What is a Carbon Footprint?

carbon footprintJust in case you’re not aware of what a carbon footprint is, it’s the amount of greenhouses gases that we produce through our daily activities, whether directly or indirectly.

Directly is, of course, by driving our cars, heating our homes, just about anything that we do involving fuel that releases greenhouses gases.

Indirectly would include the greenhouses gases emitted by the many things we regularly do and consume without even realizing that we are contributing to the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere.
For example, the food we eat is transported to the supermarket in trucks that burn diesel fuel; therefore by consuming those foods, we are indirectly contributing to the release of greenhouse gases.

Here are a few examples of other indirect greenhouse gas production in our everyday lives that we can all relate to:

  • Heating your home using electricity- The production of that power emits greenhouse gases.
  • Buying food, clothing, home furnishings and other goods- The production of those goods emitted certain quantities of CO2.
  • The great American pastime, which is dining out, also creates CO2. Making just one cheeseburger creates 3 kg of CO2, further adding to our carbon footprint.

These everyday activities can add 1 kg of CO2 to our personal carbon footprints:

  • Taking public transportation for 6.5 to 7 miles
  • Driving a car a distance of 3.75 miles
  • Flying on a plane just 1.375 miles.
  • Using a computer for 32 hours
  • Producing five plastic bags or two plastic bottles

So, as the saying goes, every little bit helps. Cutting down on any activity that directly or indirectly contributes to our carbon footprint is a good start toward saving the earth for future generations.