Carbon Footprint basics: Ways to reduce carbon footprint

Carbon footprint basics

Climate change can be overwhelming. The science of climate change and carbon footprint seems complex, and there are many unknown reasons. The solution for this situation is to know the importance of environmental protection and requires action on a global level. However, there are various choices to make in your daily life to lower the harm to the environment.

The subject of carbon footprint barely comes up in conversations of people. Yet, it is essential to start searching for ways to reduce carbon footprint. Before thinking further, start thinking about eco-friendly means and how to lower so much waste cluttering in your home and garden.

Begin by asking a question to yourself – what things you don’t need? So, by going through this article, you will get a clear picture in your mind of how those unwanted and useless things contribute to the increase of carbon footprint, rather than lower.

What is a carbon footprint?

What is a carbon footprint

Nowadays, the term “carbon footprint” is used as a shorthand for carbon emissions by an organization. Carbon footprint acts as one of the essential components of an ecological footprint as it is the demand for biological space.

Carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that come out from production; it depicts the number of greenhouse gases that results from various human and economic activity. Everyone’s carbon footprint varies according to their habits, personal choice, and location.

Everyone contributes in increment of greenhouse gases either by travelling, or by the type of food, or electricity consumption. All these daily life activities contribute to global warming. Make use of renewable energy sources to cope with this situation.

For instance, when you charge your mobile phone, or drive a car, or burn fuel, it readily generates some amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Just like that, when you heat your home, it forms carbon dioxide as electricity comes from coal plants. Similarly, when you are eating food, that activity also generates some carbon dioxide due to food processing.

Main Contributors to Carbon Footprint

Do you think about the contributors to carbon footprint? It could be associated with your daily activities like – household energy, food, transportation, etc.

Food acts as a significant contributor to carbon footprint, especially meat. Beef is considered the most important contributor, and livestock is responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases. One kilogram of meat does the same emission, just as driving a car for about 150 miles. Lowering meat consumption can help in the reduction of carbon footprint.

Food transportation, out-of-season food purchasing, and pesticide use also make contributions in increasing carbon footprint. Compared to fresh food, processed food includes higher emissions due to transportation, packaging, and factory production.

House energy consumption is also a primary contributor to carbon footprint, as energy-inefficient houses waste energy through various means like – using too much water, poor insulation, etc.

Consumption of clothes, footwear, and personal goods all contribute to carbon footprint at an individual level, as these things produce emissions from transportation and production. Waste cluttering significantly increases carbon footprint, so the importance of waste segregation is a priority. And due to this, there is an incredible urge for ways to reduce carbon footprint.

Ways to reduce carbon footprint

Ways to reduce carbon footprint

Now is the stage where you have the opportunity to secure the world and planet for future generations. One of the quickest steps that you can take to reduce climate change is – to lower the emission of greenhouse gas and reduce carbon footprint.

There are numerous ways to reduce carbon footprint, and it seems to be easy. To go green is an excellent idea to reduce global warming and conserve energy.

Here are the ways to reduce carbon footprint so that it becomes easy and help provide tips to live a sustainable life.

Start with compost

Composting is the best method to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that thrive from organic matter decomposition. Start doing your composting at home just by gathering food leftovers and storing them in the freezer.

Purchase food from local vendors

By purchasing food from local vendors, you are contributing to the reduction of emissions and also supporting local vendors.

Plan your garden

It is better to grow your food, as it can lower the emissions from the production and transportation of items to the market. Build a rain garden that prevents the risk of runoff and erosion due to rainstorms. These types of gardens are both substantial and gorgeous.

Purchase groceries according to need

When you plan to buy groceries, purchase what you need for one week to reduce waste. Please don’t buy the food items in bulk unless you are sure that it will finish off before it gets rotten. By purchasing food in bulk, you are only increasing your carbon footprint.

Make sure to eat at decent restaurants.

Nowadays, many restaurants get their food items directly from local farms, which reduces the carbon footprint level from transportation. So, if you plan to eat outside, then select these sustainable restaurants.

Reduction of water use

Make sure to reduce the use of water, as it lowers energy consumption. For instance, during teeth brushing, shut off the water and open it only when needed.

Storage of food

Make sure to store your food items so that they can remain fresh for an extended period. By achieving a long shelf life of your food, you can lower the level of carbon footprint.

Usage of reusable water bottle

This trick is considered to be the eldest one. To reduce the usage of plastic, purchase reusable water bottles to use daily. There are many harmful effects of plastic that lead to a carbon footprint.

Insulation of home

Home insulation will help control your indoor climate, so in winters, you remain warm, and in summers, you remain cool without increasing your energy bills.

Lower the use of air conditioners

If you seriously want to lower your carbon footprint, then make less use of air conditioners as they emit a tremendous amount of gases. And whenever you are planning to go out, then turn off your air conditioner and heat.

