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What is a carbon footprint?

The biggest challenge we’re facing as species is surviving the upcoming 100 years. We’re living in an environmental catastrophe due to many reasons, such as climate change, pollution, extinction of species, polar ice melting, and ocean rising, threatening cities to disappear from the globe! 


Despite this disaster, we can still take action to minimize the damage and help the environment to heal. Reducing the carbon footprint is one of the solutions.

Now you might be asking: what is a carbon footprint?


Let’s start with a simple definition. It’s a measure of the total amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere caused by a service/product, an individual, an organization, and even a nation! It’s usually measured in tones of CO2 (carbon dioxide equivalent). 


But what are Greenhouse Gasses? Well, we can define them by any type of gas in the atmosphere. It has a major role in blocking the heat from escaping.


The causes of a carbon footprint 

These emissions are caused by a few main industries. For example, burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) produced 36013.52 million tonnes of CO2 in 2016! We can add agriculture, waste, and industrial processes.


Can you even believe that these industries create the majority of the greenhouse gasses we produce! 


Let us share some data that focuses on territorial emissions from just a few countries. For sure, we should take into consideration the difference in population size across these countries. 


The total annual emissions (tones of CO2) in 2017:

-       China: 9.84 billion.

-       United States: 5.27 billion.

-       India: 2.46 billion.

-       Canada: 571.14 million.


Now, you must be blaming those countries and these big businesses. But do you remember, we mentioned that individuals have also a carbon footprint? Your actions and your lifestyle choices have some impact on the environment.


A good place to start understanding your carbon footprint is by asking questions about your life and your activities. It will give you an overall picture of your carbon footprint. These are very simple such as the energy you’re using at home, the fuels you’re using for your car/motorbike, etc…


You can also list your waste production, your diet, the type of food you eat, and even your shopping habits like purchasing plastic products that play a role in carbon footprint.

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