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 to be 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 traveling, or by the type of food, or by 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 generates carbon dioxide as electricity comes from coal plants. Similarly, when you are eating food, that activity also generates some carbon dioxide due to the processing of food.

Main Contributors to Carbon Footprint

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

Food acts as a major contributor to carbon footprint, especially meat. Beef is considered to be the biggest contributor, and livestock is responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases. One kilogram of beef 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. In comparison to fresh food, processed food includes higher emissions due to transportation, packaging, and factory production.

House energy consumption is also a main 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 greatly increases carbon footprint, so the importance of waste segregation is a priority. And due to this, there is a great 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 along with reducing carbon footprint.

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

Here are the ways to reduce carbon footprint so that it becomes easy and also help in providing 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 store 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 that come 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 are planning to buy groceries, then just purchase what you need for one week to reduce waste. Don’t buy the food items in bulk unless you are sure that it finishes off before it gets rotten. By purchasing food in bulk you are only increasing your carbon footprint.

Make sure to eat at proper restaurants

Nowadays, many restaurants get their food items directly from local farms, and this reduces the level of the carbon footprint 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 a long 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 in controlling 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 for dinner, make sure to use one vehicle to reach there. Depending on the distance you move, you can save a huge amount of gas as well as 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 also can increase your savings.

Steps taken by the Indian government to reduce carbon emissions

Steps taken by the Indian government to reduce carbon emissions

This world is run by the power of industrialization. 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 do little changes.

Just like other countries, India has also taken 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.

Initiative by NRDC on clean energy and climate change

An initiative by the natural resources defense 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 impacts of public health on climate, and making strong governmental governance.

Pepsico India waste to wealth initiative

Pepsico India along with its partnership with Exnora works collaboratively on generating income that can benefit around 4 lakh people all over India. Under this initiative, around 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 build 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 the identification of environmental issues and ways for reducing carbon footprint. This program realizes that the economic growth of a nation 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 is also taken into consideration.

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 during measuring carbon footprint.

Various tools are present for measuring the carbon footprint for an individual, for various organizations, and businesses. A common method used for measuring carbon footprint includes the greenhouse gas protocol. For more accurate information, collect your various bills of electricity, 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, the time has come to halt all these activities due to which carbon footprint is increasing.

If not able to stop fully, then practice to control by reducing waste, or by reducing electricity consumption, or by using public transport, and by 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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