What is Your Carbon Footprint?
“Carbon footprint” is commonly used to describe our impact on our environment. According to Oxford, a carbon footprint is, “the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.”
Many of our daily activities contribute to our overall carbon footprint and we may not even be aware of them. The main factors include where you live, what you eat, and which transportation methods you choose. Air conditioning and heating require electricity and sometimes fuel which add to your carbon footprint. Eating meat, specifically red meat, increases your carbon footprint. Cars and busses burn more fossil fuels than walking or biking to places.
How can you calculate your carbon footprint? Websites such as conservation.org can help you determine how much of an impact you have on the planet.
Once you complete the questions, the website will calculate your carbon footprint and inform you how many trees it takes to offset your environmental impact. Then, the site will provide customized solutions based on your usual practices.
Some solutions to help reduce your carbon footprint are: air dry your laundry, change the thermostat in your home, choose direct flights instead of ones that require connections, take the bus instead of your car, etc.
No matter what your carbon footprint is, we can all make a positive environmental difference by analyzing and addressing our own practices. Raising awareness and educating others are other effective methods.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022.
Photo credits: Green Office