the negative effects that their daily habits cause. These daily habits can include transportation, the food that we consume and energy usage in the house. 

 

Transportation: When we travel by car, bus or airplane, gas is emitted, which makes up ⅕ of the U.S.’s total pollution. So many of these gasses are burned everyday due to the millions of car/bus rides and flights taken daily! A great alternative for these forms of transportation include walking, biking, and public transport. All of these are beneficial to both the human body and the environment!

 


 

Food: Not many people know that food actually creates a carbon footprint on the environment as well. From the minute fruits and vegetables are grown, to the point of disposal, greenhouse gas emissions occur. According to greeneatz.com, meat, cheese and eggs have the highest carbon footprint. It’s recommended to eat a greener diet to cut down on the release of harmful gas into the air. Fruits and veggies have a significantly low carbon footprint, making them ideal for the guarantee of cleaner air.

 

 

Energy Usage In the House: Many household features leave a carbon footprint that we aren’t always aware of. Daily use of electricity contributes methane and carbon out into the air, which directly feeds into the growth of global warming. Solar panels are a superb way of receiving energy in the household, while simultaneously helping out the environment. 


How Can I Measure My Own Carbon Footprint?


Everyday, we release some form of carbon into the environment so it can be tedious to measure the exact amount of one’s carbon footprint, but it is possible! Many websites offer a “carbon footprint calculator” where information is taken in order to come up with an estimate of what one’s carbon footprint can actually be. Some of the information that is taken include: the amount of people living in your home, your gross annual household income, your preferred form of transportation (and how many gallons of gas are used if its through plane, car or bus), how much electricity you use in your home, and the food that you buy and consume. These are just some quick and basic questions that anyone can answer in order to get a rough estimate.

 

The nature.org carbon footprint calculator is a great tool to use to reach this estimate.  What is a carbon footprint? | Carbon Footprint Calculator 



Conclusion

All in all, it’s important to be mindful of your daily habits and how they can possibly affect our fragile environment. Keeping track of little things such as the money you spend on gas, what foods you purchase, how much electricity you use in your home can be helpful for coming up with the answer of: “How can I measure my own carbon footprint?”.

 

 

Sources

Goldstein, Benjamin, et al. “The Carbon Footprint of Household Energy Use in the United States.” PNAS, National Academy of Sciences, 11 Aug. 2020, www.pnas.org/content/117/32/19122.

“How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.” The New York Times, The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/guides/year-of-living-better/how-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint.

“What Is Your Carbon Footprint?” The Nature Conservancy, www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator/.




2 Responses

Jennifer watzon
Jennifer watzon

December 21, 2020

Really loved this article it opened my eyes t how much energy usage is wasted daily

Xori green
Xori green

December 21, 2020

AMAZING article! I learned so much. Thank you

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