Every day, we’re seeing the effects of climate change more and more from unusual weather patterns to melting glaciers to rising ocean levels. And even if you’re not worried about the actual state of the planet, there’s no denying that our changing climate affects your life as well. What’s more, these effects are only going to get worse in the future.
So what can you do to help? First, you can start with personal carbon footprint management products that enable individuals and businesses to measure, reduce and offset their impact on the climate.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the total measure of greenhouse gas emissions that a person or business has contributed. These gases include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. The idea is that these gases trap heat in our atmosphere, leading to climate change and global warming.
A typical American’s carbon footprint is over 20 tons per year. This means when we fly on a plane, buy products like beef or processed foods, or even just turn on a light switch, we are contributing to climate change.
How can you measure your carbon footprint?
To measure your carbon footprint, you need to track all of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) that your activities produce. You can calculate your annual GHG emissions by multiplying the number of factors: how many miles you drove in a year, how much fuel or electricity you used, and how many pounds of food you ate.
For example, if you travel 60 miles per day in your car and drive 15,000 miles per year but use an electric vehicle that emits no GHGs, then your carbon footprint would be zero. If you keep track of these three factors for a month, then multiply them by 12 and calculate their average over a year, this is one way of calculating your annual GHG emissions.
What are some ways to reduce your carbon footprint?
There are many ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. The first step is to measure your current impact on the planet and identify where you have room for improvement. Once you know where you need to make changes, start by looking at how much energy you use each day.
Switching out lights in your home or office with LED bulbs is a great way to cut down on power usage. In addition, remember to turn off electronics when not in use, unplug appliances when they’re not being used, and only wash full loads of laundry.
What are some carbon offsetting programs?
Some carbon offsetting programs offer different ways for individuals and businesses to measure, reduce and offset their impact on climate change. Company Cogo has a variety of products that allow you to purchase offsets from renewable sources of energy, such as wind power.
What are some other things you can do to help save the planet?
The Earth is a beautiful place, and we want to keep it that way. But to do that, we need your help.
- Save water by taking shorter showers and running your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.
- Carbon footprint management products like those from TerraPass can help you measure, reduce and offset your impact on the climate.
- Buy eco-friendly products and services like solar panels for your home or carpool with friends to work.
- Recycle as much as possible by separating plastics, paper, aluminum cans, and glass bottles from your trash before going out for pickup each week, and try to compost any food scraps you may have in the kitchen.
You can start by measuring your personal carbon footprint to better understand what you emit into the atmosphere. Once you know what you’re emitting, you can work on reducing your emissions. Many simple changes may reduce your carbon footprint and save energy, such as: taking shorter showers, turning off lights when not needed, closing windows and doors in unused rooms, and recycling items like paper products and glass bottles. Lastly, there are a few ways to offset your carbon footprint which include planting trees or investing in renewable energy sources such as wind power or solar panels.