What is Carbon Footprint? Important Terms Explained

A lot of news articles and journals as well as environmentalist organizations campaign about reducing carbon footprint contribution and how it significantly impacts the world and the ecosystem. But do you know what the term exactly means? If you are one of these people, then lucky for you we have got you covered. In this article, we explore some important terms and issues regarding climate change and what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.  


Climate change is among the major problems that our earth faces today, and despite the efforts to combat it, it is worsening day by day. Our activities for the past 200 years make it easier to conclude that we are currently on a brink of environmental degradation, which, of course, could backfire on us.  


What is Carbon Footprint? 


This is the phrase that is often used when we talk about climate change and the environment, but the phrase is often misunderstood by some. What is more, there are other terms you need to know to get the context better. The following are the key terms that will help you understand the phrase: 

  • Carbon footprint – it is the total amount of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon, that is released in the air and produced by anyone, an organization, or an individual. It is commonly measured by tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2e.  
  • Greenhouse gasses – refers to any gas that blocks off heat from escaping the earth’s atmosphere. They include nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and methane.  
  • Climate change – collectively refers to the long-term changes that have happened and are currently happening on the Earth including changes in the weather and temperature.  
  • The Greenhouse effect – this is the process where the gasses, as well as heat, are trapped in the atmosphere which makes the Earth warm. Although a natural phenomenon, our emissions are massive that the warming is happening at an unnaturally faster rate.  
  • Fossil fuels – refer to the natural resources that produce and emit greenhouse gasses including carbon dioxide when burnt.  


When it comes to the average carbon footprint, there is no exact number or estimation. Carbon footprint varies from one individual to another, one organization to another. There are also several factors that affect the emission.  


The data available about carbon footprint published by the governments focus on territorial kind of carbon footprint. For instance, the 2018 data shows that there are 448.5 million tonnes of CO2e in the United Kingdom alone. Details such as the contributing factors, who is responsible for the emissions, and other important data should also be known and exposed. Take note that this is territorial emission alone. With regards to how and to what extent a certain individual or the whole globe contributes to carbon emission is out of the picture.  


On average, there are 1560.85 million tons of CO2e produced by the wastes alone despite efforts and services like residential dumpster rentals Niagara Falls Ontario. Other culprits include energy, agriculture, industrial processes, and forestry.  


As a responsible human being, there is a need to take action and at least lessen the contribution to carbon footprint numbers. 

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