Carbon footprint is a phrase that green living enthusiasts are familiar with. A carbon footprint is the term used to describe the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that a household, individual or company causes. Essentially by doing certain things during your day you are contributing to emissions and leaving a sort of ecological footprint behind saying you were on Earth. There are calculators to help you determine your footprint and ways that you can redeem yourself for the footprint you leave behind. Here are a few things to know about carbon footprints before you begin making amends.
Reducing Your Footprint is Easy
Luckily, reducing your carbon footprint is easy. By using less electricity, walking to work, participating in car pools and using reusable containers you can cut down your carbon footprint considerably. You can continue to reduce your footprint by making green living choices in your lifestyle.
Carbon Footprint Calculators
Carbon footprint calculators are designed to give you a general idea of the possible footprint you or your household is leaving on the planet. They are not concrete numbers. They are simply estimation tools to help you determine where the emissions are coming from and how to reduce those emissions. For more information on carbon footprint calculators see our interview with sustainable and off-grid living consultant, Megan Coogle, by clicking here.
What is Offsetting?
Individuals may purchase what is called a carbon offset. This offset is usually a purchase to help a green organization like ecological activist groups, wind power station and solar power development. These offset amounts are determined by the calculated emissions amount you or your household sets off during a calendar year. The idea is that a company offering wind power or other ecological benefit will be able to offset hundreds of thousands of tons of emissions instead of just the few emissions you can offset as an individual.
What Contributes to a Carbon Footprint?
A carbon footprint can be left behind in a variety of ways. The most common ways are high energy usage, airline travel, gas usage and worldwide consumer usage. In essence, anything that causes the use of gas, energy or power from a non-renewable source is a contributing factor to a carbon footprint.
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