Go for carpool

Carpooling is the best way to lower your carbon footprint. Whether you are going to school, office, or dinner, make sure to use one vehicle to reach there. Depending on the distance you move, you can save a tremendous amount of gas and money.

Usage of public transport

Are you living in an area where public transport is within reach of everybody? If yes, then make full use of it. With the usage of public transport, you can reduce cars on the road and increase your savings.

Steps taken by the Indian government to reduce carbon emissions

Steps taken by the Indian government to reduce carbon emissions

The power of industrialization runs this world. Horsepower has now become a development measure for many countries. But, the most harmful thing done in the name of development is the degradation of the environment. Unfortunately, there is no way to put a halt to this scene. You can only make minor changes.

Just like other countries, India has also taken the initiative in ways to reduce carbon footprint and also to save the environment. Here is the list of initiatives taken by the Indian government that acts to be a game-changer.

An initiative by NRDC on clean energy and climate change

An initiative by the natural resources defence council started in 2009 to make a low carbon economy. Council mainly works on four projects along with its partners – increment of building efficiency, enhancement of India-US cooperation based on climate change, getting prepared for public health impacts on climate, and making solid governmental governance.

Pepsico India waste to wealth initiative

Along with its partnership with Exnora, Pepsico India works collaboratively on generating income that can benefit around 4 lakh people all over India. Under this initiative, approximately 70% of people’s home garbage gets recycled, and biodegradable waste gets converted into organic matter.

The initiative also runs an awareness program, and due to this initiative, almost 34,000 tons of garbage have been recycled.

Campaign of saving Himalaya

An initiative was taken by the Indian government and environmental society that focuses on protecting the Himalayas and also taking help from nearby communities. Under this program, the main focus is given to the ecosystem of the Himalayas and to building policy measures for sustaining the system. The initiative addresses some essential issues like:-

  • Glaciers of the Himalayas and hydrological consequences.
  • Conservation and protection of biodiversity.
  • Protection and conservation of wildlife.
  • The livelihood of traditional societies.
  • To sustain the ecosystem of the Himalayas.

Action plan on climate change

This program came out in 2008 based on identifying environmental issues and ways for reducing carbon footprint. This program realizes that economic growth is equally essential and makes a promise to control carbon emission along with developmental activities. Various national missions come under this initiative.

How carbon footprint is calculated

how carbon footprint is calculated

So, how is the carbon footprint calculated? To measure carbon footprint is to calculate how many tons of carbon dioxide are emitted every year; apart from carbon dioxide, all other harmful gases like methane are also considered.

While measuring carbon footprint, various factors are considered like – driving to store burns fuel, and fuel acts as the source of greenhouse gases. Besides this, the store contains electricity, and the products are shipped, and stored food produces methane. All these elements are considered while measuring carbon footprint.

Various tools are present for measuring the carbon footprint for an individual, for multiple organizations, and businesses. A standard method used for measuring carbon footprint includes the greenhouse gas protocol. For more accurate information, collect your various electricity bills, fuel oil, etc., to measure the average use of these things in a year.

Conclusion

So, this is all about carbon footprint and ways for reducing carbon footprint. Now, time has come to a halt all these activities due to which carbon footprint is increasing.

If not able to stop entirely, then practice to control by reducing waste, or by reducing electricity consumption, or using public transport, and many other things. Balance of the ecosystem and maintenance of the environment is most important.

frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are Carbon Emissions Dangerous?

Greenhouse emissions have a very devastating effect on human health and also on the environment. The natural process of carbon emission is not so dangerous, but due to excessive emission of carbon by human activities, it can be dangerous.
Due to these artificial emissions, the earth can trap gas in large quantities in the atmosphere, which is making the earth warmer day by day.

Q2. What are 3 ways to reduce emissions?

As climate change is greatly affecting ecosystems and health, it is essential to reduce its negative impacts. And one way to lower the effect of climate change is to lower emissions of carbon. Various ways are there to reduce emissions like:-
Make sure not to travel by air frequently.
Plant more and more trees.
Turn to clean or natural energy like wind energy, solar energy, etc.

Q3. Which country has the largest carbon footprint?

China becomes the largest country in the world that has a high carbon footprint. The country produces 10.06 billion tons of carbon dioxide which could be very harmful.

Q4. Which country has the lowest carbon footprint?

Kiribati becomes the country with the lowest carbon footprint – about 0.1mt of carbon dioxide produced per year. The country’s economy depends on fishing, tourism, and crafts that avoid the use of non-renewable sources.

Q5. How can the government reduce CO2 emissions?

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is very essential to protect the planet. Government can take up the following steps to reduce the emission.
Government should protect the balance of the ecosystem by planting more and more trees.
Can give support to small agricultural farms that practice sustainable activities.
Can make people aware of renewable sources of energy.

Q6. How can a carbon footprint affect a business?

Lowering the carbon footprint is related to lower energy costs. If no action is taken, a high carbon footprint destroys economies, reduces the availability of resources, and greatly increases the cost of running a business.

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